"Genealogists the world over recognize the problem with a 15-year-old GEDCOM file exchange protocol that hasn't kept pace with the type of genealogy data we're compiling. For instance, when I share my genealogy data with my cousin Russ, the photos and scanned images of documents don't transfer using the current GEDCOM (genealogy data communications) protocol."
Please read all of DearMYRTLE's post, and the links within her post. She has been a tireless advocate and organizer for this concept, including founding BetterGEDCOM and FHISO.
I'm sure that there are many other issues for genealogists who want a seamless genealogy data transfer using whatever method or program that the industry comes up with. My issue is that source citations created by many genealogy software programs, online family trees and online record collection services, do not transfer well using GEDCOM because some programs and websites use non-standard data fields and GEDCOM tags (which drove me, and others, to use free-form source citations rather than the helpful source citation templates).
The FHISO organization is committed to make this happen, and needs the support of ALL of the genealogy software program developers, online family tree providers, and genealogy record collection providers.
Why, you might ask, is this so important? The simple answer is: Technology has passed the old (25-years!) GEDCOM standard by. Fixes have been added to GEDCOM to permit the inclusion of links to web pages and data files on a person's computer. However, those data files on a person's computer (think of images, documents, reports, etc.) do not transfer using the current GEDCOM - from my computer to yours, or from my desktop computer to my laptop computer, or from my computer to some online family tree systems. We cannot truly SHARE our genealogy databases with another researcher.
What DearMYRTLE is talking about is that she cannot send her complete genealogy database to her cousin that includes the files of the attached media residing on her computer. The links to the files transfer, but they are useless without the media files themselves. Granted, she can create a file folder with all of the links, put the file folder in a cloud service like Dropbox, and have her cousin access them, then have his genealogy program deal with the links to the transferred media. But that is a time consuming and difficult process (especially for persons who are not computer savvy). And if her cousin adds content to the database, including his own media files, the process has to be done again so that DearMYRTLE can access the updated database.
Yes, DearMYRTLE can create an Ancestry Member Tree with her GEDCOM file, and the media will attach to the persons and events in the Ancestry Member Tree. She can invite her cousin to share the tree as an Editor or Contributor or as a Gust. Her cousin can see the images, and can download them one at a time. But her cousin cannot download the GEDCOM file and the media because he is not the Owner of the Tree.
It would be great if Ancestry.com, and other online family tree sites, would allow more than one person to be able to download a GEDCOM file, or Sync a specific tree using Family Tree Maker. The problem there, as I understand it, is that multiple persons might be working on the online tree at the same time and the download or sync would get messed up.
But some persons don't have an Ancestry.com membership, or don't want to put their tree on Ancestry.com.
What's the solution? The simple solution is that ALL of the software creators, online family tree and record collection companies should sign up to be Founding Members of FHISO. Then they should actively work TOGETHER to develop rigorous standard methods to transfer genealogy data seamlessly between persons, websites. The list of Founding Members of FHISO is relatively short at this time:
- Federation of Family History Societies, December 4, 2012
- Federation of Genealogical Societies, October 29, 2012
- Coret Genealogie, October 11, 2012
- Calico Pie, September 24, 2012,
- ourFamily•ology, September 21, 2012
- WikiTree, August 15, 2012
- RootsMagic, Inc., July 28, 2012
- Ancestry.com, May 17, 2012
Why aren't FamilySearch, MyHeritage, FindMyPast, Legacy Family Tree, Family Tree Maker, Ancestral Quest, GeneaNet, and other companies on the list of Founding Members yet?
It's going to take EVERYONE in the genealogy community to make this work well - and the sooner the better!
The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2012/12/we-all-want-seamless-genealogy-transfers.html
Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver