[APG Public List] place names
laboswell at rogers.com
Wed Oct 27 10:02:46 MDT 2010
Again, they're used in conjunction with the place names and the usual
accompanying explanations. They just don't sit there on their own! Added
on as a way to allow us to employ other means of locating and understanding
a named location, but used alongside other more traditional naming
I think there's a real misunderstanding of how coordinates could be
employed. They aren't some sort of be-all and end-all, not the only
identifier used for a place in a genealogical record. They simply translate
the named location into at least an approximate location and they would
allow various name changes to be catalogued under the same coordinates.
Used intelligently they offer a wide range of possibilities that names alone
----- Original Message -----
From: Terry Reigel
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: [APG Public List] place names
Stephen Danko wrote:
> GPS coordinates can be specified so that they represent
> either a large general area or a spot the size of a
> pinpoint. It's all in how many significant figures one
> lists in the coordinates.
Your point makes perfect logical sense, Stephen. But to me the issue is
how to get those reading those coordinates to understand the difference
between high and low precision figures? If a reader plugs the coordinates
into an a mapping service or application, as far as I know, there is no
difference in result between high and low precision data. A very precise
spot is identified, even though the actual coordinates may be very
So if one uses coordinates to define a general area it falls upon the
writer to communicate to the reader that the coordinates are approximate, or
represent the center or an area, etc., as the case may be. It seems to me
that to rely on including fewer significant digits alone risks misleading
Stephen wrote in a later message:
> ... So, how do we cite sources for these coordinates?
> Should the precision of the measurement be specified in
> the source, in the coordinate itself, or in a note? The
> fields for coordinates in Family Tree Maker 2011 include
> no provision for recording precision and, as far as I can
> tell, include no provision for recording a source
> citation or a note for the coordinates.
I'm not familiar with other programs, but in TMG the coordinates field is
just one of several place fields, all of which can be cited along with the
other fields. So a user can include a citation to the source of the
coordinates, and mention in the Citation Detail any note about the precision
of the measurement, and/or in the case of larger areas, how the coordinates
relate to the area being described.
One may be able include some indication (other then fewer significant
digits) in the data field, if the program doesn't preclude that by editing
the values entered. But doing so is likely to disable automatic plotting
features that may be depending on that data. For example, TMG will let you
include any text you like in the coordinates field (after warning you that
the data is not in an expected format) but doing so will likely cause both
TMG's own mapping feature and that of the companion website-building program
Second Site to fail.
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