Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dear Randy: I Want Better FTM/Ancestry Synchronization

Reader Lenny commented on one of my posts recently that:

"... I have an Ancestry.com tree. I also own FTM2010. The integration is pretty good. But...(it had to be coming) I want simple narrative notes about people's lives that are 1) visible to 'guests' on Ancestry.com (or possibly anyone) and 2) download ok to FTM and can be printed on a report. This doesn't seem to exist. Maybe some of your blog readers have ideas. General person notes on A.com are visible only to 'editors'. 'Comments' don't appear to download to FTM. I've thought of creating a new fact type called 'notes' - but that seems a little clunky if a better answer is available. Perhaps something new in FTM 2011?"

Lenny is absolutely right - my comments:

Ancestry.com does not show the Notes in the Member Trees to anyone but "editors."  Is it just too hard?  Or is it an attempt to minimize scraping of information (and possible copyright infringement) by other researchers?  Other trees on Ancestry.com (the Ancestry World Tree) show the Notes in the database.

Ancestry.com does permit the addition of a "Story" to the Media Gallery on a Person Page in the Member Trees.  However, it appears that it will download to Family Tree Maker 2011 (only!) directly, but not to another program in a GEDCOM file.

*  The integration of FTM 2010 with Ancestry.com is "pretty good."  The native Family Tree Maker file (for 2009, 2010, and 2011 versions) can be uploaded directly to Ancestry.com.  However, that action requires creating a NEW Member Tree.  The uploaded file cannot be integrated into an existing Member Tree.  Similarly, downloading an Ancestry Member Tree into Family Tree Maker is easy to perform, but it forms a new Family Tree Maker file.  That file can be, of course, merged into another FTM file in the program.  True synchronization has been desired for awhile by many users, but it has not yet been achieved.  Will it ever be? 

There is something "new" in Family Tree Maker 2011:  One of the new features is "Smart Story."  I've been working with it, and will blog about it in a future post.  If the "Smart Story" is added to the "Media" tab in the FTM 2011 "Person" tab in the "People" workspace, then that "Media Item" will be uploaded to the Ancestry.com Member Tree in a direct upload from Family Tree Maker 2011 (not in a GEDCOM upload).  In addition, a "Story" created in an Ancestry.com Member Tree will be included in a Family Tree Maker 2011 file when downloaded directly from within FTM 2011.

So the answer to Lenny's query is:  YES, a "Smart Story" created in FTM 2011 will upload to an Ancestry.com Member Tree, and vice versa, but only from within FTM 2011. 

However, the "Story" on Ancestry.com, or the "Smart Story" in FTM 2011, need to be created separately from the "Notes" (i.e., the ones created in "Notes" in Ancestry.com, or in the "Notes" tab in FTM 2011).  The "Story" on Ancestry.com can be added by copy and paste methods into the "Story" field.  The "Smart Story" in FTM 2011 can be added using the "Smart Story" creation process, or by doing a copy and paste from another resource.  You only have to do it once - either in Ancestry.com or Family Tree Maker 2011.

1 comment:

Leonard said...

Randy,
Thanks for the detailed response to my question in your blog. You're the greatest - and a real asset to the ancestry community. Lenny