Mapping errors / place name editing with search and replace plugin


Teresa Goatham
 

I recently imported a GEDCOM from Legacy to FH and am just getting used to it. My GEDCOM was one covering most of the USA Gothams (part of a One-Name Study). I didn't have any places geocoded in Legacy. After watching the short FH mapping video I realised how useful it would be to geocode them.

The auto geocoding seemed at first to work fine. That is, till I started checking the places. Not a few but most were wrongly geocoded. According to the FH help this should only happen with historic places or places with errors. I am sure I have both but mostly my places are correct / current, it was just bad geocoding.

One problem I can see is that I have abbreviated 'County' to 'Co.'. And the geocoding software it is obsessed with Colorado (where few if any Gothams have ever lived).

So it prefers to think 'Jefferson Co., New York, USA ' means 'Jefferson County, Colorado, United States of America' rather than 'Jefferson County, New York, United States of America'!

e.g if I put one mis-located place, 'Madison Barracks, Jefferson Co., New York, USA' in the location field it offers just

Madison Ave., New York, NY, United States of America OR
Jefferson County, Colorado, United States of America

BUT if I change Co. to County (i.e. 'Madison Barracks, Jefferson County, New York, USA') it offers before the above 2:
Madison Barracks Street, Fort Drum, NY 13603, New York, United States of America
- which I think is the location I want!

This morning I changed a small number of places in  'St. Lawrence Co.' to 'Saint Lawrence County' ('St.' for 'Saint' completely threw the geocoding!), refreshed the geocoding and the results improved dramatically.

Now I would like to change all the 'Co.,'s to 'County,'. I have tried doing this using the 'search and replace' plugin but it didn't work. I must be doing something wrong but I can't work out what? (image attached)

Also, it has occurred to me it might be better to change Co. to County in standardized place names. (Not a big issue, but I am trying to stop place names becoming too long.) If I'd have to populate the standardized place name fields manually it's not worth it, but could I fill all standardized fields from the the place names as I currently have them? (I have not yet entered any standardized names so no danger of overwriting). And if I can do this, is there then any way of using search and replace to ONLY update the standardized places?

Many thanks in anticipation,
Teresa



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Mike Tate
 

Welcome Teresa,
Yes, to get the best geocoding does often need some tweaking to place names.

The reason the Search and Replace plugin does not work is that the Name of a Place record is not a Place field.
That is explained in the plugin Help & Advice under Usage Examples for Place Name Changes that says:
"set Search Scope: Place Records (_PLAC) and tick All other Text fields but clear all the other Basic Filters. That ensures both the Place name and Standardized fields are changed but leaves all other fields unaltered."

It is possible to copy all the Place Names to the Standardized field but will need a small custom Plugin.

Unfortunately, it is not possible for the Search and Replace plugin to operate on just the Standardized field, but it can operate on just the Place Name field by selecting Record Names/Titles Place Name (_PLAC.TEXT).
So the solution is to convert all the Place Names until geocoding is better, copy them to the Standardized field, then convert just the Place Name fields back to your abbreviated format.

An alternative is the Map Life Facts plugin, which can sync with Place records and a few quick experiments with your 'problem' Place names showed that it correctly geocoded Jefferson Co., St. Lawrence Co., etc, in the north of New York state.

BTW: There are some settings you may have overlooked when exporting GEDCOM from Legacy for FH.

Mike Tate


Teresa Goatham
 

Thanks Mike.

Have now successfully converted Co. to County and started refreshing geocoding: it's looking a lot better.

Move from Legacy to FH: had you anything particular in mind?

I was planning for a long time, so hopefully have covered most things, but even so started with my small GEDCOM  (less than 4000 people) rather than my larger / main - c. 40,000, partly so less tidying to do if I have overlooked some things.

Teresa

PS Very grateful for your plugins - don't think I could have moved to FH without them.

On 20/08/2021 18:36, Mike Tate wrote:
Welcome Teresa,
Yes, to get the best geocoding does often need some tweaking to place names.

