nFS & temple ready place standardization

Discussions around Genealogy technology.
User avatar
garysturn
Senior Member
Posts: 608
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:10 am
Location: Draper, Utah, USA
Contact:

Standard Finder

Postby garysturn » Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:56 pm

kgthunder wrote:I agree with Alan. A database could be produced of location names with dates - it could even have its own pedigree of a modern place name branching off into all historical place names that would be included. Thus a search for the modern location would iterate through all included historical place IDs. Thus ghost towns could be included in the current county even if they have no modern place name to be linked to. And a specific town that has just been renamed or survived several larger political boundary or name changes could have a list of names paired with dates all sharing a place identifier with the modern equivalent and the system would need to store somehow the equivalent names for certain dates.


The current system does some of the things you mentioned. There is a database with different versions of the place names but it does not track historical name changes by the year of change. It needs more refining and that is being done. You can see the project at FamilySearch Labs it is called the Standard Finder. You can use the standard finder and submit feedback for improvements even without a nFS account. Example: Draper Utah use to be called Draperville Utah. Enter Draperville Utah into the standard finder and see the results. It shows all the variations of the locality name for you.

A possible solution might be to allow us to display what ever place name we want in the Summary view and still use the standardized place name in the searches.
Gary Turner
If you haven't already, please take a moment to review our new
Code of Conduct

BradJackman-p40
New Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:09 am
Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Partially standardized places

Postby BradJackman-p40 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:19 am

Many historical place names are already incorporated into the standard finder, however the fact that it doesn't have the historical place name YOU want brings me back to the comma seperated values which contain standardized and non-standardized places.

This would solve the issue for historical place names not included in the database, and also solve the issue of the church name in christenings (VERY IMPORTANT) and the cemetery name in burials (VERY IMPORTANT). When standard finder sees that there are some parts of the name that appear standardized, it standardizes them, but leaves things unaltered to the left of the standard. Hence:

You enter:
Marble Cemetery, Manhattan, New York, NY

Standard Finder recognizes part of it, and standardizes the recognized portion to:
Manhattan, New York, New York, United States

It does not recognize the left-most portion of the place name, and enters it, unaltered, in the place name field to the left of the standardized name:
Marble Cemetery, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States

Anyone searching for an ancestor buried in Manhattan will only have the standard place names (that can be translated into different alphabets, because this seems to be the crux of the issue) to search by. If they search for someone who was buried in Manhattan, they will find this individual, because the standard finder has tagged this individual with the Manhattan place name, even though it doesn't understand the unstandardized portion of the name. Upon viewing the individual, you would see the specific place of burial.

Anyone see any problems with this?

There could even be a process for adopting and translating or transliterating these additional place names and making them standards in their own right.

Right now it's all or nothing. If you enter Marble Cemetery, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, it is unsearchable by any term. Seems like you should even be able to switch what type of search you are doing - standardized or simple text.

jbh001
Community Moderators
Posts: 854
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:17 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Postby jbh001 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:23 pm

BradJackman wrote:You enter:
Marble Cemetery, Manhattan, New York, NY

Standard Finder recognizes part of it, and standardizes the recognized portion to:
Manhattan, New York, New York, United States

It does not recognize the left-most portion of the place name, and enters it, unaltered, in the place name field to the left of the standardized name:
Marble Cemetery, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States

Anyone searching for an ancestor buried in Manhattan will only have the standard place names (that can be translated into different alphabets, because this seems to be the crux of the issue) to search by. If they search for someone who was buried in Manhattan, they will find this individual, because the standard finder has tagged this individual with the Manhattan place name, even though it doesn't understand the unstandardized portion of the name. Upon viewing the individual, you would see the specific place of burial.

Anyone see any problems with this?
I think this idea is an excellent first step.

One problem I see is this has the potential to add new clutter to the place name database. All it takes is "dedicated genealogist" aunt Mabel to insist that grandpa Joe was born in Louis County, and her equally "serious historian" cousin Marge to insist that grandpa Joe was born in Lewis County. Then multiply that by all the "dedicated genealogists" and "serious historians" that will use nFS, and you end up with the mess that was Ancestral File. It is exactly these kinds of disputes that the Church wanted to get out of the middle of with nFS.

