Second Site's Place Index is a powerful tool that helps people navigate your site using geographical information. The feature also allows you to organize and display detailed information about the places that are important to your family history.

The Place Index is a User Item and is added to the site via the User Items Section. Unlike other User Items, you should only add one Place Index User Item. The second and subsequent Place Index items will be ignored when the site is made.

The Place Index Properties section of this page explains the user interface elements that control the Place Index feature. Read all of this page first if you are not familiar with the feature.

Place Index Pages

The Place Index feature includes three types of pages: the Master Index page, the Detailed Index pages, and Place Information pages.

Master Index Page

This page lists all the places in the detailed index pages. Each place is a link, so you can jump from the master index page to the index entries for a particular place.

Place Master Index Page Example

Detailed Index Pages

These pages show a place followed by a list of links to people who have at least one event at the given place.

Detailed Index Page Example
Elm Co.
Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865)
Burton, Ron (1936-2003)
Doe, John (1910-1990)
Sample, Sam (1880-1956)
Iowa City
Cunningham, Sam (1885-1959)

Place Information Pages

A place information page is created for each place that has a comment or an exhibit. The "i" (information) icon is a link to open the place information page. If the Show Place Information property is unchecked, the place information page will not be created.

Place Information Page Example

Faux, Elm Co., Iowa

The town of Faux was founded by a group of English settlers in 1630. Prior to the arrival of English settlers, the area was occupied by two native American tribes, the Pequossette and the Nonantum. etc., etc.

Place Grouping

Users can select place levels to control the level of detail in the index. All places with the same values in the selected levels are grouped together in the index and treated as a single place for indexing purposes.

Place Levels Selection
[ ] L1 - Addressee
[ ] L2 - Detail
[X] L3 - City
[X] L4 - County
[X] L5 - State
[ ] L6 - Country
[ ] L7 - Zip
[ ] L8 - Phone
[ ] L9 - LatLong
[ ] L10 - Temple

For example, if the selected place levels were [L3], [L4] and [L5] as shown above, then all the places that are the same in those three elements would be indexed together. The following places would be indexed together.

Place Grouping Example
L2 L3 L4 L5
115 Main Street Faux Elm Co. Iowa
Church of the Sacred Heart Faux Elm Co. Iowa

The places above differ only in [L2], but that field is ignored for indexing purposes. Assuming that John Doe and Sam Sample had events at one or both of the above places, the place index would look something like this:

Place Grouping Output Example
Elm Co.
Doe, John (1910-1990)
Sample, Sam (1880-1956)

Note that there is no entry for "115 Main Street" or "Church of the Sacred Heart". The two places are grouped in the index because they had the same values in the [L3], [L4] and [L5] levels.

Place index entries are sorted alphabetically by the selected levels (L3, L4, L5 in the example above), but the field order is reversed. Places are ordered from the largest political division to the smallest.

Note Second Site reverses place information based on the place level. [L10] comes before [L9], [L9] comes before [L8], etc., down to [L2] comes before [L1]. If you store data out of sequence and rearrange the output using the Output template of the Place Style, you may not get the results you want in the Second Site Place Index.

As shown above, the place index includes links to jump from the index to people who have an event that occurred in the given place. The reverse is also true. Places in the person page entry are links to the place index. Specifically, Second Site converts places referenced by the [L] variable to place index links.

Person Page Narrative Example
John Doe lived at 115 Main Street, Faux, Elm Co., Iowa, in 1958.

If you want to link to a specific page in the place index or a specific place information page, use the Page.PlaceIndexHREF() function or the Page.PlaceInfoHREF() function.

Place Field Exclusion

TMG users often suppress place data using single or double exclusion markers, "-" or "--". Often, place levels are excluded to reduce place clutter in narratives; if every event that occurs in a particular place refers to the entire place, reading the narrative can be tedious.

Place Grouping with Excluded Levels (before exclusion)
# L3 L4 L5
1. Faux Elm Co. Iowa
2. Faux -Elm Co. -Iowa
3. Faux --Elm Co. --Iowa

For many TMG users, all three places represent the same physical place. The Place Index section includes a Show Excluded Place Data property which only affects the Place Grouping logic. If Show Excluded Place Data is checked, the Place Index feature will treat place #1 and place #2 as the same place. Second Site never shows double-excluded data, so place #3 does not match place #1 and place #2.

The table below shows the results of excluding levels when Show Excluded Place Data is checked.

Place Grouping with Excluded Levels (after exclusion)
1.FauxElm Co.Iowa
2.FauxElm Co.Iowa

Note If you use the double-exclusion marker, but you want those levels to be included in the Place Grouping logic, you will have to change the double-exclusion markers to single-exclusion markers.

Indexing Selected Places Only

By default, the place index includes all the places referenced by events that are included in the site. If the Only Places with Information property is checked, the place index will only include places that are referenced by events that are included in the site and have a Comment in the place record, or a Place Exhibit. Place Comment fields are set via TMG's Master Place list.

Place Information Pages

When Show Place Information is checked, Second Site creates a place information entry for all places that have a Place Comment or a Place Exhibit. Place information entries are assigned to place information pages using the same place grouping logic described in the Place Grouping section.

Assume that the following places all have place information entries.

