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Problems with Location - matching place Names 3 weeks 5 days ago #1

  • dngood
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Hi, I have recently installed Webtrees via Softaculous, on a server running PHP7.1.14. Everything seems to be working OK, and I'm finding it much more intuitive than other genealogy software I have downloaded...

However, I am struggling with locations. Initially, I expected to be able to type a location or postcode and get autocomplete, I soon realised this wasn't possible. So entered the recommended "London, England" type format, However, The location doesn't seem to match to an actual location - by that I mean it doesn't appear when I browse a map view, and unlike when I enter latitude and longitude information - I can't click it to see it on a map. When looking at the place hierarchy, I see "The location of this place is not known." for all locations.

In control panel> Geographic data, no longitudes or latitudes are /matched/shown, and I have imported the countries.zip and england.zip from webtrees.net/download/locations , which didn't seem to make any difference. In control panel> Map provider, It is set to OpenStreetMap, and I have also created a GeoNames account, and have that entered on that page.

I think I either completely misunderstand how the location mechanism works (it seems great in the webtrees demos), or something fairly fundamental is not working. I have done some google searches, and had a look in the forum, but not found anything useful - a lot of links just go to the webtrees homepage, or reference a Google Maps module, which I guess doesn't exist any more.

Thanks for any help or advice you can offer.

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Problems with Location - matching place Names 3 weeks 5 days ago #2

  • fisharebest
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webtrees uses the GEDCOM format to store your genealogy data. This is a public/open format, and we use it to ensure your data always remains portable.

But GEDCOM does not include geographic data. So, if we want to draw "London, England" on a map, we need to look up the location in some sort of gazetteer. (A gazetter is just a term for a geographic database).

webtrees allows you to maintain a gazetter: Control panel -> Geographic data.

So, to draw London, England on a map, webtrees looks in this gazetter for the co-ordinates.

It is *your* job to maintain this gazetteer.

Why doesn't webtrees include this information for you? Two main reasons
1) these databases can be very large, and it would make the webtrees download too big.
2) these databases are frequently copyrighted. They are often free for personal use, but cannot be packaged into other applications (such as webtrees).

So, how do you maintain the gazetteer? Two steps (which can be combined).
1) add place names
2) add co-ordinates

If the place (in your tree) isn't shown in the gazetteer, then there is an option "import places from family tree", which will scan your tree for any new places.

For each place, you can manually locate it on the map. There is a lookup/search service on the map - provided by openstreetmap/nominatim.
(Note - these geocoding lookup services have terms and conditions and usage limits. Single queries like this are OK. Using them for batch processing or as part of an "auto-complete" input field is not.)

Or, you can import a database created by another webtrees user (as you have done).
Note that some of these files require some editing first.
For example, you might need to search/replace "ENG/England".

It may be helpful if we use a specific example, rather than generalities. You said that you have London, England in your genealogy, but the places-tab and the place-hierarchy page shows the location as unknown.

Go to the control panel. Do you see England? If you click on it, do you see London?
Do these places have co-ordinates? If no, then use the edit link to set them.

If you are still stuck, give us an example, and show us exactly what you see.
Greg Roach - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - fisharebest.webtrees.net

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Problems with Location - matching place Names 3 weeks 4 days ago #3

  • dngood
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Thanks for the great reply. I think this makes more sense, I guess I'm just too used to autocomplete.

So in control Panel> Geographic data, I see about 100 entries, for example, "Australia", "Baker", "Canada", "Eastbourne" etc... Most of these have a "0" immediately next to the name and have no latitude or longitude. A few options, such as "England", "London" and "Essex" have a 3 or a 5 there. I can see that I can edit these and add/lookup the latitude or longitude. So my next two questions are 1. What should I see in this list - should it be cities or countries, or is it OK to have mixed (i.e. "I know they were born in England, but I don't know where"). And 2. I don't understand what the england.zip import did - what does it allow me to do that I can't do without it?

Thanks!

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Problems with Location - matching place Names 3 weeks 4 days ago #4

  • fisharebest
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> Most of these have a "0" immediately next to the name and have no latitude or longitude. A few options, such as "England", "London" and "Essex" have a 3 or a 5 there.

The number is the number of lower-level places. If London shows a "3", then your gazetteer has three places in London.

The colour of this number indicates a status. Missing co-ordinates, not used in your genealogy, etc.

> So my next two questions are 1. What should I see in this list - should it be cities or countries

It should the places that exist in your genealogy.

Best practice is that these should always end in a country.
e.g. "Eastbourne" should be "Eastbourne, East Sussex, England".
They should always be written in the same language.
So, always in English on an English site, always in German on a German site.
Don't mix languages.

So, once you have updated all the places in your genealogy to end in a country, your gazetteer should initially show a list of countries. Click on a country, and you'll see the regions within it. Click on a region to see the towns and cities.
Greg Roach - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - fisharebest.webtrees.net

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Problems with Location - matching place Names 3 weeks 4 days ago #5

  • dngood
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OK, beginning to make sense. I can see that slowly editing my locations is tidying up the list under England/London etc.... I still don't understand the England.zip import though - I can see these .csv files contain the lat-long for a lot of places - how do I use this rather than manually using the OpenStreetMap search?

And once I have a nice tidy list, is there any way to make these available for new entries - i.e. select from a previously defined location?

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Problems with Location - matching place Names 3 weeks 4 days ago #6

  • fisharebest
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> I still don't understand the England.zip import though - I can see these .csv files contain the lat-long for a lot of places - how do I use this rather than manually using the OpenStreetMap search?

There is an "import CSV file" option.

