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More GenPerfect

Saturday, 19 Mar 2011 | by Mark Tucker

I have so much appreciated all the comments that came from my first post about GenPerfect. I so wish that such software already existed. Here are more ideas that are part of GenPerfect for me.

Dashboards are all the rage in the world of enterprise software. A dashboard shows important and interesting information on a single page. It can contain statistics, charts, links, and more.

Here are a few samples of dashboards:

Sample MicroStrategy 8 Dashboard

Dashboard Metrics Indianapolis Museum of Art

Dundas Data Visualization Consulting Ivy League Digital Dashboard

What better way to have GenPerfect greet you than with your own customizable dashboard?

Any dashboard must be customizable as different users will want to see different things. Each section in a dashboard is often called a widget (or component, gadget, part) and surfaces a view into some data (or grouping of data) found in the system. Links often take the user right to the details so the user can get more information or enter values.

What widgets might I want available in GenPerfect:

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GenPerfect–My Ideal Genealogy Software

Thursday, 17 Mar 2011 | by Mark Tucker

I grew up in Utah, have a brother-in-law that worked for WordPerfect, and used WordPerfect in high school and college before Microsoft Word became the dominant word processing software. So when I tried to put a name to all the ideas about what the ideal genealogy software would look like to me, GenPerfect was the perfect name.

I am sad that I missed RootsTech 2011, but am excited to see that it has stirred up ideas and there is a spirit of innovation that seems to be sweeping through the genealogy/technology community.  Some are having discussions about a new data format to bring GEDCOM into the 21st century and make sure it plays well in the online world of collaboration and social networking. One place you can find this is the BetterGEDCOM Wiki and another is the e-mail list for the FamilySearch Developer Network (FSDN).

Much of the recent discussion on FSDN has been around the main sticking points of the data model and whether the structure should be people-based or record-based. As a developer, I often want to jump down into the details of the problem and gnaw on it until I figure it out. But lately I am changing. I prefer to look at it from a user’s perspective. Call it product management or User Experience (UX), but if in the end the data model doesn’t allow the software to do what I think it can and should do, then I think a great opportunity would have been missed.

So back to GenPerfect. What do I think it should look like? What implications does that have on a data model? As a user, what is my vision of the perfect genealogy software?

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Zoom-able History #2

Thursday, 10 Mar 2011 | by Mark Tucker

Washington, D.C. c. 1909

Panorama of Capitol Hill taken from the Capitol Building, looking east.

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress Panoramic Photographs collection.

Can you identify the following buildings?

image

image

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Zoom-able History #1

Wednesday, 9 Mar 2011 | by Mark Tucker

The Library of Congress is a great resource for photographs. Many of which are in the public domain. Which means that they fit within the terms of use of the Zoom.it site.

As I find interesting photos from history (including some from the LOC site) I will put them on Zoom.it (if I legally can) and share them with others. I will try to find those that have enough resolution to be interesting when deep zoomed.

Here is a snapshot of history in zoom-able form:

The photo includes a written date, “SUFFRAGE PARADE”, and even a hint of the location.

Can you photo detectives out there find the address of the location in the photo and a newspaper article about this event?

Zoom-able Genealogy Research Process Map

Friday, 4 Mar 2011 | by Mark Tucker

I have had fun thinking about what else I can make “zoom-able” using the Zoom.it website.

So here is the Genealogy Research Process map:

Let me know if you find this format useful.

Interactive Online Family History Photos

Saturday, 19 Feb 2011 | by Mark Tucker

There’s nothing better than a photo to share family history with others. Putting family photographs online is not something that is new. But there are some challenges and often the result is a static photograph that either does not have enough detail or is very large and takes a lot of time to download.

For example, the following photo of my Grandfather, Andrew Charles Tucker, training as a Private for WWII:

image

The thumbnail photo is too small to see details. Clicking the image will show the original, but it is a static photo.

As you will soon see, there is a way to make photos more interactive.  I will first show you the end result and then explain how you can do the same for your family history photos.

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