Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Correcting improperly placed pins

Many of you have found that some of your ancestors are plotting in the wrong places on RootsMapper. If you find that this is the case, here are some steps you can take to correct the issue.

First: Make sure the birth location standardized
RootsMapper relies on the data entered into your FamilySearch Family Tree to determine where to plot your ancestors. If the birth location of a person is incomplete, contains abbreviations or is in some other way incomplete, it can affect the plotting. When you click on a pin in RootsMapper take a look at the birth location string for that person. If it can be improved, click the name of the person to open up their details in FamilySearch.org and make the corrections. Then rerun your tree on RootsMapper to see the results. When you edit the birth location of a person, the page will give you suggestions for the standardized entry of the location (typically the form City, County, State, Country is preferred without abbreviations).

Second: Check the FamilySearch StandardFinder
RootsMapper utilizes FamilySearch's Place Authority database to convert the birth place strings into actual latitude and longitude values to plot on the map. Occasionally the database has incorrect information that causes pins to be placed in the wrong location. If after standardizing your location above, the pins still plot incorrectly, try the following steps:

  1. Go to https://familysearch.org/stdfinder/PlaceStandardLookup.jsp and enter the birth location for the person from rootsmapper.com, check the Filter Place Results box and click Search. This should bring up a list of results (though there may be as few as 1 or 0). The one you should be concerned with is the topmost result, that is what RootsMapper uses by default.
  2. Click the lat/long link in the Geo code column (if it exists, if not skip to step 3 and send feedback). It should show a map with a pin for that place and it should match what RootsMapper plotted. If the map does not load, you may need to give the browser permission to access "unsafe content". In chrome a little shield appears on the right side of the address bar. Other browsers may handle that differently. 
  3. If the pin is plotted incorrectly, click the Send us feedback button at the bottom and give them the details of what location you entered and what the topmost result was. This is how they go through and correct their database presently.
  4. If the plotted pin in StandardFinder looks correct on the map, but not on RootsMapper, let us know by clicking the Feedback button on rootsmapper.com and we will look into it.