Membership maps

Discussions around miscellaneous technologies and projects for the general membership.
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Mr. M-p40
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Information Freely Accessible...

#11

Post by Mr. M-p40 »

I think that sending someone data that is freely available through the ward website, in any format should be ok. All addresses, phone, etc. are available on the site. That being said, you can also remove your info from that site so using it would be acknowledging a members request not to be shared.

Just a thought...
Mr. M
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joevans3
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Thank You!

#12

Post by joevans3 »

Boomerbubba ,thanks for the script and fantastic directions (& included prompts). I had gone so far as to purchase Microsoft Streets & Trips to try to make the maps the bishopric needed. This works much much better.

By the way, the labeling on that MS program is haphazard and does not make a good final product.

IMHO, the privacy policy would not prevent clerks or bishopric members from using MLS data on desktop apps like Google Earth. It is the same as using Excel to sort the data in an export file.
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Mikerowaved
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#13

Post by Mikerowaved »

Mr. M wrote:I think that sending someone data that is freely available through the ward website, in any format should be ok. All addresses, phone, etc. are available on the site.
This is a dangerously broad-sweeping statement that in some cases is just not true. First of all, this information is NOT "freely available". Users must properly identify themselves by registering and logging in before access to it is granted. Second, this information is considered confidential and should NOT be given to anyone outside the Stake, or given to anyone at all for political, business, or commercial purposes.

I hope that's what you meant to say. ;)

Mike
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Gaertnerg-p40
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#14

Post by Gaertnerg-p40 »

falisrm wrote:I was able to create membership maps using Google Earth and i love it. I have all the members in the entire county. Before i introduce it to leaders in the stake, i wanted to know the privacy policies with this as to not let this information get out of hands. I was planning to send it to a few people like some high counselors, stake president and my own elders quorum presidency. I know this it talked a lot on this forum. i just wanted some advice about this.
The policy is that Membership personal information should not be distributed to the general public. The steward for the local unit data is the Bishop. If you coordinate with each bishop about your project and they are ok with sharing this information you will be ok. Also make sure that you stake president is aware.
jdlessley
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#15

Post by jdlessley »

Gaertnerg wrote:The policy is that Membership personal information should not be distributed to the general public. The steward for the local unit data is the Bishop. If you coordinate with each bishop about your project and they are ok with sharing this information you will be ok. Also make sure that you stake president is aware.
I would add that if you are in a calling that supports, advises, or counsels with the Bishop that you research Church policies and the legalities before taking it to the Bishop. Your request for his OK may imply that you have checked all the issues of which he may not be aware. This forum is one tool to help you do just that.
JD Lessley
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RossEvans
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#16

Post by RossEvans »

Gaertnerg wrote:The policy is that Membership personal information should not be distributed to the general public. The steward for the local unit data is the Bishop. If you coordinate with each bishop about your project and they are ok with sharing this information you will be ok. Also make sure that you stake president is aware.

If you follow the facts as they unfolded in the thread above, it turns out the original poster had obtained half the data by "so sneaky," unauthorized access to a neighboring stake's LUWS directories. So the first question the second stake president would ask would be, "How in the world did you get your hands on our data?" The first stake president, in the stake where the poster actually resides, could not be pleased, either.
CuriousGIS-p40
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privacy issues and ward mapping

#17

Post by CuriousGIS-p40 »

I believe it has been repeated quite a few times on this thread that the data should only be used for church purposes and not used for any other purpose. The question I would ask is for what purpose is the ward and/or stake being mapped out? If there is a reason, who is involved, how is the data being distributed to interested parties?

I think, the answers to these questions will address many of the concerns voiced in this thread. If the endeavor is being undertaken to help oneself in locating members in connection with a calling, the data is not being distributed to anyone and it is not being served by a third party but residing on a local computer it is no different than downloading the xls or cvs file from the LDS website. There should be no major concerns. If however, one is geocoding and mapping out your members and then distributing the data to other members it would be good practice to let the unit(s) priesthood leaders know what is going on.

It could be argued that as long as the data is not being stored by a third party there is no need to let leaders know what is going on. After all, the data is being sent to other church members for church purposes and it being stored locally by members, which is akin to sending xls files back and forth. However, the information is now being distributed by an "unauthorized" source and the data is being visualized in a way that is still relatively new and alien to many members/leaders.
rhusted-p40
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Sensitivity to Member Data

#18

Post by rhusted-p40 »

For what it's worth - I have 8 children. Today I saw a map that a very well intentioned member of our ward put online. It had my name, my wife's name, my children's names, and our address all listed in a public forum. Granted it's not readily available because the URL isn't publicly available - but it's still concerning. I'm very nervous about having that information available for other people to see - particularly if there is any potential for abuse. I don't want my kids to inadvertently be put in harm's way.

I see the usefulness of knowing where a lot of members live - especially if you're moving to a new area and would like to live around Terrestrial and Celestial people or if you're a WML or missionary who wants to see where various members live. So taking just the addresses, but no names, and making a map is not nearly as concerning to me personally. But I think that the Church would be the better steward of that data and that they would be the best party to produce such maps in a more secure fashion.

I can also see how such maps would be useful when setting stake boundaries - knowing where the concentration of members is geographically, where the Priesthood leaders are, and perhaps identifying growth areas so that you don't create a large ward in an area with a lot of new homes being built - you could start with a smaller ward, expecting it to grow.

I like the idea of Google Earth because it provides the same desirable information, just not in a public forum. Does anyone have a link to a tool that will take the LDS CSV file and convert it to a KLM file? That would be quite useful. :)
RossEvans
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#19

Post by RossEvans »

rhusted wrote:For what it's worth - I have 8 children. Today I saw a map that a very well intentioned member of our ward put online. It had my name, my wife's name, my children's names, and our address all listed in a public forum. Granted it's not readily available because the URL isn't publicly available - but it's still concerning. I'm very nervous about having that information available for other people to see - particularly if there is any potential for abuse. I don't want my kids to inadvertently be put in harm's way.

The Church has asked us not to post name-address information, in maps or otherwise, on third-party servers -- especially if the content was extracted from Church sytems such as the LUWS or MLS. That even extends to third-party servers under password protection. See this authoritative post.

Church developers are known to be working on an official member-mapping project that likely will meet most of the desire for general mapping. Presumably access to that dat would be secured, just as the existing LUWS data is.
rhusted wrote:I like the idea of Google Earth because it provides the same desirable information, just not in a public forum. Does anyone have a link to a tool that will take the LDS CSV file and convert it to a KLM file? That would be quite useful.

Google Earth is a much more secure format, because it is a local application and all private data is retained locally.

There are generalized ways to convert CSV files to KML, but they do so quite imperfectly. (Search "geocoding" on this forum and you will find many threads discussing it. See, for example, this recent thread.)The main problem is one of detecting and correcting the inevitable errors, and doing so reliably, cheaply and legally.

I have published scripts here to geocode ward addresses and create KML files, including error handling, but withdrew them to avoid violating legal restrictions on the free geocoding engine I used, Yahoo's. Instead, I now geocode our ward's roster directly from public-domain data available for my particular city, but that doesn't do most anyone else any good. The best hope for a general solution probably lies in the project underway at CHQ.
rhusted-p40
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Maps Project?

#20

Post by rhusted-p40 »

What is the name of the maps project that the Church is working on? What features / functionality will it provide? Is there a wiki page or anyplace where I can get additional information? Since we'll likely have to inform our well-intentioned members that they need to pull this information off Google, I'd like to give them some information about what the Church is doing and hopefully thus avoid any hurt feelings. :)
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