* Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

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Ruth_W
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Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by Ruth_W » 04 Jun 2021 16:53

Is there a way to find places that have been incorrectly geocoded?
I have gone through all my places since I first started using FH and standardised how I have written them. This seems to work for most places. But I have just set a map to show all my ancestors birthplaces, and noticed a few strange ones. Some I can see have been written with, for example, a church name, so I can correct those, and I can see why they are wrong, but others, I can't understand. For example, I have "Halifax, Yorkshire (West Riding), England" showing up in Bridlington. Some from Gateshead seem to be in the West Riding.
I only notice the ones that seem to be in unlikely places. Is there any way of finding out which ones are in odd places? Or is there a reasonably straightforward way to go through them?
By the way, I have moved individual places, so I know how to do that, it's the procedure of checking I would like advice on.

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by Gowermick » 04 Jun 2021 17:08

I don’t think there is an easy way to spot or correct them automatically, but were you aware you can ‘drag’ a place from the list in the map window, and drop them onto the correct location on the map and they will be correctly geo-coded?

This works particularly well for those places with a ?, especially those small villages that map doesn’t recognise, just drag and drop!

This also works well if the errant place is only slighly misplaced. When I find one of these, I always correct it using drag & drop method.
I think this happened when we changed maps from FH6 to FH7
Mike Loney

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LornaCraig
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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by LornaCraig » 04 Jun 2021 17:31

Gowermick, Ruth said "I have moved individual places, so I know how to do that," so she probably knows about that method. By the way, it is not new in V7. You could do the same in V6.
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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by Gowermick » 04 Jun 2021 18:09

Lorna,
Drag and drop is different from ‘moving’ so I suggested this alternative method in case she wasn’t aware.
Moving the marker only really works well, when the marker is relatively close, certainly both places preferably need to be on the same screen. ( Try dragging marker from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Halifax yorkshire :D )
Whereas drag and drop doesn’t have this limitation. In fact you don’t even have to know where the incorrect marker is. As long as correct place is on the screen, you can drag and drop!
Mike Loney

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Ruth_W
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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by Ruth_W » 04 Jun 2021 19:35

Thanks, I have dragged and dropped a few. I really wondered if there was anything that might make glaring errors stand out. I did try sorting by lat/long, but then you get places in Canada mixed in with Scotland. I will wait for a rainy afternoon and go through them a bit at a time ...

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by LornaCraig » 04 Jun 2021 20:57

You could try sorting a different way. If you have your place names arranged so that the country is always in the same column you could try sorting by country. Then look at the lat/long column to see if anything stands out as very different from other places in the same country. Still a bit laborious though, I'm afraid.
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AdrianBruce
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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by AdrianBruce » 04 Jun 2021 21:14

The problem is that I'm not sure how you could make glaring errors stand out. If you've entered "Havannah, Cheshire" and the mapping has put it in Cuba - how could you get the software to find that? (Ours is near Congleton, by the way).

About the only suggestion I can make is to use the Map icon / Map All Places, which will pull up a map of all the Place Records with pins showing where those places are. If any look odd...

For instance, I just did that and noticed a pin in Brazil. I clicked the pin and it said that the place in question was "Kilrush, Co. Clare, Ireland". :o

So that might help on a global scale if places stick out where they shouldn't be. But it won't help if any of your London places have mapped to London, Ontario and you already have loads in Ontario.
Adrian

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by tatewise » 04 Jun 2021 21:44

As Lorna says, this is another reason for always including the country at the end of all Place names.

It might be possible to design a plugin that finds any Place record whose Lat/Long plot is inconsistent for its country.
For example, that should be possible to detect:
"Havannah, Cheshire, UK" plotted in Cuba
"Kilrush, Co. Clare, Ireland" plotted in Brazil
" ... , London, England" plotted in Canada

The plugin would analyse the values of Lat & Long for the Place records of each country.
If any particular value is significantly different from the majority of the others, i.e. an outlier, then report that Place record.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by AdrianBruce » 05 Jun 2021 10:43

The efficacy of that proposal, Mike, might depend very much on how the place-names have been entered. Martinique, for instance, is in the West Indies but is an integral part of the French Republic. People might therefore enter names for Martinique terminating in "France" - the proposed plug-in might then highlight Martinique names as odd, being distant from the typical lat / long for France. It would (I assume) only be a highlighting of such places, which is perfectly reasonable - nevertheless, any users ought to be warned that such issues might exist.

