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:
In a continuing effort to have the best user experience possible, Footnote is making visits to a few homes in Arizona cities this week. I heard about this back in early February from Dick Eastman’s newsletter and decided to volunteer. Today I received a visit from Dick and members of the Footnote team. The group had representatives from software development, design, management, business, and marketing. The visit lasted a little over an hour and I enjoyed the chance to participate and provide my feedback. Everyone was very nice and interested in my opinions. I had only used the Footnote site a few times before the visit, but I was able to navigate around and uncover most of its features. The group asked me questions and let me think out loud as I used the site.
One point that I brought up in today’s visit that is an issue with not just Footnote, but also FamilySearch, Ancestry, World Vital Records, and other online database/document sites is that there is a lack of consistency with source citations. For example, the same census document could have different citations on different sites and none of the citations follow the format in either of Elizabeth Shown Mills’ works: Evidence! or Evidence Explained. When I download an image from one of these sites, I should get automatic source citation in my desktop genealogy application as well as additional details such as source provenance. It should be very easy. To modify a phrase from an action movie: “With great source repositories, comes great responsibility.”
It is very encouraging to see companies like Footnote take an interest in what its members and potential members care about. I was impressed by the Footnote team and site and get the feeling that the innovation hasn’t stopped yet.
As an added bonus, I got to meet Dick Eastman. Overall, what a great experience!
Although I have not been able to find a formal press release about a partnership between FamilySearch Labs and GeneTree, it appears that they are working together. In a previous blog post, I used the Pedigree Viewer from FamilySearch Labs as an example. When I registered for GeneTree today and started building my family tree, I discovered that it used a slightly modified version of the Pedigree Viewer.
GeneTree – Family Tree Builder
FamilySearch Labs – Pedigree Viewer
Is this the first commercial release of a FamilySearch Labs project?