The reason the Search and Replace plugin does not work is that the Name of a Place record is not a Place field.
That is explained in the plugin Help & Advice under Usage Examples for Place Name Changes that says:
"set Search Scope: Place Records (_PLAC) and tick All other Text fields but clear all the other Basic Filters. That ensures both the Place name and Standardized fields are changed but leaves all other fields unaltered."

It is possible to copy all the Place Names to the Standardized field but will need a small custom Plugin.

Unfortunately, it is not possible for the Search and Replace plugin to operate on just the Standardized field, but it can operate on just the Place Name field by selecting Record Names/Titles Place Name (_PLAC.TEXT).
So the solution is to convert all the Place Names until geocoding is better, copy them to the Standardized field, then convert just the Place Name fields back to your abbreviated format.

An alternative is the Map Life Facts plugin, which can sync with Place records and a few quick experiments with your 'problem' Place names showed that it correctly geocoded Jefferson Co., St. Lawrence Co., etc, in the north of New York state.

BTW: There are some settings you may have overlooked when exporting GEDCOM from Legacy for FH.

Mike Tate







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Mike Tate
 

There is another group offering FH support; The FH User Group.
The FHUG that has Forums and a Knowledge Base.
See https://www.fhug.org.uk/
The Knowledge Base has much advice such as Importing to Family Historian:
https://fhug.org.uk/kb/kb-article/importing-to-family-historian/
That has a section for Import from Legacy Family Tree (LFT) but omits one bit of advice under the 'On the Options tab:' bullet list:
• Do NOT tick the Export Shared Events as regular Events option so that Shared Events are migrated as Fact Witnesses

I hope that is helpful.
Mike Tate


christer@...
 

How do I do the copy of Place Names to the Standardized field?

/Christer


Mike Tate
 

Open the Place record Property Box, select all the Place box text and right-click Copy & Paste from the Place box to the Standardized box.

 

If you are talking about bulk copying the Place to Standardized for all the Place records that will need a small custom plugin.

 

Mike Tate

 


christer@...
 

Thanks, as I have thousands of place records that need standardized names - Where do I find the small plugin that will do the job.?


Mike Tate
 

The plugin does not exist yet. It will need to be written.

 

Please explain what you have in mind.

The bulk copying of Place name to Standardized name will achieve nothing on its own.

Each Standardized name will need to be adjusted to match a modern map name to be used for auto-geocoding.

That will require a manual edit of each Place record and that is when you can copy the Place name to the Standardized name.

So presumably you have some other bulk adjustment to Place names planned.

Please explain the problems you are hoping to resolve and we can suggest the best approach.

 


Adrian Bruce
 

On Fri, 10 Sept 2021 at 13:37, <christer@sivek.se> wrote:
Thanks, as I have thousands of place records that need standardized names
Christer - I'm slightly worried about what you're asking for, as
there's a trap that some people fall into with respect to Standardized
Names.

The basic point is that you do *not* normally need to have a
Standardized name for a Place Record. The mapping facilities will
normally work perfectly well if a Place Record has the Place name
entered but it has an empty Standardized name.

The Standardized name is only there to provide a way forward if the
mapping facility *can't* find the correct latitude and longitude,
either because the Place name on the Place record has disappeared from
the map altogether, or because it's changed sufficiently to make the
mapping facility choose the wrong version of that place name. If that
happens, then the way forward is to enter the *current* place name in
the Standardized name.

It may be that you already understand all this, in which case I
apologize because I'm presumably missing the point.

It would make sense if you could, as Mike asks, explain the problem
that you have, then maybe we can work out a way forward.

I'd just add that, even if things like counties (or their equivalents)
have changed over the years, the mapping facilities can often find
stuff just on the basis of the most detailed name only - you do need
to check each place but I would say that you need to check anyway, as
sometimes the mapping facilities go wrong even with the "correct"
modern name.

Adrian


christer@...
 