I guess Hawaii - or even Alaska - might also cause issues with a distance from the "centre" of the USA, and while one might enlarge the tolerance there, that might cause issues on the much smaller map of Europe. Then again, one might handle Hawaii and Alaska explicitly.

Interesting. I have to say that I can't think of a better idea to bulk check.

What I find really odd in the case of my Kilrush is that I don't understand how it got geocoded out in Brazil in the first place. Normally, I use Map Life Facts to geocode and, so far as I recollect, that will always show the result on a map. I tend not to use the inbuilt FH Geocoding but wonder if it went odd on one of those odd occasions when I did.
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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by Gowermick » 05 Jun 2021 11:04

AdrianBruce wrote:
04 Jun 2021 21:14
If you've entered "Havannah, Cheshire" and the mapping has put it in Cuba - how could you get the software to find that? (Ours is near Congleton, by the way).
And their’s is spelt differently :D :D
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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by tatewise » 05 Jun 2021 11:21

Yes, USA and perhaps some other large countries may need the last two column parts (state & country) to be analysed.
Or it could be statistically driven. If any one country has a large number of entries, then analyse its last two column parts.
If any one of those has a large number of entries, then analyse their last three column parts, and so on.

Also, any cases where only one or two Place records have the same location then they could be listed too.

The list would just be Places to be reviewed and there might need to be an exclusion list once they had been ratified so they don't get listed again.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by AdrianBruce » 05 Jun 2021 11:27

tatewise wrote:
05 Jun 2021 11:21
Yes, USA and perhaps some other large countries may need the last two column parts (state & country) to be analysed.
...
That sounds sensible.
tatewise wrote:
05 Jun 2021 11:21
... there might need to be an exclusion list once they had been ratified so they don't get listed again.
Good point.
Adrian

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by tatewise » 17 Jun 2021 14:09

I have developed a plugin to report abnormal Place names or plots.
See attachment Place Exceptions plugin Version 0.3 Date 17 Jun 2021.

As usual, it works best if Place names have a consistent comma-separated part format such as 'Town, County, Country' but it copes with any Place name structure.

Result Set
It reports five types of abnormality:
  1. Variance
    This tries to identify variant Place name spellings. If any Place name part spelling only occurs once or twice and a similar Place name part spelling occurs twice or more then it is reported.
  2. Similarity
    This reports pairs of Place names that only differ by the case of a letter or number of spaces or commas in their name.
  3. Deviation
    This tries to identify Place plots that are at variance with the majority of other plots in the same area determined by rightmost Place name parts. See the Plot Deviation Computations described below.
  4. Plot Pair
    Any area that has only two Place plots is reported because that may indicate a Place name spelling issue.
  5. Singleton
    Any area that has only one Place plot is reported because that may indicate a Place name spelling issue.
User Interface Options
These allow some adjustment of the Place areas analysed and standard deviation sensitivity.
Rightmost Place Parts sets the size of the smallest areas. If set to 0 then no plot assessments are performed.
Standard Deviations sets the threshold for reporting deviant plots. Increase it to reduce false reports.
Low Usage Place Parts sets the size of the areas for Singletons and Plot Pairs. Set to 0 to inhibit such reports.

Any Place records listed in the Place Exceptions Named List will not be reported.
Use that to exclude false positives from the reports.
i.e. In Result Set select false positive Place records and use cog Query Menu > Add Selected Cell Records to Named List...

Plot Deviation Computations
This works on Place areas defined by the rightmost Place part, 2 rightmost Place parts, 3 rightmost Place parts, etc.
However, it starts in the smaller areas with the greater number of Place parts and works out to the rightmost Place part.
i.e. It works from Towns through Counties out to Countries.
If there are no reported Place plots in an area then they are excluded from later reports.
This should cope with countries that have clusters of plots in outlying areas such as Hawaii and Alaska for the USA.

