Mycroft Community Forum

[Setup] City/Town Not Listed (Connecticut)

There are 169 Cities and Towns in the State of Connecticut https://portal.ct.gov/cities_and_towns/ and countless other villages, former names, historical names, postal names, census designated places (CDP), etc. The 169 Cities and Towns cover 100% of the land in Connecticut (there are no unincorporated areas) and they all should be listed when setting up a device.

The list that is available when setting the device location shows 188 locations, but is missing 72 of the legal entities. Some of the 91 “extra” locations make sense, but most don’t.

For example - Willimantic was a former city that has been absorbed by the surrounding town of Windham in the 1980’s - but the name is still commonly used & should probably be kept.

However, Lake Pocotopaug is a Lake and CDP of 3.5 square miles of almost 25% of is water, and should probably be removed.

What’s the best way of going about updating this list? I’m more than willing to pitch in and generate a list of recommendations about what needs to get added (the 72 missing ones) and which “extras” should stay and go.

EDIT: P.S. I picked “Hartford” for now as it’s pretty close by, so this isn’t stopping me from messing around with Mycroft.

[quote=“From Support via Email”]I’ll have to get our backend engineer to take a look at the cities issue. My understanding was that we had everything with a population of 500 or more. Would your town meet that limit?
We’ve generally shied away from being too specific with location as we have many users who are concerned about providing this data. It is however pretty important for things like the weather to have a town that is relatively close to your actual location.[/quote]

Of the 169 legal cities and towns in CT, all of them have a population of greater than 500. According to the 2018 population estimates, the smallest town (by population) is Union with a population of 840. https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Departments-and-Agencies/DPH/Population/Town-Pop/pop_towns2018pdf.pdf?la=en

Most of the CDPs in CT have populations greater than 500 - with two exceptions, Cannondale & Mashantucket https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_census-designated_places_in_Connecticut, but most of them are geographically small and many are part of larger, unlisted towns.

Our geographic information was pulled from https://www.geonames.org. The city file we downloaded was described as “all cities with a population > 500”. I cannot speak to their data collection methods, although their sources are listed on the website.

In my experience, geographic data sets are challenging to cultivate and maintain. You are not the first to point out inaccuracies and I am sure you will not be the last. We selected the GeoNames dataset because it was easy to use and fits with our open ethos (Creative Commons License).

Unfortunately, we do not have a methodology for correcting this data right now, other than me just going in and hand-jamming corrections (which I have done a few times already).

The solution (for the US at least) is to use official government data instead of a third party data provider. Pretty much all government data in the US is considered public information and many states have this data available online.

I found the core issue in the data set - the population figures for many of the missing cities/towns are blank.

How often do you update the data from GeoNames? Was it a one-time import or is it a regularly scheduled pull?

One time import. Could be updated to do an occasional pull, but that is a not a very high priority at this point.