Places with Place Comments
FauxElm Co.Iowa
12 First StreetFauxElm Co.Iowa
Glen ChurchFauxElm Co.Iowa

Given the example places above, and assuming that the Place Index levels are [L3], [L4] and [L5], Second Site would create a place detail page for Faux, Elm Co., Iowa. That page would include entries for all three places: they were grouped together in the index, and they are grouped on the place information page. Please note, however, that the Place Comments for each place are shown separately on the Place Information page:

Place Information Page Example

Faux, Elm Co., Iowa

Faux is not a real place. How did you guess?

12 First Street

This was the home of ...

Glen Church

Founded in 1890, Glen Church ...

Note that even though the L2 place level was not selected for the place index, the place information entries show the L2 data. Unlike the place index, place information pages show the full place as defined by the place style and the place level selection in the Places Section.

Place Index Properties

The Place Index is a User Item and is added to the site via the User Items Section.


The Title property sets the title of the Master Place Index. The Title will also appear in the menu or on the Custom Page where the link to the Master Index appears.

The titles of the other place index pages are generated automatically.


The Filename property sets the filename for the Master Index. Enter the filename only; Second Site determines the filetype based on other program settings. Second Site proposes a filename for new pages; accept that name or provide a more descriptive one.

The filenames of the other place index pages are generated automatically.

See Menu on the User Items page.

Button Image

See Button Image on the User Items page.


If Enabled is checked, Second Site will build the Place Index the next time you make the site. If Enabled is unchecked, the Place Index will not be created. For more information, see Enabled on the User Items page.


The Description applies to the Master Index page. Other Place Index pages do not have a description. For general information about Descriptions, see Description on the User Items page.

Place Levels

The Place Level selection options—the checkboxes whose names begin with "L" and a number—allow the user to choose which of the place levels will be included in the place index. If a place level is not checked, that data will not be included in the place index. See the Place Grouping section, above.

Master Place Format

There are two choices for the Master Place Format, By Places and By Subfields. In the By Places format, the Master Place Index is arranged in the same hierarchy that is used for the Detailed Place Index pages. In the By Subfields format, the Master Place Index is a two-level hierarchy, where place subfields are grouped by their content, not by their place in the hierarchy. The default is By Places.

Static Indentation

When Static Indentation is checked, the deepest level of indentation required by the place data determines indentation for all the most-detailed entries.

Show Place Information

The Show Place Information checkbox enables or disables the creation of Place Information Pages. if Show Place Information is checked, the Only Places with Information checkbox is enabled.

Only Places with Information

If the Only Places with Information checkbox is enabled and checked, the place index is limited to places that have a Place Comment or a Place Exhibit.

Show Excluded Place Data

The Show Excluded Place Data checkbox shows or hides singly-excluded place data. See the Place Field Exclusion section, above.

Use Place Style on Place Information Pages

The Use Place Style on Place Information Pages checkbox determines whether Second Site uses the Place Style to format places shown on Place Information pages. The default is checked, and the Place Style is used. When unchecked, the Place Style is not used and the place subfields are concatenated to create the display version of the place.

If you include prepositions or other text in your Place Styles and that text is intended for output in sentences only, you should uncheck the Use Place Style on Place Information Pages checkbox.

The Map Links section of the Edit Place Index window includes a series of options that control the addition of links from Place Index entries to mapping services. When you add Map Links, people browsing your site can click a link for a given place to open a map centered on that place. The map is hosted by the mapping service.

The Map Links capability is separate from the Map User Item which is used to add interactive maps to Custom Pages.


Here is an example of place index entries with Google [G] and Bing Maps [B] links.

Detailed Index Page Map Links Example
Elm Co.
Burton, Ron (1936-2003)

As shown in the example, links appear above the person entries. There is a link for every place covered by the index entry. In the example above, there was one place entry for Ames. The place detail for that place was "Ames Hospital", and you can see the entire place if you hover your mouse over the [G] or the [L]. There are two links, presumably because the user has enabled two mapping services. If there had been multiple places referenced in Ames, there would be more [G] and [L] links.

These example mapping service links will not work because Ames Hospital is a made-up place.

Mapping Services

For Map Links, Second Site includes support for several mapping services, including Google Maps and Bing Maps.

You may select the mapping services you want to use via the Mapping Services link. The entries in the list are controlled by entries in the 2ndsite.ini file.

When Index Page Map Links is checked, Second Site will include Map Links in the Detailed Index pages (as shown in the example above).

When Information Page Map Links is checked, Second Site will include Map Links in the Information Pages.

Only Places with LatLong

TMG place records may include explicit latitude/longitude (LatLong) values, and mapping services will produce the most accurate maps for such locations. Second Site will include Map Links to places without latitude / longitude values, and in those cases the mapping service will attempt to geocode the location. Geocoding is an imprecise process, and the result may or may not meet your expectations. Geocoding accuracy will vary based on

  • the quality of the address data,
  • the age of the address,
  • the quality of the mapping service's geocoding software, and
  • the depth of information the mapping service has for the given area.

When Only Places with LatLong is checked, Second Site will only create Map Links for places with LatLong values. This avoids issues with geocoding. It also allows you to hand-pick the places that include Map Links.

When Use Icon for Links is checked, Second Site will use the "ml.png" file as an icon to indidate a mapping service link. When unchecked, Second Site will use the first character of the mapping service name as the link text, and add a rectangular background. The default is not checked.

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