Volunteering for standardized Places
I have some concerns about volunteers standardizing place names. I was recently contacted by a volunteer regarding the place name of my great-uncle. I had attached a document that indicated that he lived in "Eden Terrace.' The volunteer reached out to me and indicated that the only 'Eden Terrace' he/she could find, was in New Zealand, and that didn't seem correct given the other information on my uncle. The "Eden Terrace" in question was the name of the apartment complex where my uncle lived in Sarasota, Florida. I would like to suggest that volunteers NOT do anything to profiles/documentation/etc. for individuals not related to them. It is not that I do not appreciate their work, it is simply the fact that these volunteers 1.) do not know the individuals/families they are working on and 2.) do not read all the documentation attached already.
We understand your concern about the volunteers who are helping to provide standardized locations in records.
We appreciate your comment about "Eden Terrace" being the name of the apartment complex where you uncle lived in Sarasota Florida, however, were you aware that our places don't usually include the name of an apartment complex. You can include the name of a hospital, cemetery, apartment complex, or other specific details about a location by typing what you want to appear in the typing field and then hitting the spacer bar to generate an acceptable standardized location under the typing field. This will help link your specific location to what the system recognizes as the standardized location. The following knowledge article explains this work-around to be sure the detailed information will appear in Family Tree without disrupting the system's ability to recognize standardized locations. [As an FYI, a standardized location in the United States would be a city, county, state and country. Anything beyond that is probably not part of a location that is considered a standardized location by the system unless a user has requested that a specific, detailed location be added to our standardized database.]
When many users would be entering a more detailed location like a hospital or cemetery, you can request that the detailed information become a standardized location as described in this additional article.
Keep in mind as well that the Other Information field is also available to provide detailed residence information so you can enter locations as the system is designed to read them.
We hope that these knowledge articles will help you understand more about the Family Tree software as you continue to provide the details about your ancestors. We appreciate your efforts to share these details.2
The mod's response and the knowledge articles do not actually make this clear: you can enter "Eden Terrace, Sarasota, Florida, United States" as the displayed place name, and have it correctly associated with "Sarasota, Florida, United States" as the standardized place name. No, it will not have a map pin icon, but this is not a problem. It just means that the display text doesn't exactly match the standardized text in the current display language. The important part is not the map pin, but the absence of the red exclamation mark. It's that "data problem" marker that triggered the volunteer project. Get rid of it, and others like it on all of your relatives, and the standardizing project will not have any reason to touch them.4
I apologize if you feel my explanation about entering standardized information was not really clear. Here is the specific information that I referred to in my earlier comment, which I feel is pretty clear. I am sure I always try to explain as well as share information from the Help Center which is why I provided the link to the article.
- Tips for places:
- The database of standard places is not yet complete. The standards will improve over time.
- If possible, enter the place-name as it existed when the event happened.
- You have the option to enter places in your native language or the native language of that place.
- If the correct standard is not available, type the place as you want it to be recorded, type a space, and then type a version of the place-name that can be standardized. This place-name can be the modern-day place-name or the name of the county, state, province, or country where it is currently located.
Thank you for verifying that you can eliminate the Data Problem while you wait for a new standardized location to be added to the database as outlined in the second knowledge article that was provided.1
- Tips for places:
Not correcting anyone, but I see this process a little differently, which leads me to say this:
Gazetteer work is specialized and most contributors to Family Tree don't have the research skills to do it, so I like that there is this volunteer team. Gazetteering is very valuable work that benefits many. Becoming an expert in anything takes time, so I try to be patient with those who are learning and making mistakes along the way. I have made lots of mistakes myself.
I like to set the red flag on place names that have no suitable standard yet, and I like it to remain set until a suitable standard is defined, so I don't recommend removing the flags except by actually applying a suitable standard. I do get annoyed when I have set the flag and someone comes along and unsets it but does not finish the job. That defeats the purpose of the flag.2
My view is that there is no need to add a housing development (or heck, even a cemetery) to the standardized places. You can enter and display that level of detail without needing any modifications to the database, and without triggering a data error or the accompanying volunteer project.4
And I have seen the volunteer project change correct placenames to incorrect places. I was shouted down by someone who seems to think he knows all about everything, so I gave up in this forum. I fix and stay mum here because I don't need the aggro.2
Gordon Collett ✭✭✭✭✭
The best way to not have the Volunteer Project to do anything to place names is to never leave a data error of a non-standardized place, as Julia mentioned. There really is never any need to. Also, keep in mind that the users that standardize a few of these places at a time are only adding a standard. They are not, and never should, to actually change a place name.
I know that dontiknowyou and I have very different views on this, but that probably stems from the fact that I do most of my FamilyTree work on my wife's Norwegian line and for Norway only a small fraction of the country has complete place names in the Places database. And for the ones that are complete, there are often more details that can or need to be added. So for most of the places I add, the displayed place name is different than the standardized version of that name. I would love to have the tens of thousands of missing Norwegian places added this week, but that is not going to happen for years.
Unfortunately, the help center article quoted above isn't very well written. The fourth bullet point in particular makes little sense and I've never seen anyone follow it literally. What it is trying to say, but never gets around to, is: "Enter the correct place name with as much detail as you wish and make sure an appropriate place name links to it." To illustrate Julia's correct suggestion:
This is not a work around. This is how Family Tree is designed to work and to be used. It is a wonderful feature. Just type out the full name of the place, click on the very first line of the drop down menu which will be identical to what you typed, then make sure the system choses the right standardized version. If not, click in the standard field to open a drop down menu and pick a better one.4
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