Placename Format

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Placename Format
Summary Enhances the Gedcom Converter, giving it the ability to change USA Placenames to a consistent configurable format. Also adds a Place Level program that can determine the Place Level of consistent Placenames.
Mod Updated 7 May 2018
Download link
TNG 12.0
TNG 11.0
TNG 10.1.0
TNG 9.0
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Author(s) Robin Richmond
Homepage Robin Richmond's Genealogy Database
Mod Support My Mod Support form or TNG Community Forums
Contact Developer My Mod Support form
Latest Mod Place Normalization v9.0.0.1 & Placename Format v12.0.0.4
Min TNG V 9.0
Max TNG V at least 12.0
Files modified
Modifies just the tab menus: admin_places, admin_geocode, admin_geocodform, admin_mergeplacesm, admin_newplace

AlsomModifies: English cust_text.php

Installs: rrplacenameformt.*, English/rrplacenameformat.*, extensions/rrplacenameformatconfig-distrib.php
Related Mods

Purpose of the Mod

This mod primarily supplements the Gedcom Converter mod by supplying code and options that format USA place names so that they are internally consistent. For instance, it will make "Houston, Harris, Texas" and "Houston, Harris Co, TX" the same. Depending on the options values you set, the resulting placename could be "Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA" or "Houston, Harris, TX", and so on.

As of May, 2018, the Placename Format process can only format USA Placenames, and only works within the Gedcom Converter. (I'm getting close to a version that can format USA places that are already in the TNG database, and do some formatting of non-USA places, but I really don't know when I might finish. Some feedback from TNG administrators who would like this additional functionality might help move things along.)

Installed Files

  • Two programs that are installed in the Admin>>Places tab menu:
    1. Placename Formatting Options: A form that edits the Placename Formatting options (see the next section of this article).
    2. Place Levels: A utility program that runs through the Places table, assigning PlaceLevel values to USA Places. It uses some of the Placename Formatting options.
  • An action script that saves the Placename Options (using Ajax)
  • Three PHP function libraries used to read the options and format placenames.
  • A Placename Format help file, and two screen shot image files that it uses.
  • An initial configuration file for the Placename Formatting options.

Placename Formatting Options

The options include, but are not limited to:

  • What variants of "USA" to look for, and to save in the modified placenames.
  • How to handle abbreviated state names, and when to use them.
  • A list of strings that identify Cemetery placenames ("Cemetery", "Burial Ground", "Memorial Garden", etc.)
  • A list of strings that identify funky locality names ("Magesterial District", "Justice Precinct", etc.) that are used in U.S. Census placenames.
  • What do do with Cemetery names and funky localities; i.e. remove them, shift them to the Location position, etc.
  • A list of localities that are not states, but, from the perspective of placename formatting and Place Levels, are equivalent to states, like "New England", "East Texas", etc.
  • etc.

You may interact with the Gedcom Converter and Placename Formatting options on the mod author's website, and follow that page's links the to the Gedcom Converter help file and the Placename Format help file.

Compatibility And Dependencies

There are no conflicts with other mods. The only change that Placename Format makes to existing TNG programs is to add tabs to the tab menu in Admin>>Places programs.



  • A working TNG installation.
  • An installed current version of the Mod Manager.
  • You should backup files listed in the panel on the right.


  1. Remove and delete previous version of this mod.
  2. Backup the files updated by this mod. They are listed in the panel at the upper right.
  3. Download the .zip file, Extract its .cfg file to the mods folder.
  4. Follow the normal automated installation for Mod Manager, as shown in the example Mod Manager - Installing Config Files.


  1. Try using the Mod Manager Remove capability
  2. Contact me through My Mod Support form.


This mod doesn't change the way that any TNG programs look; its effect is in how it re-formats placenames. There are several formatting options, so any placename could wind up looking differently on different TNG sites. Here are some example, where the first result would result from the default option values:

Initial Value Formatted Value
Chicago, Dade, IL Chicago, Dade County, Illinois, USA or
Chicago, Dade Co, IL USA or
Chicago, Dade, Illinois, etc.
Chicago, Dade County, Illinois Exactly like Chicago, Dade, IL
Greenwood Cemetery, Parker, Iowa or Greenwood Cemetery, Parker County, Iowa, USA, etc. Civil District 10, Bradley, TN Bradley County, Tennessee, USA or City District 10, ,Bradley County, Tennessee, etc.

For "Civil District 10, Bradley, TN":

  • In the first example, the value "Civil District 10" could be moved to the Event description for each Event in which the placename occurred, or it could just be deleted altogether.
  • In the second example, the value "Civil District 10" has been moved to the Location position in the placename.

The Placename formatting options reveal more possibilities.

<-- == Upgrade Strategy == When you uninstall (and even delete) this mod, its configuration file remains in the TNG extensions folder. If you have used a previous version of this mod (including its predecessor mod, Place Normalization), and you want to retain some of the options from that previous version, you'll have to open the previous configuration file with a text editor, and retype or copy-and-paste the options into the Placename Format Options form. Old options could be stored in the files ftm2tngconfig.php, placeformatconfig.php, or rrplacenameformat_options.php. -->

Mod Change History

Mod Version TNG Version Date Note 12.0+ 4 May 2018 Very significant changes, with several new options, and essentially brand-new PHP code. The differences are illustrated by the differences between the two options forms in the Visualizations above.
Place Normalization v9.0.0.1 9.0 - 11.01.2 25 Mar 2016 Initial Release. Implements functionality that used to be part of the FTM-to-TNG Gedcom Converter mod, before it became [[Gedcom Converter|Gedcom Converter v12]

TNG User sites using this mod

Please add your site if you use this modification.

URL User Note Mod-Version TNG-Version User-language
Robin's Genealogy Database Robin Richmond Mod developer TNGv12.0 EN