[APG Public List] place names

LBoswell laboswell at rogers.com
Mon Oct 25 17:47:53 MDT 2010

But you do that right now when all you know is the township name, don't you? 
You name the township.  Someone then has to go searching to find where that 
township is located. But if we had an agreement to use coordinates 
referencing the township (approximate central point), at least the township 
could be located easily by anyone with even elementary understanding of 
something like google maps.

Addresses are either specific or general.  All I'm suggesting is to use 
coordinates in that same way. The key would be what is footnoted.  If just a 
township, then the coordinates give the approximate location. After all it 
would be tagged to a location name, so you really don't lose anything. The 
township would still be referred to by a name (except that it would be 
attached to a set of approximate coordinates).

Once a specific location was found in that township,  footnoted coordinates 
would attach to that specific address within the township.

But you're still "naming" the locations according to your naming preference. 
Coordinates are added to the name (and if multiple jurisdictional names 
apply to a location, they can all be keyed to the same coordinates).

I think a procedure or guidelines could be set out that would rationalize 
the use of coordinates in conjunction with the usual naming practices that 
we now use.

If only we had options where we could be so specific (or generally specific) 
in other areas of our research.  Coordinates would bridge the gap between 
name and location, making mapping and finding/comparing locations (and many 
other options) available

It's in addition to current practices, not replacing them!

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Connie Sheets
  To: apgpubliclist at apgen.org ; apgmembersonlylist at apgen.org
  Sent: Monday, October 25, 2010 7:33 PM
  Subject: Re: [APG Public List] place names

  I must admit to only a general knowledge about, and frequent lack of 
attention to, GPS coordinates. I have been operating under the assumption 
they describe a specific point on the earth, not a large area like a rural 
US township of 36 square miles.

  I can comprehend how I might want to visit the crossroads approximately 
one mile southeast of a very small village in Northwest Missouri where my 
great-great grandfather's house once stood, obtain the GPS coordinates, and 
record them for posterity with a photograph I have of the house. I also 
understand how GPS coordinates are useful for locating cemeteries, graves 
within cemeteries, and other landmarks.

  However, if all I know about an ancestor's location is a rural township or 
county, I would be concerned that I was promoting inaccuracy if I 
arbitrarily chose (and yes, it would be arbitrary) the center of the 
township or county.

  I will continue to use standard historical place names, with a reference 
to the modern place name when necessary, for the foreseeable future.

  Connie Sheets

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