Problem I have is a large number of farms and villages in parishes with different names throughout history. There have also been changes in names of parish and when I geocode them about 50% are not geocoded and about 50 of the geocoded places get wrong lat/long.
As I am research is a lot in Finland where you have different spelling in Swedish and Finnish and locations have belonged to 3 different countries 
(Sweden/Russia/Finland) there is a lot of problems with spellng of places (and person names).
So I want to add a standard name that can be geocoded for groups of locations while retaining the original place name.
At base level I want to copy all information in place names field to standardized name field in bulk and then do search and replace (using the existing plugin) on standardized place name and replace with the modern place name and get it geocoded.
A more advanced solution would be to search and select a group of place name records and add a standardized name for those records. Then I can see which place names records I have worked with and created a standardized plane name for..
Hope I made myself clear.
/Christer


Mike Tate
 

Thank you, that is much clearer.

It seems you have chosen to include Address details (farms, villages, parishes) in the Place field, many of which are old Scandinavian names.

That explains why geocoding is failing and why you have so many Place records to adjust, with several groups needing the same name changes.

I now understand your problem, but the solution is not simple.

 

Currently, the Search and Replace plugin cannot operate on just the Standardized field. Sorry!

It operates on both Place and Standardized together, or on just the Place name field.

So as well as a plugin to copy selected Place names to Standardized, the Search and Replace plugin needs updating to operate on just Standardized.

 

It may be a few days or weeks before I can find time to work on those plugins.

So if you are happy to wait, then that is your solution.

Alternatively, you could try to write your own plugin to copy selected record Place names to Standardized and publish it for others to use.

 

Mike Tate

 


Adrian Bruce
 

Thanks Christer. Your outlined path seems sensible.

For information of those of us with only British experience, my
impression is that "Farm" in Scandinavian family history means rather
more than "farm" does in English family history (say). (And anyone who
can correct me is very welcome to!)

I've only had one Scandinavian family to deal with - and since they
were just in-laws of distant cousins I've not done more than 1
generation of them, and they were, in any case, urban Danes. However,
I have seen and *tried* to understand discussions elsewhere about
Scandinavian Farms. One reason for their importance is that they were
one of the contributors to the eventual fixed Scandinavian family
names. Also, they seem to have been much more fixed and controlled
than English farm names, which may easily change over the years. FYI
http://www.borgos.nndata.no/farms.htm mentions some of the processes
such as land registers that documented farms and their names.

All this being so, I can see why Scandinavian family historians want
to record Farm names as part of the Place data in FH.

If there is an equivalent in British practice, it might be the Scots
ferm-toun, which appears to end up on Ordnance Survey maps as
place-names. Though I'm unclear about exactly how ferm-touns operated!

Adrian


christer@...
 

I am happy to wait some weeks as I have plenty of time as always when researching in geneology.
I have not tried doing a plugin so I would need to do some reading and testing before I try so it will take moree than a few weeks for me.
/Christer


Mike Tate
 

Christer & Teresa,

I have produced the two Plugins that I promised.

They are attached to FHUG Forum posting ‘Plugins to manage Place Text and Standardized’ as it is preferred that they are not attached to these Emails.

https://www.fhug.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=19844

Please give them a try, perhaps on a copy of your Project.

However, you can also use Edit > Undo Plugin Updates or File > Backup/Restore > Revert to Snapshot to reverse any changes

 

Copy Chosen Place Names to Standardized v0.1

This allows you to select any Place records before running the plugin or it will prompt for Place records after it is run.

It copies the Place name Text field to the Standardized field as long as Standardized is not already in use.

If necessary you must delete any used Standardized field values beforehand via a Query.

 

Search and Replace v3.4.1

The Extra Filters tab, for Record Names/Titles lower right, allows Place Name (_PLAC.TEXT) and Standardized (_PLAC.STAN) to be selected separately.

Set the Major Options tab, Search Scope to Place Records (_PLAC) and Select Records subset as required.

You then have three Extra Filters tab options to filter changes:

1) Place Name only; 2) Standardized only; 3) All the Record types (which enables both);

That 3rd option only enables the Place Name and Standardized fields because the Search Scope is only Place Records.

 

Mike Tate