If an area has more than 2 plots the plugin calculates a central plot by taking the mean of all Latitude & Longitude values.
Then it then determines the distance and bearing of each plot in that area from its central plot.
Using those distances their mean and standard deviation is computed.
Any plot that is further from the central plot than the mean plus a number of standard deviations is reported.
Its actual number of standard deviations from the mean is listed as an assessment of the deviation.

Some areas are not even roughly circular but are elongated such as Chile and the Scandinavian countries.
So each area is split into 8 sectors extending from the central plot with bearings between N & NE, NE & E, E & SE, and so on.
The plots within each such sector are analysed as above before the whole area and if no reports those Place plots are excluded from later area reports.
Attachments
Place Exceptions.fh_lua
Version 0.3 Date 17 Jun 2021
(20.09 KiB) Downloaded 17 times
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by AdrianBruce » 17 Jun 2021 16:10

Thanks (to be said in a genuine tone of voice)

And "Gee thanks...." to be said in a sarcastic tone of voice because I'm trying not to disappear down the rabbit hole of whether it's "Caernarvonshire" or "Caernarfonshire" that I should be using... I have one of each! :(
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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 17 Jun 2021 16:24

Definitely Sir Gaernarfon, Adrian :lol:

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by AdrianBruce » 17 Jun 2021 20:14

When the Welshpool & Llanfair Railway acquired a loco named "Sir Drefaldwyn", I'm afraid it took some time before I twigged that it wasn't named after a character from, say, Arthurian Legend... ;)

But on a slightly more serious note, "Sir Gaernarfon" makes me realise that, of course, "Caernarvonshire" and "Caernarfonshire" are English names (they contain the English word "shire") - they just happen to be "Welshified" in their spelling to a greater or lesser degree, therefore I can stop kidding myself that I'm using a Welsh form and just choose a single English form to taste, as I'm really not going to have all of "Carnarvonshire", "Caernarvonshire" and "Caernarfonshire"...
Adrian

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by AdrianBruce » 17 Jun 2021 21:40

Some really interesting naming oddities and errors highlighted in my data, thanks. Also, some Variance comments from me:
  • Herefordshire and Hertfordshire appear as (potential) Variance. I only have a couple of these places but for others, it might get annoying.
  • Other Variances in Cheshire - Hale & Sale, Tilston & Tilstone, Lostock & Bostock - well, I guess I'll just have to learn to live with them. I could Exception them, but then I presume that I'd lose any co-ordinate checking so I'm uncertain of the best way to handle those.
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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 18 Jun 2021 06:59

AdrianBruce wrote:
17 Jun 2021 20:14
But on a slightly more serious note, "Sir Gaernarfon" makes me realise that, of course, "Caernarvonshire" and "Caernarfonshire" are English names (they contain the English word "shire") - they just happen to be "Welshified" in their spelling to a greater or lesser degree, therefore I can stop kidding myself that I'm using a Welsh form and just choose a single English form to taste, as I'm really not going to have all of "Carnarvonshire", "Caernarvonshire" and "Caernarfonshire"...
I'm in the camp that records the place as it was recorded on the relevant (or most relevant) source document, so I am going to have all of them.

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by tatewise » 18 Jun 2021 10:38

Adrian, I expected some false positives, especially in this prototype plugin.
It reports a Variance if the Place name in question only appears once or twice in your data.
It cannot possibly know whether Herefordshire is correct or an inadvertent misspelling of Hertfordshire.

When you add a Place record to the Place Exceptions it only applies to that one Place record.
As stated above, Variance only applies to 1 or 2 Place records with similar names, so once you have checked their spelling and plot position there should be no harm in adding them to the Place Exceptions.

