What if a location was added for each source?

+4 votes
What if a location was added for each source? What kind of architecture issues would that pose in the db?

Currently you track where people were born and died, but many sources have a location attached to them (census / issuing agency / etc.) and it would not only be interesting to map movement within someone's life based on these sources, but also to break through brick walls by looking for relatives in the same place at the same time (but not necessarily birth/death location)

Thoughts? Is it possible to add a one to many relationship to a table for source location?
in WikiTree Tech by Jonathan Crawford G2G6 Pilot (218k points)

Could be done by a Time-Line ...  a time line records the event and the date of it and the location of the event 

These are easily cobbled together "by hand".  Takes a few thoughtful minutes and some copy&paste 

Such things should be being mentioned in the biography text area, if the source is being attached.
Is there a specific standard format for a timeline somewhere? WikiTree profile standards seem to lean toward the narrative

There is no set standard for profiles, but I think I have seen it mentioned on G2G that some folk add a timeline AFTER the biographical text, and before the Sources header.  (I'm not sure it falls under Research Notes, but if I added a timeline, it would be after any Research Notes (still above Sources).)

It's really up to the profile's Manager how they choose to present the information, so long as they also add sources to back it up.

Jonathan, the only "required" locations would be for birth and death.  And, yes, you will see many without any locations in the birth and death fields.  But genealogy is as much location as it is date

You may if you wish cobble together a Time-Line.  And as is said by the other you would then place it in the biography section but above and before the Sources section.  

There is no format for a Time Line at WikiTree since it is not one of the apps nor is it in the required format (fields). There is no particular need for a Time Line. Locations are already attached to the dates, or should be.

2 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
I would love to see it happen in the database. But easy for me to say as I don't design the database. It is one of the features that I use in Gramps and does not seem possible with the text based Wikitree. I know of a historical database that tries to combine events in date/time with location (and depth in soil), and it is rather complex to say the least to make it full feature rich.

So i think it could be a free form event field with date start, end, location en description. Nothing fancy.

Another great point it would entail is the fact that you would want to start to search per real location and not something based on location names that change throughout time as it is now.
by Michel Vorenhout G2G6 Pilot (262k points)
selected by Jonathan Crawford

laugh Those locations that changed names over time were real locations at the time the event occurred.  In a Time Line, for instance, if not in the Biography, one would say in the text that "Gazumba, Alabama, Ferrit County, was later renamed (in Apr 1888) as Zumbia, Ferrit County, Alabama. When Ferrit County was divided in 1919, Zumbia was again renamed, to Zenoba."


I don't think Michael nor I were disputing that places changed names or how they are recorded (place name as it is listed in the source makes sense to me), but if we wanted to find all the people in one place throughout time we would have to know what changes happened and account for that, that is his point, and a good one.

laugh Ah, sort of like reverse engineering on a product  <history, Santa Maria California > and we see Historic Photos: Take a look at Santa Maria, 'Central City', through the years | Local News | santamariatimes.com and we see Santa Maria, California - Wikipedia

And if we google <history, Santa Maria California name changes> we see The Unofficial Santa Maria, California Page and A firsthand history of Santa Maria 50 years after it all began | Heart of the Valley | santamariatimes.com

You can compile a list of name changes over time by researching the history of a location. 

enlightenedNot all locations will have a history posted online. Not all PM will want to explore to this extent, or to compile a Time Line nor even add a note to the Biography or Research Notes about any name changes 

+3 votes
So I think I'm hearing (and after some more poking around on G2G) that adding database fields is swimming upstream against policy, since simplicity in the wiki db is the favored choice by wikitree. (Would love to hear from Chris/Brian/Ales/Jamie to see if I'm understanding that db design policy correctly)

To that end, and in the absence of a standard for timelines, I may try to create an app that recommends timelines in certain formats, and if entered in that format, allows for parsing out the locations through the API. Tying this to GPS tables might be overkill, but could also be fun.

I keep coming up with fun ideas, but haven't found time to implement any yet!
by Jonathan Crawford G2G6 Pilot (218k points)
If I may add to your thinking: my thought would be to use the power of already present software and create links to those. There is already really nice geo location in Gramps for instance. If one could link Gramps profiles to Wikitree profiles you only would need to open up another piece of software. The API at wikitree is really fast and open, so no problem there.

(So the real problem here is that Wiki and Wikitree is text based. Which is horrible to work with if you want to do smart stuff like geo referencing.)
It's not horrible if it's consistent (stop laughing). So you sent me down a rabbit hole for Gramps, I hear your point but have yet to find a plugin for geolocation and it seems to have a rather steep learning curve, so not sure about this.

What plugin or version are you using, and how were you thinking of maybe associating records? Finding matches by relationships or name/date/place matching?
I'm on current. It has an inbuilt location database. You define names, and then enclose that into bigger units (so house in street in hamlet in region etc). You use geo location in there, (only center points) then that will plot on the inbuilt map.

Some samples are here: https://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php/Gramps_5.1_Wiki_Manual_-_Categories#Geography_Category

All text is just fields, the inside works with real database fields. The learning is kindof steep, as the manual is bogged with legacy stuff.

Developing an add on is not something I have done (yet). I am really busy with my online Python wiewaswie tool. (yep, transforming text into statistical database stuff ...)

An intro: https://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php/Addons_development

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