[APG Public List] [APG Members] place names

LBoswell laboswell at rogers.com
Tue Oct 26 07:57:12 MDT 2010

I don't think any serious researcher would be so careless as to use 
coordinates that were very specific when the location wasn't established by 
more than just guesswork!

Like any other piece of information put forward, it would be expected that 
the justification for linking various name changes over time to a particular 
(general or specific) mapped location would be carefully presented and 

And as Stephen has pointed out there is an "about" feature to the use of 
coordinates as they can be adjusted to cover a wider area.

I think we strive for accuracy in everything we do.  This would require the 
same level of caution that we bring to all our endeavours. Why would this be 
any different?

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Elissa Scalise Powell, CG
  To: apgpubliclist at apgen.org
  Sent: Monday, October 25, 2010 9:01 PM
  Subject: Re: [APG Public List] [APG Members] place names

  John, Do you mean the recent conference in Pittsburgh that Elizabeth Mills
  gave on Saturday? A great time was had by all at this fun day.

  Helpful as GPS coordinates are, the caution should be more than that, 
  Just like "about" dates get turned into real ones through later
  interpretation or entry into absolute databases with no "about" feature, 
  GPS coordinates could be guesswork or preliminary findings of the
  originator. Sure your car can take you there but is "there" the place that
  is correct?

  This reminds me of my pastor who took his family to England. He knew 
  about 5 miles of where his ancestors lived. So he picked a place in the 
  and told his family that this was where they lived. Close enough for him,
  but not for a careful genealogist.

  We had a saying back in my computer days: GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out.
  Hence we need to be careful with any information we pass along or even 
  in our notes without a caveat. My preference is to not really say 
  as concrete as a GPS heading without being really sure that "this is the

  My .02,

  Elissa Scalise Powell, CG
  CG and Certified Genealogist are Service Marks of the Board for
  Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants
  after periodic evaluations by the Board.

  > -----Original Message-----
  > From: On Behalf Of John
  > Sent: Monday, October 25, 2010 8:29 PM
  > I think the caution of using them can be addressed in the description
  > (citation detail?) of what the site is. Mostly, distinct locations
  > (house site, cemetery site, grave stone site; remember most GPS devices
  > today are only accurate to +/-15feet) can be annotated as "Grave Site
  > of..." etc.
  > I use my GPS for finding almost all new sites these days. I just used
  > it to find my accommodations near Pittsburgh and the site of a
  > conference. I almost never use or need printed maps any more for
  > travel.

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