New maps beta now available!

Use this forum to discuss issues that are not found in any of the other clerk and stake technology specialist forums.
RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:43 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I wonder if the church will be storing the locations. So that if you locate "123 Main #209", then the member moved out, and a year later a new member moves into "123 Main #190" if it will remember that point. Thus the church would be building it's own high precision database.


Yes, that seems quite feasible in Wasatch Front areas with very high densities of LDS population. Within some such unit boundaries, the ratio of LDS households to the total might exceed 90 percent.

In the hinterlands, that ratio is lower by about two orders of magnitude. In central Texas, a mission president quipped that the challenge is to "leave the one to find the ninety-and-nine."

ammonihah
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Some work to do on Ward Boundries

Postby ammonihah » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:49 pm

Are the ward boundries supposed to be correct? If so, ours are way way off. It shows the boundries, but includes people in a ward that are in another stake.

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:57 pm

Ammonihah wrote:Are the ward boundries supposed to be correct? If so, ours are way way off. It shows the boundries, but includes people in a ward that are in another stake.


Do you mean the boundary lines themselves are wrong? (If that is the case, you should report that through the stake.)

Or do you mean the boundaries are correct but there are some members shown outside the boundaries who are not members of your ward? Or actual ward members whose plotted locations do not match their addresses inside the ward? There is a known issue related to the timing of updates, such that some locations plotted are for members' prior addresses. That issue is being worked on.

zaneclark
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Postby zaneclark » Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:11 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Even when you do a "Zoom To" "Ward Boundary"?


I just checked and the boundary is back! Gotta love beta apps! Even with some small problems, this is an outstanding tool! Thank you to whoever wrote the program and whoever is working to make corrections....

Zane

psnarula
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Postby psnarula » Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:07 pm

I am the ward clerk in a military ward (English speaking) in Germany. When I click on "My Ward," I get this:

Currently, additional functionality and data is available only to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our records do not currently show that you are a member.
If you are a Church member and are still receiving this message, try the following:

  • Your LDS Account might not currently list your membership information. Sign in to http://ldsaccount.ldschurch.org to see if this is the case. Update your profile with your membership number and confirmation date if necessary. (You can get this information from your ward clerk.)
  • If that does not work, talk with your ward leaders to see if there is a problem with your records.




My LDS Account is correct and it is tied to my MR. I am able to login to the LUWS and I can also administer the LUWS (the green background). What's going on with the maps? Is this only for units in the States?

If we ever do get the maps up and running, I can tell already that we are going to have a problem. I need some help with how to approach the following situation:

The vast majority of the members in our ward are active duty military or are civilians that work in some capacity supporting the military. We do have a few English-speaking members (mostly Americans, but not all) that are here in Germany working for international companies with no government or military affiliation.

The folks with ties to the military all have two addresses -- their street address in Germany and their APO box. I have been the clerk for three months now and I inherited a system where we are not using the mailing address field built into MLS. Instead, we have the house address filled in as follows:

Line 1: German street and house number
Line 2: CMR xxx Box xxxx APO AE 09xxx
City: German city
State: German state
Zip Code: German zip code (five digits) preceded by "D-"

So, for instance, my zip code is in MLS as "D-65205" The "D-" is probably unnecessary but it provides an easy way to distinguish between the APO zip code and the German zip code (D is for Deutschland). The APO zip codes all start with 09 and the German zip codes in our part of Germany all start with 6 so really there is no worry about confusion. This is just what I inherited.

The reason the system was set up this way is pretty obvious -- we want both addresses to show up on one ward directory. When mailing cards, invitations, etc, almost everybody sends mail to the APO boxes since this doesn't require dealing with the German postal system. But we need the street addresses to go and visit people. Having to distribute two lists would be a nuisance.

I would imagine that in order to make the maps work, I will need to move the CMR addresses to the mailing address field. This is fine, but I still need a way to get both addresses to show up on the ward list. I know MLS has the ability to create custom lists but I'm not sure if what I want can be accomplished.

Any comments?

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:31 pm

psnarula wrote:I would imagine that in order to make the maps work, I will need to move the CMR addresses to the mailing address field. This is fine, but I still need a way to get both addresses to show up on the ward list. I know MLS has the ability to create custom lists but I'm not sure if what I want can be accomplished.


