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City Without County in Place Hierarchy?

City Without County in Place Hierarchy?

Posted: 27 Sep 2012 2:56AM GMT
Classification: Query
How are you now dealing with locations where you know the name of the city, state, and country but you don't know the county? (Some cities span several counties.) To date I've dealt with this by using the format "city, , state, country", leaving the county blank. The new system doesn't know how to deal with this. Here's an example:

Iowa City, , Iowa, USA

I can leave as is, of course, but then I can't take advantage of the hierarchical view.

If I put "Iowa City" alone in the place detail, then it appears at the county level with no indicator that it isn't a county. If I put "XXXX, Iowa City" in place detail, then Bing can't find it. Similarly, it cannot find "Iowa City, ?"

Thoughts?

Re: City Without County in Place Hierarchy?

Posted: 27 Sep 2012 3:17AM GMT
Classification: Query
Here's another example: Hatchville, WI. That's what I have listed as a location of birth in an obituary. Hatchville is an unincorporated community that spans the intersection of four separate townships across three different counties, so "Hatchville, , , Wisconsin, USA".

Re: City Without County in Place Hierarchy?

Posted: 27 Sep 2012 4:38AM GMT
Classification: Query
Marco,

I personally take the approach regarding places that if the nature of one level renders the level above it ambiguous then then ambiguous level should be eliminated not left blank. However, census records and tax roles are very acurate so these can be used to hint at the actual location. So if a church for a baptism is only located in Hatchville, WI, USA but the tax roll or census places the building or neighboring building in a particular county, then you can satisfy your need for a county by using this additional information.

But unless it is real important to know the exact county or township I would skip it. Because the reality is:

1) Saying Hatchville, WI, USA is probably enough for an accurate "jurisdictional" place, since IF the county was jurisdictionally important the information would have been recorded.
2) Your mapping software will find the community without the additional data.

And you can still record a note that states Hatchville, WI is in multiple counties.

Re: City Without County in Place Hierarchy?

Posted: 27 Sep 2012 5:20AM GMT
Classification: Query
That's what I normally do.

Leave out the county completely
Leave the place name unresolved
Enter in my custom fact: "GeoNote - Smallville is in three counties. Or, just as common: "There are three Smallvilles in Kansas in three counties"

This won't work for the heirarchal view. You could enter a "red herring" second fact for the event with a place name doctored to fit.



Re: City Without County in Place Hierarchy?

Posted: 27 Sep 2012 3:00PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 27 Sep 2012 3:04PM GMT
kj_norway wrote:
"if the nature of one level renders the level above it ambiguous then then ambiguous level should be eliminated not left blank"

I leave it blank for my exports to my other genealogy software so that it gets inserted where it should over there. In my other software, I leave the fields blank. It's not possible to eliminate them. Even if I could, I'm not sure that I would. It seems sloppy to disregard jurisdictions.

kj_norway wrote:
"However, census records and tax roles are very acurate so these can be used to hint at the actual location"

I agree that I could use other sources to interpret this location, but my question here is how others are dealing with these situations following the introduction of the new hierarchy feature to the Places workspace. Sorry that I didn't make that clearer in my original posting.

kj_norway wrote:
"Saying Hatchville, WI, USA is probably enough for an accurate "jurisdictional" place, since IF the county was jurisdictionally important the information would have been recorded."

Well, it was written in an obituary for a person that isn't important enough for me to research in more detail. I'm content to leave it as "Hatchville, , , Wisconsin, USA". I'm just annoyed that this is one of a huge number of my place names that cannot be accommodated by the new place hierarchy.

Re: City Without County in Place Hierarchy?

Posted: 27 Sep 2012 3:51PM GMT
Classification: Query
If the hierarchal construct were established like folders/subfolders in MS Windows or like categories/sub categories in FTM Media or like categories/subcategories in Picasa and the user was able to choose the structure and naming of the folder/subfolders or categories/sub categories that they desired then this entire scheme would work and you would be able to construct any flat view and the corresponding hierarchical view to suit your own needs/desires

In individual cases a subfolder/subcategory could be a “Township/Range” or a County or a Political Jurisdiction, or Cemeteries in a “town”, or Cemeteries in a “county”, etc, etc

If that were done then the only problem you would have would be if you desired to resolve some of the names to fit the geography -----but you can’t do that now in all cases so it would not place any additional burden on the users

Re: City Without County in Place Hierarchy?