It will load the data directly into your gazetteer, to save you typing.
Greg Roach - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - fisharebest.webtrees.net

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Problems with Location - matching place Names 3 weeks 4 days ago #7

  • dngood
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I thought I did this - I clicked on "import file" and imported the whole england.zip file, I didn't get any errors, so assumed it worked.

If I need to do this manually, do I really have to manually import all 42 csv files individually? or is the idea that you only import the one's you're likely to need?

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Problems with Location - matching place Names 3 weeks 4 days ago #8

  • fisharebest
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> And once I have a nice tidy list, is there any way to make these available for new entries

When you enter new facts/events, there is an autocomplete for place names.
It searches places that already exist in that family tree.
Greg Roach - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - fisharebest.webtrees.net

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Problems with Location - matching place Names 3 weeks 4 days ago #9

  • fisharebest
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> If I need to do this manually, do I really have to manually import all 42 csv files individually? or is the idea that you only import the one's you're likely to need?

Yes, and yes.

It needs to run on small, underpowered servers, so the import files are kept small.
Greg Roach - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - fisharebest.webtrees.net

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Problems with Location - matching place Names 3 weeks 4 days ago #10

  • dngood
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OK, great - many thanks for your help - looks like I have some tidying to do...

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Problems with Location - matching place Names 2 weeks 4 days ago #11

Hello dngood and fisharebest,

I do not wish to intrude on this thread, but after reading it, I realised that I just walked into dngood's exact footsteps (softaculous install, discovering in amazement webtrees and all its features, working through the geographic data). I managed the single csv import on my own, but I sure wish I had found this thread sooner, I would have slept a little bit more over the past few nights.

Now at www.unesaga.com , I have started the import of the France csv files. In the process, I am cleaning up the csv (e.g. removing the zipcodes which are included after the town names, replacing the country code currently set to 3 letters, fixing some towns with wrong coordinates)

In any case, I have 2 follow-up questions:

1. When I am done with the cleanup, should I contribute these files back to the GitHub project?
2. I am now able to add a town to an entry (e.g. Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise, Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France). I know that this will auto-complete the next time I add someone else connected with this town. Can the autocomplete also work on the locations that are in the geographic data (all the other French cities basically) but that do not yet have any individual connected with it (listed with a 0)? This would make it easier for future collaborators who may not be as patient as I am with technology (e.g. my mother) to correctly match a location entry with the corresponding geographic data.

Thank you in advance for your answer, and many kudos on the amount of work done here. It's very very impressive.

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Last edit: by UneSaga.

Problems with Location - matching place Names 2 weeks 4 days ago #12

  • fisharebest
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> When I am done with the cleanup, should I contribute these files back to the GitHub project?

Yes please.

> Can the autocomplete also work on the locations that are in the geographic data (all the other French cities basically) but that do not yet have any individual connected with it

This is, of course, possible.

But we do not do it because of privacy concerns.

If you have a public tree and a private tree (with some unusual place names), then autocomplete on the public tree could allow someone to identify the places in the private tree.

IMHO, this is not a *big* concern, but several users have said that it is important.
Greg Roach - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - fisharebest.webtrees.net

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Problems with Location - matching place Names 2 weeks 4 days ago #13

  • bertkoor
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Sorry Greg, I think you misunderstood slightly.

Let's start with an empty tree. If you enter a place name, the autocomplete makes no suggestions because there's no data entered yet. When the user puts in place names, then autocomplete becomes really useful. That is the standard webtrees behaviour.

Now start with an empty tree again, but this time we first load in a .csv with geographical data in the maps module. One might expect this data will be used by the autocomplete, but it is not. It really would make sense to do so.

So the feature suggestion is to also use place names from the geolocations module for autocompletion. Data in private trees should remain private indeed, and different trees might use different place naming conventions.

UneSaga wrote: removing the zipcodes which are included after the town names, replacing the country code currently set to 3 letters [...]
should I contribute these files back to the GitHub project?


Fixing wrong coordinates never hurts, but I don't know whether existing users of these files are happy with such structural changes. It would require them to rename their places in order to get coordinates on maps working again. So my suggestion would be to add the files with another file name.
stamboom.BertKoor.nl runs on webtrees v1.7.13

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Problems with Location - matching place Names 2 weeks 3 days ago #14

  • JLL
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Hello
Thank you to "dngood" for having summarized all my problems on the places and their topographical references: for several months I struggled to find how to do well! I will reread all of these answers in a profound way to apply them. However, I have a question about the contribution of topographical references found in personal information (such as places of birth, etc.) see the attached capture. Thank you in advance for a response that will be welcome!
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Problems with Location - matching place Names 2 weeks 2 days ago #15

Thank you very much all for the celerity of your responses!

fisharebest wrote: This is, of course, possible.

But we do not do it because of privacy concerns.

If you have a public tree and a private tree (with some unusual place names), then autocomplete on the public tree could allow someone to identify the places in the private tree.

If indeed the data would auto-complete in both public and private tree, I understand the issue on privacy, although for me too, this is not a very big issue. Since the auto-complete would work on both locations that are in use and locations that are not used but simply recorded in the list of geographic places (such as the ones imported from a general csv), I imagine that a large number unused locations would sufficiently obfuscate the number of locations in use.

bertkoor wrote: It really would make sense to do so.

So the feature suggestion is to also use place names from the geolocations module for autocompletion. Data in private trees should remain private indeed, and different trees might use different place naming conventions.

I do support such feature. It could be as basic as the option to switch auto-completion on or off for locations so that all users find the right privacy balance they are looking for.

If there is an official way to submit feature requests, please let me know, I would be happy to start the process.

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