Coordinates for places- fomerly RE: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Powiat maps of Russian Poland

Karl Krueger dabookk54 at
Tue Mar 23 07:36:04 PST 2004

Sorry to reply to this so late but I have been out of town the last 5 days. It seems this discussion has evolved more into specifically entering data for SGGEE. Gary, if you want us to use the Geo Location List feature I'll give that a try. I haven't used it yet, but it will surely apply to those "verified" locations I keep in my own ongoing database. I'm about ready to send in some more data so should I try to incorporate it for my known towns?
I appreciated what Dave had to say about being careful make corrections to misspellings. Since I have been transcribing from EWZ I have a number of issues that come up. It would just get messy if I were to reference each case of a mispelling/alternate spelling as I often get multiple siblings all referring to the same parents' towns with different spellings. When I can positively identify the town (like if it is a town neighboring the  towns I'm working on such as within Kreis Chelm) I just leave the entry as the "correct" spelling for that town. It would really muck up the SGGEE database if we enter every "version" of misspelling for a town that I clearly know. Where things are indefinite, I list each spelling. Ultimately, I see it as the responsibility of the individual researcher to look up the record(s) themselves and make their own conclusions, and SGGEE does provide the details where they can find each record. Since I restrict myself to a defined locality, working on all
 families in that region, I can often draw conclusions that are not evident from a single record, and thus I try to offer my "expertise" in making these judgement calls.
A great example of this is one I came upon this weekend. One person listed the death location of her mother as being "Mitschigau". So I entered that into the appropriate field and wondered where Mitschigau was. Later I came upon a sibling who listed the death location of the mother as being "Detroit".  So I could keep "Mitschigau" referenced in the database but I have simply changed it to the correct location as "Detroit, MI, USA".  Anyone interested in this family can still look up both records themselves and come to their own conclusions. 
So I guess what I am bringing up is, when it is clear what the accurate data is, should we still clutter the database with much of this garbage that we can throw out? SGGEE specifically warns its members to verify information using the records themselves and don't trust the database as the authoritative answer. This seems to be an issue the Research Committee needs to advise us on if we need to change the way we have been doing things. I can see that depending on the nature of records one transcribes from, the issues that need to be dealt with will differ (parish records vs EWZ). 
To summarize what I see as being the issue: Should the database reflect specific data (vs multiple possiblities) when it is clear with a high degree of assurance that the "specific data" is correct? My OPINION would be to keep only the "specific data". That in itself would act as guide for any researcher indicating what "we believe" is the correct data, while the responsibility is up to that researcher to study the records themselves and determine if they come to the same conclusion.

Gary Warner <gary at> wrote:
To all,

Adding geographic coordinates to place names is indeed a good idea, and, as 
Karl notes, adds a great deal of satisfaction to your family history work 
to know where a place is located.

Any of you that use the Deluxe version of Legacy 5.0 as your family history 
program can now add geographic coordinates to all place names using a 
feature called Geo Location List. It is based on an electronic gazetteer 
of the world that is a part of the program, and although not foolproof, 
works most of the time, especially if you have a reasonable clue how to 
spell the place, or at least know what the place name starts with or sounds 
like. The times when I cannot make it work are usually when one of our 
members gives me a place in the USA and there are three such places in 
different counties in the same state!

For instance, In Karl's place called "(Kustanai) Qostanay, Kazakhstan", it 
seems that Qostanay is the state or region in Kazakhstan in which Kustanai 
is located, and that Kustanai is located at coordinates N531000, 
E0633500. When you have found this place in the Geo Location List, Legacy 
will add those coordinates to that place name in your family file, and then 
ALSO link you to a Map Quest map that shows where it is in the world! Very 
cool in my estimation.

For those of you who submit data to me for inclusion in the master Pedigree 
Database, it would sure be nice if you all used this feature, or anything 
else that ensured consistent spelling of place names (to the extent that 
such is possible), so that there are not a dozen different spellings of the 
same place name that I then have to merge manually. In my current merge of 
data. I just made 13 different spellings of Vancouver, British Columbia, 
Canada into one master location. Oh that it were possible to do that with 
all places :-)

Gary Warner
Gig Harbor, WA

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