Posted: 27 Sep 2012 4:58PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 27 Sep 2012 5:00PM GMT
KathyMarieAnn:
"If the hierarchal construct were established like folders/subfolders in MS Windows or like categories/sub categories in FTM Media or like categories/subcategories in Picasa and the user was able to choose the structure and naming of the folder/subfolders or categories/sub categories that they desired then this entire scheme would work and you would be able to construct any flat view and the corresponding hierarchical view to suit your own needs/desires"

Yes, I wish we had control over the hierarchy and that it wasn't constrained by the PNA over which we have no control. Self-defined hierarchies would also be one step closer to compliance with an old GEDCOM concept that has a lot of merit.

Media subcategories in FTM? Wishful thinking on your part? It's a feature worth wishing for, though I think a better implementation would be hierarchical tags that could be written as metadata to supporting media by FTM.

KathyMarieAnn:
"In individual cases a subfolder/subcategory could be a “Township/Range” or a County or a Political Jurisdiction, or Cemeteries in a “town”, or Cemeteries in a “county”, etc, etc"

Geographical distinctions that differ from political and ecclesiastical jurisdictions are rarely meaningful. In fact, the only time I could think of using a geographical township (i.e., Township/Range) would be in reference to the location of a homestead or for unnamed townships with no political authority, but those are for historical places. Other than these cases, I think the only thing required on the geographical front would be GPS coordinates.

Re: City Without County in Place Hierarchy?

Posted: 27 Sep 2012 9:35PM GMT
Classification: Query
Marco Comment

"Geographical distinctions that differ from political and ecclesiastical jurisdictions are rarely meaningful. In fact, the only time I could think of using a geographical township (i.e., Township/Range) would be in reference to the location of a homestead or for unnamed townships with no political authority, but those are for historical places. Other than these cases, I think the only thing required on the geographical front would be GPS coordinates."

Marco Just a couple of thoughts

1- On Township/Range --- I have no choice but to use them –I have gathered literally thousands of United States Census records that list the “Place” as a Township/Range. I realize they are “Historical Places”, but I “have” to use them. The fact that they don’t “Resolve” doesn’t give me the “authority” to make up a new name just to make them resolve

2- The problem with GPS Coordinates is that they are technically pinpoints on the earth [and with enough accuracy can be made into pinpoints]. And most [if not all] of the places I have in my data base are not pinpoints

Three examples:

A - A “perfect” township is a six by six mile square on the earth. And I can’t identify that six mile by six mile square with a GPS Pinpoint

B – The city of London also makes up a large Geographical area and it also can’t be represented by a GPS Pinpoint.

C – Arlington National Cemetery also takes up a large geographical area and can’t be represented by a GPS Pinpoint

Re: City Without County in Place Hierarchy?

Posted: 27 Sep 2012 9:57PM GMT
Classification: Query
KathyMarieAnn,

The management of places is no doubt improved with FTM becoming a bit more jurisdictionally aware, but we obviously agree that it has shortcomings, particularly because of its tie-in with an inadequate PNA.

There is nothing inherently wrong with GPS coordinates. The problem is only how they're used. There is no reason that they cannot be grouped into a set to define an area. The problem here is that the Places workspace in FTM isn't equipped to deal with that. Another shortcoming.

But let's get back to the matter at hand. If I were to make a suggestion for an enhancement that would accommodate a city without a county in the place hierarchy, how would *you* want that handled by FTM?

Re: City Without County in Place Hierarchy?

Posted: 27 Sep 2012 10:15PM GMT
Classification: Query
Marco,

you said: "A - A “perfect” township is a six by six mile square on the earth. And I can’t identify that six mile by six mile square with a GPS Pinpoint"

The correct way to do this is to define a polygon that represents each jusidiction. Polygons can overlap and have independent names that have nothing to a heiarchy. Google Maps has the ability to overlay a polygon on a map as part of it's programmer interface layer. I've used it a little with some of my genealogy/history book projects when I need a map. It takes a fare amount of code to work but well worth the outcome in a colaborative environment.
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