Thursday, June 9, 2011

First Look at GenDetective - Post 2: Navigating in GenDetective Reporter

After writing First Look at GenDetective - Post 1: GenDetective Analyzer yesterday, I thought that perhaps the size of my GEDCOM file (almost 40,000 persons) may have been the problem with the error messages, since it said I had a "System.OutOfMemoryException."

I created a smaller GEDCOM (6,813 persons, with only my direct line ancestral families) in RootsMagic 4 and loaded that into GenDetective Analyzer.  It worked fine, and I was able to get into the GenDetective Reporter.

My summary of this GenDetective program is:

1)  GenDetective Analyzer takes a GEDCOM file, looks at every Fact/Event, and puts them (along with Fact Notes, Sources and Media) into logical categories. 

2)  GenDetective Reporter takes these logical categories and provides genealogy reports for them that a user can save or print out to help guide their research. 

GenDetective has a 30 page "Getting Started with GenDetective 2011" PDF document that a user should read before using GenDetective.  I didn't do that yesterday, and should have!

1)  After successfully surviving the GenDetective Analyzer, the first screen for GenDetective Reporter looks like this:

There is an icon menu at the top left of the screen - for "Family Lines" (choose someone from the persons in the GEDCOM); "General Options" (how to run Analyzer and Reporter, and where to save reports); "News"; "About"; "Help"; and "Close Report Viewer." 

The left-hand panel provides a list of the reports available for a number of Research Areas.  The Report Type shown above is "Statistical" which is about the entire database.  The right-hand panel opens with an introductory page that says:

Welcome to GenDetective™ 2011, your genealogy research and trip planning software.  GenDetective Reporter organizes reports into two areas:

1.  Trip Reports – research itineraries for local or long distance trips where you do not have full access to your genealogical data.

2. Computer Research Reports – reports for research when you have complete access to your genealogical data.

Reports are further organized by area of research:

1. Trip based research
2. Online research
3. People
4. Families
5. Located data
6. Missing data
7. Census data
8. Places
9. Markers & Obituaries
10. Military Service
11. Statistical
12. Sources
13. Events

Most reports can be targeted to include people who have a relationship to a selected person. Choices include:

1. All people
2. People directly related to <person>
3. People closely related to <person>
4. People with an intermediate relationship to <person>
5. People distantly related to <person>
6. People unrelated to <person>

2)  The user can see a "Sample Report" (created by RumbleSoft) by clicking on the text for one of the items in the left-hand column (which is then highlighted), shown below:

Note that the report in the right-hand panel says "GenDetective Sample Report" - it is not the user's data!

3)  To see the Report for the user's database, the user has to click on the green right arrow on the left-hand margin.  I clicked on the green arrow for "First name usage, females" and saw:

In the screen above, there is a "float over"icon menu for "Save a Copy," "Print," "Up," "Down," Number of pages, "Zoom Out," "Zoom In," and "Show Adobe Reader Toolbar."

To change the report within the Research Area, the user clicks on the green arrow next to another Report type.

4)  "Statistical: is only one "Research Area" set of reports.  To access the other "Research Areas," the user clicks on the small down arrow on the right of the "Research Area"box - which opens the list of "Research Areas" as shown below:

5)  The user can select another "Research Area" and can access another set of Report Types.  I clicked on "People" and then "Ahnentafel for Person:"

After I clicked on the green arrow next to "Ahnentafel for Person," a "Select Your Report Values" window opened.  This window has many fields, but not every report type uses every field.  For the "Ahnentafel for Person" report, the only field that is required to be filled in is "Select person for the ahnentafel."  I selected myself from the list of all the persons in the GEDCOM file.

6)  I clicked on "Generate Report" and saw my ancestor report (which the program calls an "ahnentafel"):

I checked to determine if it was properly numbered - it is (meaning that it skips numbers for unknown persons.  Note that some software programs do not have the correct numbers if there are unknown persons in the ahnentafel). 

After generating this report, I could have printed it out using the Print icon on the "float over" menu.  The printout looks exactly like the image in the right-hand panel shown above.  The user's contact information (entered during the Analyzer input) is printed on the last page of each report.

There are hundreds of possible reports.  I haven't checked all of them yet.  I'll have more to say about the reports in future blog posts.

A user needs to be careful when requesting specific reports for the entire database.  The largest report I've created so far is 731 pages, but it took a long time!  Some reports require selecting one of the "key persons" input during the GenDetective Analyzer usage - mine are my four grandparents.

The Reports created from the user's GEDCOM file are saved in a file folder in the user's computer as PDF files.  The report titles are similar to "Ahnentafel for person_19394" and "Families with only a father_Direct_Seaver, Frederick Walton."

My 6,813 person database created a Microsoft Office Access 2007 Database file of over 435 megabytes (almost half a gigabyte). 

The next post in this series will look at some of the "Trip Reports" that could guide a user's research when visiting localities or repositories.

The URL for this post is:

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work.

No comments: