[APG Public List] [APG Members] place names

John john at jytangledweb.org
Mon Oct 25 09:26:21 MDT 2010

I am an advocate of using GPS coordinates. A couple of years ago
I wrote this little Google Map application to assist me. I also
use it to have others pinpoint a location for me.


And Google Earth is a wonderful application that also lets you
track GPS coordinates of your cursor, it is free and there are
Mac, Windows, and linux versions. See:


I've put several GPS mapping projects up on my home web site:



On 10/24/2010 10:15 AM, LBoswell wrote:
> Given multiple options to find and locate gps coordinates in
> longitude/latitude why not use the name as it appears in the document,
> then log it under longitude and latitude.
> Easy enough to find those coordinates simply from google maps. Find the
> location of interest, or as close to the area as possible on google
> maps. Click on link (upper right hand corner next to 'print' and
> 'send'), and copy the result into a text reader or even an email.
> Looks like this:
> http://maps.google.com/maps?q=54.996721,-1.663892&num=1&sll=43.4501,-87.222019&sspn=4.218381,8.195801&ie=UTF8&ll=54.996524,-1.664321&spn=0.00373,0.013036&z=17
> <http://maps.google.com/maps?q=54.996721,-1.663892&num=1&sll=43.4501,-87.222019&sspn=4.218381,8.195801&ie=UTF8&ll=54.996524,-1.664321&spn=0.00373,0.013036&z=17>
> The coordinates of interest above are the first ones
> 54.996721,-1.663892. Plugging those into the search line on google maps
> will take you to the location (in this case a street in Manchester, UK.
> Those coordinates will never change, unlike the constantly evolving
> names for same location. Most genealogy programs will do the same thing.
> When we note a location why aren't we automatically adding the
> coordinates for the benefit of future researchers. Also allows a client
> to pull up google maps and see exactly where the location is/was. Or at
> least the closest modern approximation (if the street doesn't exist, you
> can normally locate its modern location on google maps by
> cross-referencing period sources like maps and gazetteers with the
> modern map).
> This has to be the way we go now, it's simply the most exact way to
> pinpoint a location (and it's independent of the past or current name).
> More importantly it can take you to a jurisdictional level location
> (where you select the central point of that jurisdiction and use those
> coordinates), or narrow down to a specific map location. More often now
> you can then overlay that modern location on Google earth with a
> historical map and at the same time have the modern location right in
> front of you. Future researchers will always know what location is being
> referred to, and it's independent of language.
> A way of noting locations that a) will never change in the future b).
> allows a unified way to catalogue a location to its various name changes
> over time, and c). is independent of language preferences. Given the
> ease of finding the coordinates for any location on the planet, it just
> makes sense
> Larry

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