Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Monstrosity, Wonderful Thing

“When you see all this kind of stuff, it’s really confusing,” said Ron Tanner of the mistakes and redundancies in new.FamilySearch. “How do I fix this mess?”

FamilySearch is working on a product called Family Tree that will allow anyone to fix anything.

“it’s scary,” said Tanner, “[but] that’s the only way to fix it. We’ve got to open it.” Tanner presented “The Future of FamilySearch Family Tree” at last week’s RootsTech.

FamilySearch is going to take and move it to and open it up to everyone, including the general public. You’ll want to get your new FamilySearch summary values right because that is what FamilySearch is going to bring over to Family Tree, said Tanner.

The FamilySearch Family Tree
The pedigree/butterfly view

“Our goal in the Family Tree is to document the genealogy of mankind, accurately,” said Tanner, “and preserve it for generations to come. That is our goal.”

To accomplish this, Family Tree will have changeability, accountability, recoverability. The system will track the who, what, and when of changes. And it makes it easier to revert back to good data than it is to create bad data. Changeability, accountability, recoverability. It will have discussions and notifications to encourage collaboration and to make recoverability more timely.

Additionally, the system has a new, easier to enter source reference feature. The system allows you to reuse source references many times. In the future they will provide a button on records. When viewing a record you can click the button to connect the record to a person in your tree.

In the future we’ll allow you to upload scanned images. And we’ll preserve them.

There will be two ways to contribute tree information to FamilySearch. One will be contributing your GEDCOM files. This was called Pedigree Resource Ffile, but FamilySearch is trying to call it Contributed Pedigrees. It will be different than PRF because an upload replaces your previous file. It will be searchable and viewable by others just like PRF. And FamilySearch is going to preserve it, just like they preserve the tree.

The other way to contribute, is adding your tree information right into Family Tree, working together.

FamilySearch put a copy of Ancestral File and parts of Pedigree Resource File into new FamilySearch, but they are going to take them back out. Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File are available under Trees.

“When are you going live with this monstrosity, beautiful, wonderful, thing?, Tanner asked rhetorically. FamilySearch’s intentions are to offer it to everyone before the end of this year. He didn’t say “the year.” He said, “this year.”

Stay tuned…

1 comment:

  1. I guess after reading this I find huge problems with this.

    If somebody who has no ability or just is a bad researcher changes documentation that is correct then this will perpetuate bad information.

    There is really no good way to do this, but I am not in agreement with Family Search on this point.


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