Friday, January 27, 2012

Questions for FamilySearch at RootsTech - Updated!

...
I've been compiling questions that I want to ask of the developers whom I hope to meet at the RootsTech 2012 conference.

Here's my list so far for FamilySearch developers (I will probably update it before and during the conference as I think of more questions.  I will try to post a summary of the answers, probably after the conference):

*  When will the FamilySearch Family Tree be completely open to the public?


*  When will the FamilySearch Family Tree be a conclusion based tree?

*  Will you permit GEDCOM uploads to the FamilySearch Family Tree?


*  Will there be a FamilySearch Family Tree access application for smart phones and tablets?


*  At the rate that you are adding Historical Collections, how long will it take to complete the available 
microform collection?


*  Would you please indicate which collections are Newly Added on the Historical Collections list?

*  Would you please indicate the completion percentage of each Historical Collection on the list?

*  Will there be a new Historical Collections page with easier navigation to continents, countries and states?


*  Which states will be indexed first in the 1940 U.S. census?


*  What are you doing to create an improved GEDCOM-like standard?  


*  If you are creating an improved GEDCOM-like standard, when will it be available?  


*  Are you working with software developers (e.g., RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, Reunion, etc.) and/or online family tree providers (e.g., Ancestry, MyHertiage, Geni, WikiTree, etc.) to implement a new GEDCOM-like standard?


*  Brooke Schrier Ganz asked in Comments:  Will the FamilySearch catalog ever have an open API so that third party websites may query it for a list of record collections available for specified towns?


*  Justin York added in Comments:  I would add to Brooke's comment to include an API for searching the indexed records too.

*  Carol asked in Comments:  When are they going to fix the search so you don't have to keep clicking and pointing, and pointing and clicking. I used to be able to search (and find!) a lot of helpful info...now I get tired trying to whittle results down to a manageable number. I just don't use the site much anymore.

*  Geolover asked in Comments:  Have mistakes in the Family History Library Catalog listings on FamilySearch.org ever been fixed, and to whom should mistakes be addressed?


*  David Newton asked in Comments:  When are they going to start providing more information about whose fault it is that access to images of the digitised microfilm and microfiche of many of their collections is restricted?  That way genealogists can contact those organisations and lobby them to stop being so restrictive.

*  David also asked: When are they going to acknowledge that a great deal of the "genealogy" undertaken by members of the LDS church is complete garbage and consequently tighten up the standards of documentary proof required before information appears in the Familysearch tree?


What other questions should be asked of the FamilySearch website developers?  Please add them to comments to this post, or on Facebook or on Google Plus so that every reader can see them.  I will add them to the list above as they come in.

If FamilySearch personnel wish to answer the questions, I hope that they will comment also, and I will highlight their responses.

I hope to do this type of Question post for several other developers of genealogy databases, software and services.  If readers have suggestions for other websites, please forward them to me as comments on this blog, or on Facebook or Google Plus.  I will give credit to those who provide questions.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2012/01/questions-for-familysearch-at-rootstech.html

Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2012

Updated: 30 January, 9 a.m.

9 comments:

Brooke Schreier Ganz said...

Will the FamilySearch catalog ever have an open API so that third party websites may query it for a list of record collections available for specified towns?

Justin York said...

Nice list of questions.

I would add to Brooke's comment to include an API for searching the indexed records too.

Becky Jamison said...

All great questions, Randy. I'll be watching for answers!!!

Geolover said...

Ron Tanner, product manager, new.familysearch.org, addressed the question about GEDCOM uploads to what is now being called "Our Tree" on new.FamilySearch.org.

Uploads will be permitted to the Pediree Resource File (PRF) and a software tool will allow evaluating whether individuals in the PRF upload duplicate "records" (individuals) in "Our Tree," then permit adding non-duplicates.

http://getsatisfaction.com/familysearch/topics/eliminate_gedcom_imports

Affiliate programs also enable synchronizing between one's home computer and the newFamilySearch tree, or to ceate a 'private project' within newFamilySearch from which "records" (individuals) can be exported to 'Our Tree':

http://getsatisfaction.com/familysearch/topics/master_gedcom_file_to_import_to_user_profile_without_publishing_all_records_at_once

Tom@IT Services said...

FamilySearch is such a good company when it comes to affordable genealogy.

Carol said...

I'm surprised someone hasn't already mentioned this one -

When are they going to fix the search so you don't have to keep clicking and pointing, and pointing and clicking. I used to be able to search (and find!) a lot of helpful info...now I get tired trying to whittle results down to a manageable number. I just don't use the site much anymore.

Jenny Lanctot said...

I like being able to start broadly and whittle down the results of the search! Especially when I'm not sure where a person might have lived or when their date of birth was, etc.

That being said, the one burning question for me is ... when is New FamilySearch going to be open to the public?

Geolover said...

One question I would ask is, have mistakes in the Family History Library Catalog listings on FamilySearch.org ever been fixed, and to whom should mistakes be addressed?

David Newton said...

When are they going to start providing more information about whose fault it is that access to images of the digitised microfilm and microfiche of many of their collections is restricted?

That way genealogists can contact those organisations and lobby them to stop being so restrictive.

When are they going to acknowledge that a great deal of the "genealogy" undertaken by members of the LDS church is complete garbage and consequently tighten up the standards of documentary proof required before information appears in the Familysearch tree?