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Displayed placename versus standardized placename: does it really have to be this difficult?

My grandfather was born in Dunaszerdahely, Pozsony, Hungary (now Dunajská Streda, Slovakia), but there was no Reformed church there, so his baptism was recorded in Nemeshódos, Pozsony, Hungary (now Vydrany, Slovakia). In trying to enter said baptism, I discovered that FS's placename standards omit the Nemes- ("Noble-") disambiguator from the village's name. I ground my teeth and accepted it.

I revisited his profile today after various recent discussions reminded me that it's possible to "hack" display names to show more information than what's in the standard. I can just change the display name to Nemeshódos and leave the standard as Hódos by clicking outside the box, right?

Wrong. If I change Hódos to Nemeshódos, the green selection goes away, and if I click outside the box, the standard changes to "Pozsony, Pozsony Megye, Hungary". (Getting rid of the "Megye" = "County" designator is a different topic.) That's Completely Wrong: he was NOT baptised in Bratislava.

If I add a hyphen, I can add the prefix without it moving the standard to Bratislava, but that's not how they generally wrote placenames by then. (The 1913 gazetteer has almost no hyphenated places.)

A related annoyance concerns entry of granddad's birthplace. If I include the by-then-anachronistic hyphen, then I can get "Duna-Szerdahely, Pozsony, Hungary" for the display (with the recently-added intrusive "County" in the standard, but as I said, that's a different topic). If I try to get rid of the hyphen, however, the standard changes to the neither-fish-nor-fowl "Dunajská Streda, Pozsony Megye, Hungary", which I refuse to allow anywhere near my relatives.

Does this really need to be so difficult? It would almost be preferable for the display name to always match the selected standard -- at least then, I'd have a good excuse for it being not-quite-right. If you're going to allow me to change the displayed name, please allow me to change it in any way I see fit. My changes to the displayed name should not cause a different standard to be randomly selected!
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  • I am part of a volunteer place name project with Family Search. Just enter the way you think it should be, regardless of whether it is 'standard' or not. There is a huge overhaul of standard place names underway.
    • (I may be joining said project, too.)
      I can't win: if I choose "none of the above", then there are the red exclamation marks under "research help". If I enter what I want it to say, it moves the standard to a false location. If I choose a standard that at least indicates the correct location, then the name is incomplete.

      I can live with a standards list that doesn't include every possible variation of every single placename on the planet. That is, I'd be fine with "Hódos, Pozsony, Hungary" as the standard -- after all, it's correct for most of the 19th century, before the great placename-disambiguation law went into effect. I just wish I could add the disambiguator (or make whatever other changes I thought were needed for a specific event) independently of choosing a standard.
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  • You can enter a place name however you like. Just ignore the standard place name suggestions that come up.
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  • Yes, but those are being fixed. It will a long process until every name, so just ignore those red hints.
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  • If there is no standard that works with the place, then asking for it to be added is probably the best route to go. Dependencies may impact its implementation, but it is something to consider.

    The process to select the standard and then modify the place name (in the user-entered field), select the standard that most closely fits the actual place. Then modify the place name and click outside the fields. The original standard should remain in place and allow your modified place to co-exist.

    I've never had a problem following that route. The system is quirky because when I've entered a place (after setting the standard), the displayed options do not fit. Clicking off the place fields or list has left my previously selected place alone, even if it did not appear in the list.
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  • Juli

    If I may.

    Pamela

    It is understand what you are getting at.

    BUT ...

    The problem is twofold:

    Firstly, if you accept the WRONG Standardised place name; then, the "System" ( ie. "Family Tree" ) applies the WRONG Standardised place to the individual / person, regardless.

    Secondly; and, just as importantly, as 'Juli' advises, if you choose "None of the Above"; then, there are the "Red" Exclamation marks under "Research Help": which,

    - Firstly, looks unsightly; and, implies, that there is an Error in the place name, which in this situation, is NOT the case; and,

    - Secondly; and, more worryingly and dangerously, is that another User / Patron may come ( or stumble ) across this individual / person in their work, and; then, DECIDE, that there is an ERROR in the place name; and, mistakenly, CHANGE the place name to an INCORRECT place name.

    The latter, does; and, has happened - I have experienced it. And, it does not help how much you explain the situation to some Users / Patrons ( ie. People ) - they just ignore and / or disregard your reasoned and supported ( by evidence ) explanation; and, go ahead anyway. And, those people generally keep changing it back to what they think, from what you have entered, no matter how many times you do it.

    'Yes', as you indicate, ... "There is a huge overhaul of standard place names underway."

    BUT ...

    How long are we going to have to wait?

    If other matters are any indication ... it will be "Years", not "Months".

    As an interim measure, would be possible and practical to add ( into the Programming Code ) an "Override" function of the "Standardise" place name, that would allow a User / Patron to 'Apply' the place name as they have "Entered", rather than, the "Standardised" place name OR "None of the Above", with the 'Requirement' for a "Reason Statement" would suffice. The interim measure could, either, be removed, once the of the overhaul of Standard Place names is complete; or, left in-situ, if need be.

    Just some thoughts.

