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TOPIC: "Place check" module do not update geo data

"Place check" module do not update geo data 1 month 5 days ago #1

  • trejder
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I have noticed that in 1.7.9 "Place check" module does not update place data for token of a lower level, if token of a higher level is not updated as well.

For example, I have following entry taken from one of my individuals' records:
France, Provence, Var, Sanary-sur-Mer

I cannot update "Sanary-sur-Mer" geo data (my changes after saving "Geographic data" window are ignored / lost) until I don't update "France", "Provence" and "Var" first (and in this order only).

Is this a bug -- that I have to always update it from right to left (i.e. from country, through level 2 and level 3 to level 4) or by design feature?
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"Place check" module do not update geo data 1 month 5 days ago #2

  • kiwi
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It’s not just a design feature, but a necessary part of the entire functionality of the module.
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"Place check" module do not update geo data 1 month 4 days ago #3

  • trejder
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Care to explain, clarify or provide some more details?

I understand that there can be "certain magic involved behind", but from the regular user's perspective this isn't very obvious.

Without more details or explanation I'd rather would like to support / continue my claim: The fact that I am filling up some form and submitting it and later it turns out that my data was lost / ignored is a bug.
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"Place check" module do not update geo data 1 month 3 days ago #4

  • thomas52
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'Place Check' only checks your data against lat/longs already available, and shows you locations it cannot identify.
Houston, Haris, Texas, USA -- USA N41 W101 -- Texas N31.4287 W99.0088 -- Haris (X) -- Houston (X)
The database 'knows' where USA & Texas is, but doesn't know "Haris" County, or "Houston, Haris" County.
When I correct (or enter) the County as "Harris," I need not be concerned about Houston, as the database already has "Houston, Harris County."
This completes the correction, and refreshing Place Check will show no further error.
The procedure trejder describes suggests a different problem.
"Failure is an amazing teacher." (L'échec est un professeur extraordinaire.)
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"Place check" module do not update geo data 1 month 3 days ago #5

  • eh215
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With Place Check, you have to work in hierarchical order, you have to define a latitude/longitude for the Level 2 location first, then the Level 3 location, then Level 4. You cannot start by defining a map location for the most detailed level first.

In most cases, the Latitude/Longitude for the Country, Level 2, Level 3 places will never be used, however they could be if that was all the information you had for a specific fact.

You only need to define a latitude/longitude once for any specific location (level), that will carry forward to all places which include that location name. This is one of the ways I find mis-spelled location names in my facts - I see new locations pop up unexpectedly at Level 2 or Level 3 in Place Check.
webtrees 1.7.11 at behunt.net/ft
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"Place check" module do not update geo data 1 month 3 days ago #6

  • thomas52
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eh215: I believe you are incorrect. If I had NO data whatsover on "Houston, Harris, Texas, USA," I could enter the lat/long for Houston, AND DUPLICATE the same lat/long for Harris, Texas, and USA.
For "Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea," I could enter 37.7374 N, 127.0664 E, for Uijeongbu, and enter the same data for the province and country.
The Place Check will, of course, show an error until all levels are entered. I have done this on occasion for very obscure locations as a "quick fix," although it is not recommended.
"Failure is an amazing teacher." (L'échec est un professeur extraordinaire.)
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"Place check" module do not update geo data 1 month 3 days ago #7

  • eh215
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In the example below, I find I need to work left to right and provide a Lat / Lon for one level at a time. I could use the same lat / lon values for each level, but they have to be completed one at a time.


webtrees 1.7.11 at behunt.net/ft
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"Place check" module do not update geo data 1 month 3 days ago #8

  • thomas52
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Yes, each entry without a lat/long shows an error, and needs to be entered; left, right, or start in the middle, as you please. But left to right makes more sense, and in your example corrects each entry sequentially.
"Failure is an amazing teacher." (L'échec est un professeur extraordinaire.)
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"Place check" module do not update geo data 1 month 3 days ago #9

  • kiwi
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trejder wrote:
Care to explain, clarify or provide some more details?

