Alternate Locations

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Alternate Locations

Tony Gordon
I have a database with about 1600 places in it, of which about 1000 have 'Alternate Locations' in the Place Editor. The database was recently created by importing a GEDCOM file into a BSDDB family tree and the place hierarchy was created using the 'Generate hierarchy from place titles' tool (the tool only works on BSDDB databases). I assume that it was in that process that these alternates were created. Most of them appear to be the country in which the place is located which is not needed as the 'Enclosed By' ultimately has that. I could find nothing in the Wiki about these alternate locations, although I did find some discussion on the mailing list back in 2015 implying the feature was going to be removed.

Can I safely delete them by editing out the one line entries in the xml file that appear to hold them (e.g. using grep -v)? Each alternate appears to be a line starting with "<location country=" or "<location state=".

Gramps 5.1.1 on Fedora 31.

Regards
Tony


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Re: Alternate Locations

Sean DALY
I am not very experienced with Gramps, however I am experienced with XML. If you are comfortable with the command line, use XML rather than text oriented tools; the power of XML is that it is structured. xmlstarlet is a great tool for this, and can even generate XLST transformation code

Sean

On Wednesday, January 1, 2020, Tony Gordon <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have a database with about 1600 places in it, of which about 1000 have 'Alternate Locations' in the Place Editor. The database was recently created by importing a GEDCOM file into a BSDDB family tree and the place hierarchy was created using the 'Generate hierarchy from place titles' tool (the tool only works on BSDDB databases). I assume that it was in that process that these alternates were created. Most of them appear to be the country in which the place is located which is not needed as the 'Enclosed By' ultimately has that. I could find nothing in the Wiki about these alternate locations, although I did find some discussion on the mailing list back in 2015 implying the feature was going to be removed.

Can I safely delete them by editing out the one line entries in the xml file that appear to hold them (e.g. using grep -v)? Each alternate appears to be a line starting with "<location country=" or "<location state=".

Gramps 5.1.1 on Fedora 31.

Regards
Tony


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Re: Alternate Locations

prculley
In reply to this post by Tony Gordon
Yes, you can certainly edit your own data 😏.  It would be best to export your tree, edit the data and import into a new tree.  Make sure everything looks ok before removing the old tree.

When editing, make sure you get everything between the "<location" and the "/>" inclusive.  Note it could contain other tags as well;
<location street="123 main" locality="Orange Grove" city="Redwood City" county="San Mateo" state="CA" country="USA" postal=12345 phone=987-654-3210 parish="St. George"/>

Alternate Locations is a legacy feature of Gramps; 'Locations' is how Gramps first stored places.  When Gramps changed to support the current place hierarchy, databases that contained those locations were upgraded and any alternate locations were let alone in the Alternate Locations tab (which only shows when they exist).  I think the 'Generate hierarchy from place titles' tool dated from around the time of the place change; possibly why it stored the original data there as a backup.

Paul C.

On Wed, Jan 1, 2020 at 8:25 PM Tony Gordon <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have a database with about 1600 places in it, of which about 1000 have 'Alternate Locations' in the Place Editor. The database was recently created by importing a GEDCOM file into a BSDDB family tree and the place hierarchy was created using the 'Generate hierarchy from place titles' tool (the tool only works on BSDDB databases). I assume that it was in that process that these alternates were created. Most of them appear to be the country in which the place is located which is not needed as the 'Enclosed By' ultimately has that. I could find nothing in the Wiki about these alternate locations, although I did find some discussion on the mailing list back in 2015 implying the feature was going to be removed.

Can I safely delete them by editing out the one line entries in the xml file that appear to hold them (e.g. using grep -v)? Each alternate appears to be a line starting with "<location country=" or "<location state=".

Gramps 5.1.1 on Fedora 31.

Regards
Tony
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Re: Alternate Locations

GRAMPS - User mailing list
In reply to this post by Sean DALY
Preserving the idiosyncracies of the data ought to be the first concern here.  What feature of the other program caused a GEDCOM irregularity and seeded this 'alternate place' data bloom? Is that feature directly supportable in Gramps? If so, how can the GEDCOM import be changed to recognize & correctly support the data idiosyncracies of feature? Some more problem isolation is needed.

Data cleaning, standardization & harmonization is a major contributor to invalidating research outcomes.

When applying mass transforms, there WILL be data loss. Outliers will tend to be pruned. There WILL be data creep. There WILL be incorrect assumptions that cause ill-advised transforms. Suddenly, you may find yourself printing pretty pictures of (and drawing conclusions from) elegant fiction rather than inconvenient fact. 

You ask "Can I safely delete them?" and the answer is different in terms of 'whether Gramps will be able to use the transformed imported data' and 'whether the transformed imported data will continue to be as historically valid.'

On the other hand, you won't get to use the data if you're paralyzed for fear of damaging it. 


The only incontrovertible recommendation is in response to one of your discoveries.

Please file a bug report that the 'Generate hierarchy from place titles' tool only works on BSDDB db backend, not the current default DB backend. Your posting didn't identify the failure mode and that is needed for the report. And, of course, it might be limited to Gramps 5.1.1 on Fedora 31 or even your versioning of the installed support libraries.


-Brian

On Thu, Jan 2, 2020 at 6:58, Sean DALY
I am not very experienced with Gramps, however I am experienced with XML. If you are comfortable with the command line, use XML rather than text oriented tools; the power of XML is that it is structured. xmlstarlet is a great tool for this, and can even generate XLST transformation code

Sean

On Wednesday, January 1, 2020, Tony Gordon <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have a database with about 1600 places in it, of which about 1000 have 'Alternate Locations' in the Place Editor. The database was recently created by importing a GEDCOM file into a BSDDB family tree and the place hierarchy was created using the 'Generate hierarchy from place titles' tool (the tool only works on BSDDB databases). I assume that it was in that process that these alternates were created. Most of them appear to be the country in which the place is located which is not needed as the 'Enclosed By' ultimately has that. I could find nothing in the Wiki about these alternate locations, although I did find some discussion on the mailing list back in 2015 implying the feature was going to be removed.

Can I safely delete them by editing out the one line entries in the xml file that appear to hold them (e.g. using grep -v)? Each alternate appears to be a line starting with "<location country=" or "<location state=".

Gramps 5.1.1 on Fedora 31.

Regards
Tony


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Re: Alternate Locations

GRAMPS - User mailing list
In reply to this post by prculley
On 02/01/2020 15:16, Paul Culley wrote:
> Alternate Locations is a legacy feature of Gramps; 'Locations' is how
> Gramps first stored places.  When Gramps changed to support the
> current place hierarchy, databases that contained those locations were
> upgraded and any alternate locations were let alone in the Alternate
> Locations tab (which only shows when they exist).  I think the
> 'Generate hierarchy from place titles' tool dated from around the time
> of the place change; possibly why it stored the original data there as
> a backup.
>
Exactly.  The idea was that when the user was happy with the new
representation they would delete the alternate location.


Nick.




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