Category: Tasks


Permalink 11:41:38 am, by David, 533 words, 760 views   English (CA)
Categories: Tasks; Mins. worked: 0

Location table problems

The new 1901 census data has highlighted a problem with the Location table. The BC census district names do not always match the city names the user might want to search for; for example, in 1901 Nanaimo was in the Vancouver census district. Some effort was made in the census search to compensate for this, but it was never very effective. With the new 1901 data, the problem is worse: not only are Nanaimo and other Vancouver Island towns listed in the Vancouver district, many of these areas are further divided into sub-subdistricts (e.g. the Nanaimo North subdistrict is divided into sub-subdistricts 'South Ward; Chinatown; Protection Island', 'Cedar and Oyster District', and several others). The current census search only goes to the subdistrict level.

The following Location-table-related problems have been identified:

  • The location popup selection window shows the subdistrict names. The same or similar names are used for different census years, but may represent different areas. Also, the sub-subdistrict names are not shown, and couldn't be searched for if they were.
    • The popup should show the census year, and either the census code or the sub-subdistrict name or both.
    • The popup form should return the census codes for selected list items (e.g. 3A1), not the subdistrict names as it does now.
    • Changes are required to the popup widow PHP code (datalist.php) to allow the concatentation of more than one field to produce the displayed text, and to allow more than one field to be returned.
    • The census search, which uses the popup, will need to be changed to search on the location codes rather than names.
    • Changes may be required to the directory and tax searches to deal with the location popup changes.
  • The full location data (subdistrict name, sub-sudistrict name, census code) is now shown in the census search result list. The location is a link that triggers a search for all census records in that location. This does not work properly now, since the sub-subdistrict is not taken into account in the search. The link to the Census District Search also does not always work correctly.
  • The Census District Search does not handle the 1901 data very well, since it is not taking the sub-subdistrict into account.
  • The Location table is used to hold location records for census, directory and tax records. The current procedures determine which is which by looking at the census year field, but this is not always effective. The table now has a field ('link_to') that indicates what the location record is to be used for (C = Census, D = Directory, T = Tax Assessment), but this has not yet been implemented in the searches and elsewhere.
  • Given the current structure of the Location table, there is no easy way to search for census and other records for a specific city; the user has to include all of the relevant subdistricts in the search. The Location table has a new field ('base_city') that is intended to deal with this; this field would be filled in with the city (or rural area) name (Victoria instead of Victoria City, Nanaimo instead of Vancouver | Nanaimo North, etc.). This has not been implemented and would require changes to each of the searches.


viHistory is a web site that is a teaching, learning and research tool. It's principally about the history of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, but it is also a vehicle for exploring the larger field of Canadian history during the late 19th and early part of the 20th century. It allows census, directory and tax assessment roll data from the late 19th and early 20th centuries to be searched in many ways. It also incorporates IMaP to display historical maps. The project director is Dr. Patrick A. Dunae.



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