Robins's Visual Chart Form Tips
Data Entry for Charting
This page created 1 Sep 2014
Hosted by Terry's TMG Tips
This article explores a number of issues that will improve the look of your charts. Some may improve the automatic layout of the generated chart.
Data Entry Consistency
Many of these are good practice. The areas of concern are:
- NAMES – It is important to be consistent in the entry of names, particularly if there are names that include a maiden name, a known-by name, or some honorifics. It is highly desirable that all names with any of these extras are entered in a consistent style. Usually there are protocol rules for the order rules for the presentation of honorifics. This problem often arises because several sources of information, entered by different persons have been merged. Where there are long hyphenated names, ensure that there is a space after each hyphen – this will reduce the loss of characters in chart output
- PLACES – It is important to be consistent in the entry of places. Particularly, carefully consider the use of and consistency of abbreviations and the use of abbreviations and full words for the same place. This problem often arises because several sources of information, entered by different persons have been merged. Also, examine the Master Place List to ensure that recently imported data has its values in the consistent field where similar data has the same value. Be consistent about the inclusion of a Country in a place value, that is, say omit USA for all USA places, but include Country for all other entries if most of the places refer to the USA. Where there are long hyphenated place names, like Stratford-upon-Avon or Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, etc that not unusual in British place names but is extremely uncommon in USA place names, then ensure that there is a space after each hyphen – this will reduce the loss of characters in chart place output.
- DATES – Be consistent about entering dates. Be aware that there can be confusion between the USA month-day-year-date values, and day-month-year values used in Europe, etc. Also, assess any inconsistentency in the way that the UK BDM Registry Quarters are converted by different methods of data entry.
- UNKNOWN PARTNERS – This is a different issue. Unfortunately, VCF has a different algorithm that it uses for placement of “unknown” persons who are partners or parents of children on a chart. This algorithm often creates wide unnecessary gaps in a chart. To avoid this enter and link a new person as that parent or partner as if you have found them. Enter a surname like “UNKNOWN” or “NOT RECORDED”. These entries will now have a TMG ID number and will be processed as if they were like all other persons to be charted. When through research more details of that person are found, there will an entry to amend. This action will also avoid the ancestor chart bug that omits the line to a mother when the father is unknown.
by Robin Lamacraft