As 2008 closes, we stop to ponder what awaits genealogy in 2009. In coming up with this list, I have no insider information. I simply looked at the information publically available and tried to determine what is possible or likely for the upcoming year.
So here is my list of 9 genealogy predictions for 2009:
- Two more desktop genealogy applications will support source citation templates from Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence Explained. Currently Legacy 7 and RootsMagic 4 support this. The other two might likely be Family Tree Maker and The Master Genealogist.
- One major online database (Ancestry, WorldVitalRecords, FamilySearch, Footnote) will announce upcoming support for Evidence Explained source citations. Other sites will soon follow with their own announcements.
- FamilySearch Research Wiki will grow to over 30,000 content pages (excluding talk and stub pages) by the end of the year. As of 28 December 2008, there were 12,573 content pages.
- FamilySearch will announce a replacement for GEDCOM. GEDCOM will still be supported for many years as software will support it as well as the newer format. Reasons for the new format will be to better support source citations and media.
- I hope I am wrong about this one, but with the current economic downturn we could see financial pressure force one of the more-recently-started genealogy companies to merge with or be acquired by another company. Worse case scenario, it could go bankrupt.
- Many more genealogy societies will join the social networking site, Facebook, by adding a group page. Searching groups today for “genealogical society | genealogy society” (the pipe symbol “|” means “OR”) returns 80 results. I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of 2009 the total was over 200.
- More genealogy applications will be available for the iPod Touch and the iPhone. Currently the iTunes App Store only lists three applications: MobileFamilyTree, FamViewer, and Shrubs. This last holiday season, the iPod Touch was a hot item. I wonder how many genealogists own one now.
- Through blogs and podcasts, genealogists will hear more about the benefits of Web 3.0 (also called the Semantic Web) and how it applies to genealogy.
- Genealogists are puzzle solvers when it comes to researching their family history, but do they play games? I expect to see a genealogy-related game released in 2009. It could be a casual game for Facebook or something more interactive for the Wii. How about a Mii Familii Trii? The game might teach research-related concepts (citation, transcription, etc) or (via GEDCOM import) put your ancestors in the game.
How about you? What do you think genealogy will be like in 2009? Don’t be shy about posting a comment.
This time next year we will revisit this list and see how well the predictions compare with reality.