Alan_Brown wrote:Tithing declaration status is not uploaded from the ward to the stake. That information is communicated from bishop to stake president via a printed report each January. (It is uploaded from the ward to the Church, but that has no bearing on the current topic.)
No financial information on individual donors is available in stake MLS. Indeed, no financial information of any kind is in any MLS export files, at the ward or stake level.
Thanks for clarifying that.
In that case, unless you know of other data elements in the stake MLS reports required for boundary work that are not present in the four MLS export csv files, I am quite confident that a decent GIS program could do the job.
A GIS application just combines conventional database functionality with geographic functionality. So if you could reproduce the MLS report content by crunching the content of the stake version of Membership.csv in a spreadsheet or DBMS (using the hard-keyed GEO code fields), be assured that you could do it in a good GIS program (using dynamic geographic queries instead.)
The dynamic functionality that GIS brings to this task is a point-in-polygon match. ("Does point X lie within polygon Y?") Once that is present, the implementer can also perform such tasks as: "Find the polygons that contain each point;" "Find all the points that lie within each of the polygons and list their database attributes such as name and age;" or "Count the points with database attribute Z for each polygon in the database," etc.
The points (member-address records geocoded by lat/lon) are fixed by their precise place on the planet. The polygons -- whether individual jigsaw pieces you now know as GEO code areas, or larger areas we know as wards -- can be flexibly defined, combined and redefined as necessary.
HPaulsen has built a basic point-in-polygon implementation into his cool mapping program, although it lacks all the functionality and integration of a full GIS application. Point-in-polygon functionality is not present in simple map viewers such as Google Earth, Yahoo Maps or Bing.