I understand that there can be "certain magic involved behind", but from the regular user's perspective this isn't very obvious.

Without more details or explanation I'd rather would like to support / continue my claim: The fact that I am filling up some form and submitting it and later it turns out that my data was lost / ignored is a bug.

That's fair enough, and I do at this moment have a little time to expand on this issue, from my perspective as the writer, some 10+ years ago, of the "place check" code.

First, to be pedantic, I do think "bug" is the wrong description. I prefer the word "issue", which is an accurate description in this case. A "bug" is generally something not functioning as it was written. But this code is working as designed. However, you are also right to be disappointed you were able to enter data, only to "lose it". So I can understand your desire to have it changed, and the way to do that is to raise an "issue" on the webtrees GitHub page (link in menus above here). I shall be looking at this on my own system (I don't actually use webtrees myself these days), but don't think disabling the link to an edit screen for any place where it's parent has missing coordinates will be difficult.

When I wrote the place check code, the Googlemap module was itself fairly new. Everyone knew and accepted the hierarchical nature of its functionality. They were accustomed to the "geographic data" pages add/edit GUI that forced entering coordinates from the top down. It wasn't possible to do it any other way. Place check was originally meant to be no more than that - a way to view the database for places, at each level, for missing coordinates. But soon requests came in to add links from place check straight to the edit screens, bypassing the normal GUI process of "geographic data". In all the years since then, you are truly the first person I am aware has ever questioned this logic. Either no-one else ever tried to edit a place without first adding it's "parent", or those who did just accepted it as their error and tried it the other way.

For further clarification, the reason "hierarchy" is important to the GM module is in the way it works. There are two separate "place" tables in the database, one for the places used in your family tree (GEDCOM) data, and one just for the GM module. Coordinates are for the GM module are only stored in the latter. To function, the GM module needs to find, in it's table, the exact match for the GEDCOM place from your tree. Then it can supply the coordinates and display a pointer on the map. It starts by looking for the complete place, say "London, Middlesex, England, Great Britain". If that's unsuccessful it will try "Middlesex, England, Great Britain", then "England, Great Britain" and finally "Great Britain" until it finds a match, and display the coordinates for that match. So it must also avoid incorrectly matching to "London, New Brunswick, Canada", which it might if you started from just having coordinates for "London".

@thomas52.... you posted to things:
"...each entry without a lat/long shows an error, and needs to be entered; left, right, or start in the middle, as you please. But left to right makes more sense, and in your example corrects each entry sequentially."
and
"eh215: I believe you are incorrect. If I had NO data whatsover on "Houston, Harris, Texas, USA," I could enter the lat/long for Houston, AND DUPLICATE the same lat/long for Harris, Texas, and USA.
For "Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea," I could enter 37.7374 N, 127.0664 E, for Uijeongbu, and enter the same data for the province and country.
The Place Check will, of course, show an error until all levels are entered. I have done this on occasion for very obscure locations as a "quick fix," although it is not recommended.


These are not quite accurate statements (though the impact is not fatal :-) ).
First, the place check never shows "errors". All it shows is missing coordinates. They do not prevent successful operation of the GM module and describing them as "errors" may mislead users into incorrect or unnecessary actions. There is a difference between "omission" and "error" as explained in my next paragraph.

Second, there is no point duplicating values across the different levels. As described above, the module will work out for itself that lowest levels are missing, and fallback to the first available level that does have coordinates. All the duplication does is hide the fact that you are really missing the coordinates. The "omission" serves a greater value left as such than removing the "error". The next time you review the place check page you will be reminded again to find the correct coordinates.