Having said that, I still think that your idea is better than the current system. Perhaps implementing it will lead to an even better solution down the road.

scion-p40
Member
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:56 pm

Postby scion-p40 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:34 pm

Good points, BradJackman. This would preserve data integrity for the submitter. If the boundaries have changed over time, then a subsequent researcher would be able to follow the work.

User avatar
garysturn
Senior Member
Posts: 608
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:10 am
Location: Draper, Utah, USA
Contact:

Place details

Postby garysturn » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:37 pm

I like the solution Rootsmagic is going to add to there new version, adding a place details field where cemetery, hospital, and other location details can be added without interfering with the location field. See their explination of this new feature. It would be a good thing for the entire industry and the Church to follow.
Gary Turner
If you haven't already, please take a moment to review our new
Code of Conduct

BradJackman-p40
New Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:09 am
Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Postby BradJackman-p40 » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:29 am

jbh001 wrote:
One problem I see is this has the potential to add new clutter to the place name database. All it takes is "dedicated genealogist" aunt Mabel to insist that grandpa Joe was born in Louis County, and her equally "serious historian" cousin Marge to insist that grandpa Joe was born in Lewis County. Then multiply that by all the "dedicated genealogists" and "serious historians" that will use nFS, and you end up with the mess that was Ancestral File. It is exactly these kinds of disputes that the Church wanted to get out of the middle of with nFS.


If cousin Marge and aunt Mabel want to enter the different county names in the current system, they can, and nothing is standardized. Not to spoil the scenaio, but most genealogists are comfortable with the fact that the spelling of names and places in old records is not standard. Granted, there are some purists who would insist on this. With my suggestion, the system would not standardize all of one, and none of the other (If they insist on avoiding the suggested spelling of the standardized place), it would standardize everything to the right of these "un-standard" places, allowing searches for someone born in Nebraska, or wherever Louis county is, to return results for both places. Currently, it would ignore all of the unstandardized place.

Even in this scenario, I think my suggestion would be a better option.

BradJackman-p40
New Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:09 am
Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Postby BradJackman-p40 » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:50 am

The differening opinions on this thread lead me to ask, "Why do we need place names anyway?"

There are obviously several answers, and several different uses, I can think of a few:

1) To provide another criteria for determining if two people are different
2) To provide added information for those attempting to duplicate the research and verify facts
3) To give researchers the best locality for finding sources and additional information
4) To determine birth/christening/marriage/death/burial patterns that may support or disprove family associations
4) To give families a sense of history, and allow them to research or visit historic places of their own ancestry

I think in each of these reasons for using place names in genealogy, we would be supported by having parish church names and cemetery names, and other exact locality information. Having standardized places is not a reason for using place names, it is one solution for a problem invented by the lack of genealogical knowledge of NFS developers.

Why are we ruining genealogical research to save a problematic database? Change the database, not genealogical practices!

Adding a details field for a place is exactly what my afore-mentioned suggestion would do - Use the standardized place as far as the database recognizes it, anything more detailed is not standardized, deleted, or altered, it is listed with the place as a more detailed locality than the standardized place. The only difference is mine lists it with the place, easily recognizable, and other suggestions list it in a seperate field. Not much difference if you ask me, I'd be happy with either, although I think my suggestion has less confusion for the end user - all of the standardized/non-standardized decisions are made behind the scenes. It just adds another step for the user to put each locality in a different field. (Although now that I think about it, I have always been against NFS doing things behind my back...)

scion-p40
Member
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:56 pm

Postby scion-p40 » Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:01 pm

BradJackman wrote:I think in each of these reasons for using place names in genealogy, we would be supported by having parish church names and cemetery names, and other exact locality information. Having standardized places is not a reason for using place names, it is one solution for a problem invented by the lack of genealogical knowledge of NFS developers.

Why are we ruining genealogical research to save a problematic database? Change the database, not genealogical practices!


Precisely!!


Return to “Family History”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests