Saturday, December 22, 2007

FamilySearch Labs have been busy

While many genea-bloggers have been writing about their memories, the talented web site creators at FamilySearch Labs - - have been adding new capabilities to their web site.

I posted two weeks ago about the current databases offered at the FamilySearch Record Search site - my post is here.

The features being added on the Labs site include:

1) Family Tree -- The FamilySearch Family Tree is our effort to take the great things we learned from the Pedigree Viewer and the Life Browser and combine them into a more full-featured application. Our second whack at the Family Tree updates the person page and adds an event map. Use the interactive pedigree viewer to see and navigate a tree and drill down on individuals.

Currently this prototype can only be accessed by those who already have a login for new FamilySearch. We hope to have a demo account available soon.
Read more about the Family Tree on the
Labs blog.

2) Standard Finder -- With Standard Finder you can search for a standardized name, date or place based on your input. The Standard Finder will present the standards that will be used in future releases of new FamilySearch. Come and try out your historical and current entries and understand how the system will interpret your input. Use filtered results to see what we think the best match would be or uncheck filtered results to see all the possible standards. Then send us feedback on how the system can do better. Find out more on the Labs blog.

3) Research Wiki -- The FamilySearch Research Wiki forms a community of research experts and interested genealogists that share up to date information on how to research sources for information about your ancestors. The larger the community the more useful the data is, so come and be a part. Read more about the Family Tree on the Labs blog.

4) FamilySearch Labs recently updated the look and feel, and the search capability, of the Record Search databases. See this Labs Blog post for more details.

All of those look like they will be really useful once all of the pieces are put together.

* The Family Tree may be an ambitious attempt to put all family tree type data into one big tree structure.

* The Standard Finder will provide standards for place names, dates and names in the Family Tree.

* The Research Wiki will provide information about genealogy and family history research by location and topic - essentially an online tutorial that incorporates the information in the LDS Research Outlines.

* The Record Search will provide access to the records being indexed and digitized in the FamilySearch Indexing Project.

I am really impressed by the collaborative process being used in all of the FamilySearch projects. They are rolling out demonstrations, then trial versions, and then improved versions of each of their projects. A commercial company probably would not do this in such a public way.

As researchers - "customers" and "consumers" of FamilySearch if you will, we need to stay abreast of what the New FamilySearch operation is doing, especially as new databases come online.

1 comment:

Lee said...

Cool! I need to log in and give some of the new toys a try. Thanks, Randy! It's posts like this that make you the "go to" man in genealogy.