Third, you cannot (successfully) enter coordinates in any fashion other than "left to right" (or top to bottom as I prefer to describe it). If you add coordinates "in the middle" as you suggest, the system (as currently coded) will seemingly allow you to do it, then ignore whatever you enter as soon as you click "save" - as described by 'trejder' above.
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"Place check" module do not update geo data 1 month 3 days ago #10

  • kiwi
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thomas52 wrote:
'Place Check' only checks your data against lat/longs already available, and shows you locations it cannot identify.
Houston, Haris, Texas, USA -- USA N41 W101 -- Texas N31.4287 W99.0088 -- Haris (X) -- Houston (X)
The database 'knows' where USA & Texas is, but doesn't know "Haris" County, or "Houston, Haris" County.
When I correct (or enter) the County as "Harris," I need not be concerned about Houston, as the database already has "Houston, Harris County."
This completes the correction, and refreshing Place Check will show no further error.
The procedure trejder describes suggests a different problem.

Sorry, Thomas (not meaning to pick on you here....), but that's also not quite right.

In the case you describe, when you record the coordinates for Harris County, the omission WILL still be there. It will only have changed to:
Houston, Haris, Texas, USA -- USA N41 W101 -- Texas N31.4287 W99.0088 -- Haris (N1234 W5678) -- Houston (X)
(please ignore fictitious coordinates, the numbers are just for this explanation)

You still need to add the coordinates for Houston. If you had tried to enter them earlier, before you added the coordinates for Haris County, they will have been ignored, not recorded.

Note also that I am using the terms "Haris" and "Haris County" interchangeably. This is perfectly acceptable to the GM module, IF you have correctly entered this as a choice in "Optional prefixes and suffixes" in the Googlemap advanced preferences.
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"Place check" module do not update geo data 1 month 2 days ago #11

  • trejder
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Thank you, everyone, for a participation in an interesting and somewhat enlightening discussion. Big thanks goes especially to kiwi for spending a lot of time on bringing us detailed description.

To summarize this thread. For right now we have two options, both based on assuming that "Place Check" require you to work from left to right (from country / highest level to place / lowest level) and:

a) to actually provide different geo data for each element,
b) to copy the same geo data of the lowest element to each of its superior elements.

For the future we have agreed that this is somewhat disappointing feature (clearly not a direct bug) and we should rise a ticket to get it fixed and there are two suggestions for such fix:

a) diable lower elements editing links, if higher elements' geo data is not yet provided,
b) add a warning message to geo data editing window to assure user that they are editing elements in correct order and to underline to them that otherwise their entered geo data will be lost.

Personally I prefer second option, because disabling certain links would, again, require some explanation message box added to main window of "Place Check".

For both solutions I will wait a few weeks / months before rising a bug ticket / feature request, because I first want to wait until "Fish, Sardines & Co." actually releases webtrees 2.0 stable / official to see how "Place Check" and other modules are working there. This is, because instead of just rising a ticket I'd like to work myself on a possible change / solution and push my very own PR to the code instead of waiting for others.

If anyone is willing to rise such ticket right now, without waiting for W2, then go ahead.

Thank you, again, for a participation here and have a nice day.
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"Place check" module do not update geo data 1 month 2 days ago #12

  • kiwi
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Regarding “... right now we have two options”. Please forget b). It achieves nothing of value. Either add the correct coordinates at each level or add nothing.

Regarding “For the future ...”, there is surely a third option. Do both a and b. Remove the links and provide a warning (hover tip) explaining the need to fix the “parent” level first.
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"Place check" module do not update geo data 1 month 2 days ago #13

  • thomas52
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Here's me, learning every day... :)
"Failure is an amazing teacher." (L'échec est un professeur extraordinaire.)
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"Place check" module do not update geo data 1 month 2 days ago #14

  • norwegian_sardines
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IHMO. A) is the only answer.

As written answer (a) also provides (or should/did provide) coordinates for all places that do not have a lower level. Every place in France +1 level, that does not have a specific entry, should use the France coordinates in place maps.

Building a map coordinate table should always start at the top and build successive layers or levels down. This way the map can be displayed for every location, even if the location is the country, rather than the actual place as described at the 3rd or 4th level.
Ken
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