Thursday, September 12, 2013

First Look at Family Tree Maker 2014 - Mea Culpa! Looking Again at the Person Migration Map in the Places Workspace

In my post First Look at Family Tree Maker 2014 - Post 2: View People by Location yesterday, I made a big mistake!  In the second section of that post, I tried to use the "Person" list in the "Places" Workspace to make a migration map for Devier J. Smith.  The map was really messed up, and I thought that I had found a bug in the program.  

As my friend and colleague, Russ Worthington, pointed out in  FTM2014 - Place Name Importance on his Family Tree Maker User blog, I should have resolved the place names before I made the migration map.  Russ has much more experience with all versions of the Family Tree Maker program and knew immediately what the problem was.  

Taking his wise counsel to heart last night, I resolved all of the place names for Devier J. Smith's Facts and was able to create a correct migration map on the "Person" list in the "Places" Workspace.

1)  First, how to resolve a place name:  In the "Places" Workspace, and in the "Place" list, click on a place name.  I chose "San Diego, San Diego, California, United States:"

At the top of the right-hand panel, note that my current place name is shown in the "Name" field, but no GPS coordinates are shown in the "Location" field.

I want to resolve the place name so I clicked the "Place" menu item on the screen above and selected "Resolve This Place Name:"

From the dropdown list of potential place names (who knew that there were that many San Diego places!), I picked the correct one from the list.

The "standard" place name for the United States in Family Tree Maker is "USA."  When I clicked the "Replace" button, I saw:

After replacing the place name with the resolved place name, the top of the right-hand panel shows the resolved place name and added the geolocation to the "Location" field.  In addition, all of the Facts with the resolved location now indicate the resolved location information.

Note that I did this one location at a time.  There is a way to Resolve All Locations" which i'll address later in this post.

2)  I did the location resolution for all of Devier J. Smith's Fact locations, and in the "Person" list in the "Places" Workspace, I set about to create his Migration Map:

When I clicked on Devier J. Smith on the "Person" list in the left-hand panel, the first Birth entry (for New York)and the Death entry (for McCook, Red Willow, Nebraska) were shown on the map.

I unclicked the "New York" birth Fact and clicked on the "Henderson, Jefferson, New York" Birth Fact, and then on several of the other Facts (Marriage, Census, Property, etc.) and the final Migration Map looks like this:

That is, I believe, correct.  He may have resided in other places, but I don't have records that show them.  Of course, the map doesn't show the path he traveled between these places, only a straight line between places.

3)  What about resolving all of the place names?  With the "Place" list showing on the screen, I clicked on the "Place" menu and saw the "Resolve all Place Names" on the dropdown list:

Note:  There is a "Resolve All" icon on the "Places" line also.

I was asked if I wanted to make a backup of the file, so I did.  Just in case.  After that, the dialog box for the "Resolve All Place Names" appeared:

This dialog box permits the user to choose which places s/he wants to resolve - one at a time!  I could keep the Unrecognized Place Name, accept the Suggested Place Name, click :Desc." to add the unrecognized place name to the Description field, Ignore (stop marking the place name unrecognized), or Other (search for another spelling).

I did some of these, and it is an onerous task.  With over 5,400 more to do, I decided I wouldn't do this task right now.  At 2 seconds for each place (assuming I can make the decision that quickly, I could finish the task in 3 hours.  If it took me an average of 5 seconds, it would take 7.5 hours.  I have better things to do today (and probably for a long time!).  I also worry about the clicking disease, carpal tunnel syndrome.

Does FTM have one button to click on to resolve all of them at once?  I don't know, the Help function didn't say that it did.  If it does, i'm sure that Russ will know and can tell me.  The problem with doing it all at once is that many of the place names not in the gazetteer will be lost (I've identified many towns/counties in Canada, the counties are lost;  I've identified many farm names in Norway, they will be lost; etc.).

If I had to replace "United States" with "USA" for many places, I would take the GEDCOM into Legacy Family Tree and do it easily, and then bring it back into FTM 2014, but that would create other problems for me.

4)  My thanks to Russ Worthington for his patience, and for my readers who apparently skipped over the post yesterday and didn't tell me how dumb I was to not know that I had to resolve the place names before I made a migration map.  I like the Migration Map feature too.

Russ points out that importing a GEDCOM file into FTM 2014, and into any genealogy software program or online tree, may create problems that need to be fixed before the imported file works perfectly.

Also, some items included in a GEDCOM file may not import into another program at all, or do so imperfectly.  An example for this RootsMagic to FTM 2014 GEDCOM transfer is that the cemetery names don't import into the Description field of a place name.  It goes into the Notes for the Place name.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Cousin Russ said...


Caution: you do NOT want an one button to resolve all !!!!!

Come comment about USA. You can TURN that OFF for DISPLAY purposes. When cleaning up your Place Names, turn it on, but when you are doing reports / charts you can turn them off.

Tools, Options, Names/Dates/Places is where you ca turn the USA off.

I normally keep in off so that I can SEE the USA. My own purposes.

I am glad that I guessed right.

Thank you,


Geolover said...

Wouldn't it be nice to see year-dates next to each migration point?

Can such maps be included whilst generating genealogical reports for export to word-processor / PDF?

Cousin Russ said...


Based on your Follow-up Friday about this Blog Post and my reply: RE a Global way of doing something. Normally, I would totally agree with you. BUT, in this case, I suggested that it's not a good idea.

My friend, that comes from Experience.

Here is the reason:

Lets say that you sent me that GEDCOM file and within that GEDCOM file there are some Historical Place Names. I would guess that it does. State or County boundary changes.

Roots Magic's mapping feature may be different from Family Tree Maker and I want to use the Map feature within FTM2014. The Resolve Place feature within FTM2014 allows me to control those Historical Place names and put the push pins where they belong.

Had I had a Global Resolve ALL (One Button) I would have lost that information, lost meaning to put the push pin where it belongs. I would have let FTM make those decisions for me.

In my case, it is Maryland mid-1600's on, where there were Parishes before Counties.

OH, by the way, PLEASE go to the Places Workspace, click on Tools and what do you see?

Resolve ALL.

So, the feature IS there and it has been there, my don't use comment was out of place, but more of a Warning for your readers, but came from my experience.

Sorry for the confusion.

By the way, I do think there is an issue that you brought up and I have submitted Feedback to through the Help, Online Help Center, Feedback link.

FTM2012 treats UnResolved Place names differently.