Wednesday, March 16, 2016

#RootsTech: Ron Tanner – Looking Back at Family Tree

Ron Tanner addresses RootsTech 2016.Ron Tanner began his RootsTech 2016 presentation about FamilySearch Family Tree by reporting some numbers about 2015:

  • 2.5 million persons were added to Family Tree per month.
  • Total number of persons has surpassed 1.1 billion.
  • 8 million sources were added per month.
  • Total number of sources has surpassed 615 million.

Ron reviewed several features added to Family Tree in 2015:

  • Record hints in mobile app
  • Tip tray – Click the lightbulb icon in the bottom-right corner and a tray slides out with tips about the page. More and more pages are supported.
    Tip tray lightbulb icon
  • Dismiss research suggestions – Hover over the message and then click on the X that appears.
    Dismiss research suggestions.
  • Enhanced landscape pedigree view – Provides same amount of information in a smaller area, or optionally show more information than before.
  • Display data problem icons on person page – The problems may apply to anyone in the family, but that may change.
    Data problem icons
  • Search partner records from person page
  • Popup family member updates – No longer need to leave the person page to add marriage event, spouse, or source.
  • User messaging

Ron talked about the “missing standardized place” notification. It is causing confusion because the place matches the standard place exactly. To dismiss the notification, click edit and select the place from the dropdown list. (Another presenter explained that FamilySearch doesn’t do this automatically for an exact match because it would take more computing power than they can afford.) The reason Family Tree insists on standardized place names is so that find, hints, and duplicates function better. However, if the place you need is not in the dropdown list, FamilySearch doesn’t want you to select one anyway. Type the correct, non-standard location and tab out of the field without selecting from the list. Family Tree will do its best to select a corresponding, standardized, location. (In John Huff’s class, someone asked what to do about a person whose death location was “on the boat.” Attendees told her to select “Atlantic Ocean” and then explain the situation in the notes. I wanted to scream “NO, NO, NO!” FamilySearch doesn’t want you to do anything genealogically incorrect just to make the computer happy! The computer was created for you; you weren’t created for the computer.)

I’ll report more about Ron’s Family Tree presentation next time.

1 comment:

  1. "The computer was created for you; you weren’t created for the computer."

    I'm going to have to frame this. I have a version of it I've said numerous times at work, "don't change the data to make the report work, fix the report!"

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