[APG Public List] [APG Members] place names

eshown at comcast.net eshown at comcast.net
Mon Oct 25 20:25:02 MDT 2010

With regard to identifying places by GPS, Larry wrote:
>Maybe this is a more appropriate topic for the rather silent SourcCitations
list, because really it's an issue (historical/modern names) that's
encountered more often in that area.

John then responded:
>I think the caution of using them can be addressed in the description
(citation detail?) of what the site is. ... can be annotated as "Grave Site
of..." etc.

John and Larry, I can understand the placement of GPS data in a source
citation when one is citing the location of a gravestone in a
cemetery---especially obscure rural cemeteries and large urban ones. But in
the usual discussion of locations, if and when we use GPS coordinates as a
means of pinpointing rural locales or events (such as Michael's proposed
case of birth on a farm), it would seem to me that the information should
not be relegated to source citations. After all, a GPS location is not a
source. The birth or other event is not a source. The GPS would be relevant
to the source only if we were giving the coordinates for the location of the
*repository* (that being the sense in which we use GPS coordinates in a
cemetery citation).

We typically identify locations of events and residences in our narrative,
no? There, we give the legal descriptions of farms, we state the street and
lot numbers for town residences, and we say that country stores were at a
certain crossroad. If we know the precise GPS location for that farm or
residence or country store, why bury the property's GPS location in a source
note that many people don't bother reading?  Why not give it parenthetically
in the text, as we might do with any other "current location" for a historic
place whose name has changed?


Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG

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