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Using Free Mapping API's for Meetinghouse Locator

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:59 pm
by andersonj
Just curious if there has been any consideration given to using API's such as Google Maps or Virtual Earth for tools such as the meetinghouse locator. I'd love to see a tool that would allow you to browse around a map and see where meetinghouses are available.

Taking this a little further...

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:48 pm
by jeffvand
Our ward recently organized a massive Priesthood effort to go and find some "lost sheep" on our records. I was put in charge of mapping out directions to each home. I used a basic formula that google uses in their permanent mapping links and mail-merged a document together with links to all of these houses. It would be even better to be able to do this online instantly... or to have a tool built that would do this for us so we could map out locations of members all over the ward! I think the API is a great way to do this! We already have the addresses.

Ward Web Sites

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:13 pm
by johnshaw
As with the additional improvements to the Unit Web Sites, this could be incorporated into these sites, or at a minimum, added to the administrator options. How great would it be to click a button and see the ward members pin cushioned to a downloadable JPG or PDF. Even have varying sizes. What about overlaying it with the boundary maps available from headquarters with locations of meetinghouseses, members, etc... I could then print to a plotter and have a very nice map available to me anytime, instead of the usually outdated torn or shredded maps currently in many buildings.

Privacy Concerns?

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:49 pm
by andersonj
I can imagine that there would probably be privacy concerns with having that kind of information so easily available, but if those could be resolved something like this would be VERY useful. I would hope that plotting the locations of our meetinghouses would be a safer place to start.

Mapping Apis

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:38 pm
by bh5k-p40
Great ideas guys. There is a pretty big effort internally to utilize mapping apis with tools such as GIS and Esri plus more public apis such as Google and Yahoo Maps.

Keep watching for some of the new things to role out in some of the new apps that are shipping soon. Sorry, I wish I could give more details.

GIS-related jobs at Church?

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:30 am
by greenwoodkl
bh5k -

I'm interested in GIS and maps as a hobby. Is there a large group looking at these map APIs and so forth? Are they working with whatever department handles ecclesiastical boundaries? Is this a growing group, specialized group? Just curious at potential job opps... Any insights you could share would be nice ;)

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:32 am
by WelchTC
Visit our jobs page for job listings. I can't comment on specific group sizes & such.

Tom

Tim Heuer has a few good ideas...

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:51 pm
by mkmurray
The Tech Talks got me in the mood for brainstorming...:)

As I was just skimming the net with Google to see what others have already done or started, I came across an idea by Tim Heuer that has to do with this thread.

Click this link to watch a wmv video of his demonstration.

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:01 pm
by thedqs
That was great and it gave me a question: Is there a way to get from LDS.org the ward bounderies?

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:10 am
by russellhltn
mkmurray wrote:Click this link to watch a wmv video of his demonstration.
Looks like re-inventing the wheel to me. The existing meetinghouse locaterwill take an address and direct you to THE ward that you live in and give you the to option to see it on a map. While I think it would be really nice to see the ward boundaries, doesn't the existing system fulfill the basic need to locate one's ward?

I don't see the point in providing information on multiple wards in your area as the closest one may not be the one whose boundaries you live in. The way wards are handled doesn't permit "ward shopping" unless you're willing to move. Am I missing something?