Geocoding and the Map Window

  • Skill Level: Advanced, Intermediate, and New User
  • FH versions: V5, V6, and V7
  • In Topics: Places and Addresses 

Introduction

Geocoding is the process of associating geographical co-ordinates (latitude and longitude) with place and/or address information. This enables you to display on a map the locations where events in the life of an individual took place.

Geocoding in Version 6 and above

ƒh version 6 introduced Place Records which have fields for latitude and longitude. You can update these by:

  • Opening the Map Window (View > More Workspace Windows > Map Window or use the Map Pin button on the taskbar) and following the instructions at The Map Window.
    • You can geocode markers automatically;  or drag a place/fact from the list onto the map to set its position; or drag a marker already on the map to improve its position. If you want to drag markers, remember to enable dragging using the Enable Marker Dragging button on the Map Window taskbar.
  • Opening a Place Record for editing (either in the Map Window or the Places Record Window) and entering latitude and longitude manually.  You might choose this approach if you have (for example) found a location on Google Maps that won’t automatically geocode.

You can view locations on a map within the Map Window, but there is no facility to integrate them into a website generated by ƒh.

Automatic Geocoding

  • Before using the automatic geocoding of Place names, it is advisable to use Tools > Preferences and tick Block Refresh of Non-tentative Geocodes on the Map Window tab to avoid refreshing and upsetting manually adjusted records.
  • ƒh automatic geocoding is limited to a quota of about 250 requests per day, although it may be somewhat higher on the first day.

Map Life Facts Plugin

The Map Life Facts plugin works from ƒh version 5 onwards. It can geocode various combinations of place and address information and maintain its own database of locations outside ƒh, or store the results within ƒh in a variety of locations. It can also generate html maps of the locations associated with one or more individuals; however, these are held outside ƒh but can be included as separate pages in a website generated within ƒh.

It uses the the Google Maps Geocoder that allows 15,000 requests per day within the free credit limit. However, it is awkward to set up, requiring a Google Account and Credit Card even though it will never be charged.

This plugin can be very useful in parallel with the built-in geocoding and mapping facilities in ƒh version 6, as it can be configured to store its results within Place Records. It has the advantage that you can geocode more items per day. It may also be more accurate in some geographical regions than the built-in geocoding.

Last update: 12 Apr 2021