I remember working several years ago to map out all the members of our ward. We wanted to create a map for an emergency preparedness plan so that families could check on other families who lived nearby. This was a long and tedious process that involved pasting copies of maps together and adding hundreds of little pins. Eventually we advanced to where we could use some software to do this, but it was so complicated that at times it felt like the paper and pins would be easier.

Well, those days are long gone. Did you know you can now see a listing of your ward instantly at maps.lds.org, as well as the ward boundaries? This mapping application, called LDS Maps, has a variety of uses. Here are a few that come to mind:

  • Emergency preparedness planning
  • Home and visiting teaching
  • Membership cleanup (those members outside your ward boundaries are easy to see!)
  • Bishopric and other leadership visits
  • Missionary work (our ward mission split the ward up into districts)
  • Realignment of ward boundaries in the stake

The application is pretty straightforward. Just go to maps.lds.org (or from LDS.org, go to Tools > Maps) and click the Sign In button in the upper-right corner. Note that an LDS Account is needed to sign in. After you sign in you will see your own house on the map.

Now click the My Ward & Stake button in the upper-left corner. In the map area, you will see a map of all the members of your ward; the sidebar will show a list of member names.

 LDS Maps member list

You can select different wards from the ward dropdown list at the top at the top of the sidebar. You’ll also see your ward building on the map as a red icon, as well as other buildings in the area.

If you click on an individual name on the ward list, a pin will pop up on the map showing you the exact location of the person.

 LDS Maps -- member location pinpoint

If there is a phone number listed, it will appear here as well. You can click the directions button to get directions to the house to print out. The blue line shows the ward boundaries.

You should play around with LDS Maps a bit. It really is amazing. One incredible feature is the scale at the bottom (it’s kind of transparent, so you have to look closely). The scale allows you to zoom into an area, or even zoom way, way out. If you zoom out quite a bit, you can see all the ward buildings in the area.

 LDS Maps -- meetinghouse locations

It's pretty neat to see all the ward buildings in the world, huh? 

What other ways are you using LDS Maps in your ward and stake?

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