[APG Public List] [APG Members] place names

John john at jytangledweb.org
Tue Oct 26 22:26:07 MDT 2010

On 10/25/2010 10:25 PM, eshown at comcast.net wrote:
> 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?

Indeed. In my post a few minutes ago I described GPS coordinates as
a physical attribute of a physical object (location in this case).
It can be included parenthetically, but there can be scientific
questions about the accuracy of the device you used, the coordinate
system used (see Larry's post), and the like. So perhaps it should also
be sourced on a par of height, weight, and hair color as physical
attributes of a person. [Since living people are highly movable, one
wouldn't think of using GPS coordinates as an attribute, until they
are at rest. ;-) ]

Who mostly listens on these newsgroups as not to put my foot in
my mouth. ;-)

> Elizabeth
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
> Tennessee

More information about the APGPublicList mailing list