When looking at a map in GenDetective My Map View, you may spot your family in a place that you know they have never been. What’s up with that? There are a couple of possibilities:
- Your family was there and you don’t remember (not very likely)
- The GenDetective mapping has an error (possible, but not likely)
- GenDetective “mapped” your family to the wrong location (very likely)
In GenDetective, one of the first tasks performed when analyzing your GEDCOM file is the matching of the locations in your family tree to the known, standardized locations that are included in GenDetective. Where did the GenDetective locations come from and how accurate are they? I’m glad you asked. The locations are published by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN), and BGN publishes lists of both US and international locations, including the latitude and longitude coordinates used in maps!
How do you know if all of your locations matched to the GenDetective locations and how can you confirm that the locations are what you meant? Let me give you an example (with permission of the user): Kingston. Where do you expect Kingston to be? A partial list for Kingston includes:
- Kingston, Jamaica
- Kingston, Ontario, Canada
- Kingston, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, USA
- Kingston, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA
- Kingston, Ulster County, New York, USA
Which Kingston did GenDetective pick? The first, Kingston, Jamaica. Needless to say, from the users prospective, that was wrong, and the correct answer was Kingston, Ulster County, New York, USA!
On the right side of the World map, is a Reports of Interest list. Click on the report labeled: My family locations and press the Create Report button at the bottom of the screen. A report that looks similar to the following will appear.
The places in the report are grouped by country, and then state. Note, that the countries included in the map are dependent on the map that you have displayed when you run the report. Looking at the report above, you will note places that do not have coordinates (latitude and longitude). These places will not appear in any map, and if you notice places where you have questions (I don’t believe that place is in my family), then additional investigation may be necessary. An additional post will explore the steps for resolving these issues.