Yes, you should store the mailing-address data into the fields designed for such data.

It does sound like you want to produce a custom directory. You can use custom reports or the File --> Export function to do this. Once you have the data exported to CSV files, you can design a report in some external software, such as OpenOffice.

Or for a quick mailing directory, you can use the print labels function in MLS. Printing to PDF would produce a simple mailing directory (no phone numbers, etc.) formatted as 30 addresses per page.

psnarula
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Postby psnarula » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:04 pm

boomerbubba wrote:Yes, you should store the mailing-address data into the fields designed for such data.

It does sound like you want to produce a custom directory. You can use custom reports or the File --> Export function to do this. Once you have the data exported to CSV files, you can design a report in some external software, such as OpenOffice.

Or for a quick mailing directory, you can use the print labels function in MLS. Printing to PDF would produce a simple mailing directory (no phone numbers, etc.) formatted as 30 addresses per page.


Is there a way to design a macro or some automated functionality in Word or OpenOffice that consumes the CSV file output from MLS? I don't want to have to manually change the report every time somebody moves in or out or changes their phone number.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:14 pm

psnarula wrote:Is there a way to design a macro or some automated functionality in Word or OpenOffice that consumes the CSV file output from MLS? I don't want to have to manually change the report every time somebody moves in or out or changes their phone number.


You can do a Mail Merge in either Word or OpenOffice Writer, using the CSV as your address file. Then whenever you generate a new CSV file, you simply perform the merge again.

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:52 pm

psnarula wrote:Is there a way to design a macro or some automated functionality in Word or OpenOffice that consumes the CSV file output from MLS? I don't want to have to manually change the report every time somebody moves in or out or changes their phone number.


It does get complicated if you want to organize the directory report by households instead of just by members. That task essentially requires a database program, and someone has to program some datatabase logic. Not too difficult if you have the skills, but there is a bigger learning curve if you don't.

Once an underlying database is defined in a database program, the database report-writer or a mail merge ought to be able to spit out the report. Personally, I hate the Base component of OpenOffice, and would use any version of MS Access if it were available. The mail-merge component of OpenOffice Writer is better behaved, IMHO.

If I were doing this, I would just use my LDSql back end, which has much of the database logic built-in, and connect to OpenOffice, Access, Word, etc. via ODBC. That requires installing some extra software and learning to use it, so that may be more of a learning curve than you want. (I didn't really design LDSql for end users, but for developers and power users.) If you did invest the effort in such an installation, which offers much more than just this particular task requires, I think you would find the prebuilt view called Household would fit your needs. It consolidates the contact information for each household, plus head-of-household and spouse, and handles the logic for the mailing fields. That view could export to a spreadsheet, etc., or could drive a mail-merge easily.

It may be possible to get household-oriented CSV output from MLS directly with a custom report. That could be the simplest solution.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:33 pm

boomerbubba wrote:It does get complicated if you want to organize the directory report by households instead of just by members. That task essentially requires a database program, and someone has to program some datatabase logic. Not too difficult if you have the skills, but there is a bigger learning curve if you don't.


It doesn't have to require database skills if you're just interested in household data, without mixing in individual data from variable numbers of household members.

Just create a custom report that has criteria:

  • Household Position -- is -- Head of Household
and include fields such as:

  • Head of House and Spouse
  • Address - Street 1
  • Address - City
  • Address - State
  • Address - Postal Code
You can then do Ctrl+Shift+C to copy the entire list to the clipboard, and then paste into a spreadsheet. That will get the households with their physical addresses.

Then the somewhat tricky step is to use the Print Mailing Labels button when you are looking at the generated Custom Report. That, unfortunately, is the only way to get at the MLS mailing address fields for a Custom Report. Make sure you check "Show Head of Household", then do Ctrl+Shift+C to copy the entire list to the clipboard, and then paste into your spreadsheet, to the right of the existing physical address data.

Now you have both physical and mailing addreses in a spreadsheet, which you can save (as XLS or CSV) and then do a mail merge into whatever format you'd like.


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