Note that they are still included in all the plugin checks and simply excluded from the Result Set.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by AdrianBruce » 18 Jun 2021 11:08

tatewise wrote:
18 Jun 2021 10:38
Adrian, I expected some false positives, especially in this prototype plugin. ...
Indeed - I don't have a problem with that - I thought I should comment just in case it was helpful.
tatewise wrote:
18 Jun 2021 10:38
... It cannot possibly know whether Herefordshire is correct or an inadvertent misspelling of Hertfordshire. ...
Yes indeed, and places like Tilston and Tilstone are real genuine hostages to fortune, that I have to accept. I do worry that Her(e)(t)fordshire might generate an embarassingly large number of false positives. Maybe the thing is simply to warn people beforehand that there will be issues with some major county names, specifically Her(e)(t)fordshire - not just the boondocks of my home county - that way you set expectations.
tatewise wrote:
18 Jun 2021 10:38
...once you have checked their spelling and plot position there should be no harm in adding them to the Place Exceptions ...
Yes, now I think about that, that's perfectly correct. Providing that I've checked both aspects, I can happily Except them. I guess the only possible issue there, is if somehow a checked and Excepted place gets a revised Geocode that's wrong - it won't then appear as a positioning issue. But hopefully that shouldn't happen. Hopefully...
Adrian

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by tatewise » 18 Jun 2021 11:33

You say users should be warned that "there will be issues with some major county names."
There may be name issues but they are by no means certain.

If a user has more than two Places in Herefordshire and more than two Places in Hertfordshire then they will NOT be reported as a Variance.

I presume you have only one or two Place records in Herefordshire to have got the Variance report.
Likewise for the other Variance reports ~ only one or two variant Place records.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by AdrianBruce » 18 Jun 2021 12:28

tatewise wrote:
18 Jun 2021 11:33
... If a user has more than two Places in Herefordshire and more than two Places in Hertfordshire then they will NOT be reported as a Variance.

I presume you have only one or two Place records in Herefordshire to have got the Variance report.
...
Ah! Sorry Mike. I have about six places in Herts (to my surprise) and just two in Herefordshire. It reports the two Herefordshire places as being Variance "Herefordshire ~ Hertfordshire".

Firstly, I just assumed that a report of that type meant that the issue applied in both directions. Secondly, I missed the eminently sensible view that if you've written "Hertfordshire" many times then clearly you meant it.

That being so, people with lots of places in both counties are not going to get hassle, as you confirm.
Adrian

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by tatewise » 18 Jun 2021 14:17

Originally, I made the plugin only report Variance for a Place name that existed just once.
However, I relaxed that to two in order to give greater coverage.
In the final plugin, I might let the user choose a number in the range 0 to say 3, where 0 means inhibit Variance reports.

The final Help page would explain a bit more about how to interpret the Result Set.
In your case, "Herefordshire ~ Hertfordshire" is saying the variant name part used only once or twice is Herefordshire and that Hertfordshire is used two or more times so is probably a correct spelling.
If Hertfordshire had only been used once or twice there would also be a "Hertfordshire ~ Herefordshire" Variance report.

BTW: Are you only getting Variance reports and none of the other four types?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by BillH » 18 Jun 2021 16:07

Mike,

I just tried the plugin. I got Variation, Deviation, and Singleton items in the results.

The Variations reported did help me find about 20 spelling errors which I have corrected. Thanks for that. The others in this group were two similar names in the same area (example: Barren County and Warren County both in Kentucky).

I am still going through the Deviations and trying to figure out if anything is wrong.

Thanks for the plugin.

Bill

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Re: Finding incorrectly placed locations in map

Post by tatewise » 18 Jun 2021 16:20

Thanks for the feedback.
Regarding Deviations, note the Std.Dev. values in the Result Set reports.
You can click on that Std.Dev. column heading to get the largest at the top, which are the most deviant.

Try increasing the user Standard Deviations setting to just report the most deviant plots.

One way to investigate each deviant is as follows:
Note the Area in the rightmost column of the Result Set, e.g. USA, Colorado

Use the Tools > Work with Data > Places... command and in the Place List dialogue tick Reverse Display Order.
Now click the lefthand Last column header to sort place names alphabetically.
Scroll down and select all the USA Colorado entries (or whatever Area name applies to the deviant).
Click the View in Map > View in Map Window option and OK the warning message.

In the Map Window find and click the original deviant Place name to identify its plot.
Clicking on the Part column headings to sort them may simplify finding the Place name.
Correct the deviant Place plot as necessary OR add the Place record to the Place Exceptions Named List.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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