    Brett
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    Based on some experiments just now, I think the key is that you can only modify the beginning of the standard's wording in a way that's separated from the standard in some way -- a hyphen at bare minimum, but a space, or comma and space, is better. Otherwise, it fails to find the correct standardized place.

    Another conclusion based on experiments: clicking outside the box simply selects the first option in the drop-down list of suggested standardized values. If you managed to make your changes to the displayed value in such a way that that first suggestion is the correct one, then it _seems_ like clicking outside the box means "don't change the standard", but it doesn't actually mean that. If you're entering a place where the standardized value you want is not the first one listed, then you can't edit the displayed value at all. This is the problem with Dunaszerdahely: the neither-fish-nor-fowl atrocity is the first one on the list, because it comes first alphabetically. This is also the reason that the displayed value for Budapest is impossible to modify if you want to include the county: it keeps picking parts of the county's name for the first suggestion. (All of the names in Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun are places in their own right; the last one is a region, the rest are towns/cities.)
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  • This reply was removed on 2018-06-21.
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  • "it _seems_ like clicking outside the box means "don't change the standard", but it doesn't actually mean that. If you're entering a place where the standardized value you want is not the first one listed, then you can't edit the displayed value at all. "

    Juli - I've just deleted my previous reply to you because I think I've cracked it. I've been missing out a step, that I've only just identified through re-reading Tom's reply.

    1. Assume we start with something the same in both display and standard.

    2. Alter the display name to have a prefix (usually) - click outside the box to say No, I don't want to use your suggested Display Name

    3. After clicking outside the box, you have the correct Display Name and the incorrect Standard Name that happens to be top of the drop-down list.

    (Now comes the bit that I'd been missing)
    4. Click on the green standard box and re-select the correct standard name. (This assumes that your alteration of the display name hasn't wrecked the drop-down list so much that you don't get the correct standard).

    Now, I could be telling you what you already know but you still think is a faff - but I'm not sure.... I have no idea how I got the idea that the "click outside" completed the process. Apologies to anyone I've misled.
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    • "... sometimes your step 4 works. I can figure out no pattern for when choosing a different standard changes the displayed value and when it doesn't."

      Hmm again. It was working for me but I wasn't doing an extensive test of anything much other than adding "Holy Trinity, " in front. And I was doing Step 4 before exiting.

      I would certainly believe that if you try to do Nemeshódos, then Hódos is not on the list. It seems to look for, for want of a better term, "words" and looking for the word Nemeshódos, will not find Hódos. Or so I believe.
    • "does this really need to be so difficult?" Well, I agree. I think they tried to be too clever to try to obscure the fact that there is even a standardised name there.

      To give a slightly silly example - solely as an experiment I tried to get a display name of "Warmondestrou, Cheshire, England" with a standardised name of "Nantwich, Cheshire, England" because Warmondestrou Hundred was the original name for Nantwich Hundred. It didn't work because it always looked for a standard placename of Warmondestrou so the best I could get was a display name of "Warmondestrou, Cheshire, England" with a standardised name of "Cheshire, England".

      It's a silly example because the correct way forward would be to ask for "Warmondestrou, Cheshire, England" to be entered as a standard name - though I haven't because given that the name is Anglo-Saxon period it's quite unlikely that I'll need it!

      But people do try to say that the display and standard versions can be de-coupled - and they can't.
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  • Adrian

    I just tried this (several attempts before I got it right!) but the idea is to save your preferred place name with United Kingdom showing as standard. Then go back to edit, click on the option that ends "England", again click outside the box and "save". It does save without the United Kingdom suffix!

    I forget the exact procedure every time I do this but eventually get it to work. (I've probably described the procedure very badly, which is why I can't record it properly for myself!)

    Made-up location but just to show it can be standardised without the United Kingdom, even when this is the first line option:

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  • Put whatever you need to in the Display field to get the best Standard to come up. Then choose that standard. After that go back to the Display name and put whatever you want and click outside the box. I think this method keeps the previously chosen Standard name and the last Display name you entered. Have not had a reason to do this for awhile so I have not verified this recently.
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  • If what Chas or I suggest does not work, just hope Gordon Collett reads this - he can describe the procedure perfectly!
    • Although I think that the issue may not appear when adding something to a place-name which has only one time-based name. If you have two, one ending in "England" and the other in "England, United Kingdom", then it gets a bit dodgy when the "England, United Kingdom" version is first in the drop down list.

      I thought I was following Gordon's instructions with the 3 stage process. Then, only today, I discovered the 4 step process which worked for me on limited testing in the Beta site.
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  • I just did some work with a place name where I had entered a full address. I clicked outside the area, rather than selecting the correct place. The top entry was established as the place...

    I'm not sure I can preselect the place and have it "stick" if I make changes to the place field and then click outside of the field. It looks like it is always going to grab the top place.

    I suspect this is going to take some additional testing and then hopefully addressed as a quirky bug by engineering.
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  • Tried this out again today and the combination of a full address and the your preferred standard does seem to stick as long as you first "save" with the standard at the top of the list, then go back (edit), click on the standard of your choice and, again, click outside the box.
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