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Overview

The Places Section includes properties related to places.

GedSite loads location data, including up to nine locations per event, into place records. Each location may include a full or partial address, location coordinates, a note, and one or more exhibits. Location data is usually supplied via GEDCOM's PLAC and ADDR records, but may also be supplied by custom GEDCOM records.

To include location data in the website, GedSite uses the [L] variable. The [L] variable accepts an I (index) parameter to select one of the place records. If no index parameter is supplied, i.e., [L], the variable refers to place number 1 by default. Place number 1 typically holds the GEDCOM PLAC record for the event. To specify one of the other records, include I and the place number in the variable reference, i.e., [L:I2] to reference place number 2. Place number 2 typically holds the GEDCOM ADDR record for the event.

GedSite can be configured to create links to mapping services using the location coordinates or using the place text.

When a note or one or more exhibits are attached to a place, GedSite will create a place information page for that place.

Mapping service links and place information links appear as small icons following the place text in the output.

Example Output

The following example shows a place with both a mapping service link (the blue circle with the white "G", for Google) and a place information link (the blue circle with the white "+" for "more information").

screenshot of place with place links

Place Information Pages

Make Place Information Pages

If Make Place Information Pages is checked, which is the default, GedSite will make place information pages for places that have a note or one or more exhibits. Each reference to the place will include a link to the place information page.

The Place Information page shows the latitude / longitude coordinates, the place note, and exhibits attached to the place.

Lat/Long Position

Place Information pages include latitude / longitude (LatLong) coordinates if those coordinates are present in the GEDCOM data. If Lat/Long Position is set to Top, the coordinates are shown near the top of the place information page before the other information. If Lat/Long Position is set to Bottom, the coordinates are shown at the bottom of the page after the other information.

Note Position

Place Information pages include the note text associated with a place if that data exists in the GEDCOM data. If Note Position is set to Above exhibits, the note is inserted above the exhibits, if any. If Note Position is set to Next to exhibits, the note will appear to the side of the exhibits, if any. If Note Position is set to Below exhibits, the note is inserted below the exhibits, if any.

When a place is added to tag output, GedSite has options to add links to one or more mapping services. The place links are added as part of the output of the [L] variable or the equivalent variable for sentences from other applications.

You may enable or disable zero, one, or more of the mapping services.

As of version 1.3.0, GedSite includes these mapping service options: Bing Maps, Google Maps, and OpenStreetMap. OpenStreetMap is limited to places with latitude / longitude coordinates.

Unfortunately, as of 23 January 2017, the Bing Maps service redraws the target map page several times when following the link despite using the recommended URL format. This was not an issue with prior versions of the Bing Maps service, so perhaps Microsoft will fix the problem.

Latitude / Longitude and Geocoding

Place records may include latitude / longitude (LatLong) coordinates, and mapping services will produce the most accurate maps for such locations. GedSite will include links to places without latitude / longitude values, and in those cases the mapping service will attempt to geocode the location. Geocoding is an imprecise process, and the result may or may not meet your expectations. Geocoding accuracy will vary based on

  • the quality of the address data,
  • the age of the address,
  • the quality of the mapping service's geocoding software, and
  • the depth of information the mapping service has for the given area.

You may use Place Text Codes, described below, to influence the geocoding results.

Only Places with LatLong

When Only Places with LatLong is checked, GedSite will only create links to mapping services for places with LatLong values. This avoids issues with geocoding accuracy and lets you to hand-pick the places that include links. The default is checked.

Add Place 1 to Place 2 for Geocoding

When Add Place 1 to Place 2 for Geocoding is checked, the text from Place 1 will be added to the end of Place 2 when creating geocode-based mapping service links.

This option exists because some source applications store place details separately from the other place data. For example, in RootsMagic, an address like "St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Brighton, Massachusetts" is typically split into two data entry fields: "St. Elizabeth's Hospital" in the place detail, and "Brighton, Massachusetts" in the place field. Passing "St. Elizabeth's Hospital" by itself to a mapping service for geocoding will not produce a useful result, and by default, GedSite will not pass the place details from RootsMagic to mapping services. However, if you enable the Add Place 1 to Place 2 for Geocoding option, GedSite will combine place 2 and place 1 and pass the result to the mapping service.

This option will improve geocoding results for many locations, but it will also add mapping service links that will not produce useful results. For example, if the place detail is "old homestead" and the place is "Chester, Nova Scotia", the mapping service will probably return a "not found" message. For those addresses, you can ignore the issue if you feel it's not important, or you can direct GedSite to omit the geocoding link by adding the [GS-GEO-LINK:N] Place Text Code.

Place Text Codes

If your genealogy application supports adding notes to places, you may add "text codes" to influence GedSite's mapping service links. Several text codes are described below.

You may force GedSite to include or exclude a link to a mapping service for a particular place by including the GS-GEO-LINK text code.

Text Code Meaning
[GS-GEO-LINK:Y] Include a link to a mapping service for this place even if Only Places with LatLong is checked and the place does not have latitude / longitude coordinates. You may omit the :Y, it is assumed if you specify [GS-GEO-LINK].
[GS-GEO-LINK:N] Do not include a link to a mapping service for this place.

GS-GEO-PLACE

You may add [GS-GEO-PLACE:text] in the place note to specify the text to be geocoded by the mapping service for a particular place.

Use this code when the actual text for a place will not produce acceptable geocoding results, but you have determined text that will be geocoded successfully. One example where this might be necessary is for historic addresses where some or all of the place fields have been renamed.

Hiding Place Text Codes

When GedSite detects a text code, it removes the text from the note value so that the text code does not appear in the output. However, your genealogy application does not know that the text codes are not intended to print, and so it will include them in output reports that include the place note. If your application supports private (AKA hidden) text, wrap the text code in the private text delimiters.

For example, in RootsMagic, the private text markers are { and }. If you wrap a text code in { and }, the text code will not appear in RootsMagic reports that are configured to ignore private text.

Place Text Code Example

Here is the text you might specify to link to a map that shows where Constantinople was, roughly equivalent to the modern city of Istanbul. The example shows the text code hidden using RootsMagic's private text delimiters { and }.

{[GS-GEO-PLACE:Istanbul,Turkey]}

This is not a great example. Google Maps, for example, will geocode Constantinople as well as Istanbul, but the same is not true for lesser-known places that have been renamed or no longer exist.

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