The conference was wonderful – there were over 600 people in attendance – I thought about each of you and wondered how I could share what I learned . . . . then I realized that you are all on holiday and probably don’t want to know right now – so I had better keep this short!
There were thunderstorms the first 3 evenings I was in Provo including one quite violent storm – so I felt right at home!
- Familysearch is trying to bring all data sets and tools into one place – this first version feels a little stitched together – 2nd version being mapped out now will allow parts to talk to each other. Some products built on old technology e.g. fs.org almost 15 years old, record search could not be scaled up . There are 2.25 billion records on the new site so far – and growing.
- Images owned by various organizations – will shortly indicate if there is an image freely available or where it is available if not for free. Current image viewer built on Flash – will be replaced in a few months with one built in HTML
- FamilySearch.org has added Pedigree Resource File (PRF) to the Trees tab – and not the 100 million records that are on the old FamilySearch.org but after eliminating the living there are about 200 million records in the collection on the new site. At the moment searches for the PRF are mixed in with searches for Ancestral File (AF) – but expect that to change in the future – it would be good to send Feedback suggesting the kinds of filters you would like. I attended a session with one of the engineers working on the search engine. They are working hard to continue to improve the product and appreciate our Feedback.
- Search tips for Familysearch historical records – down arrow on right in list of search results to see a preview within the results list. See articles on searching posted on this blog on 12 and 19 June 2011.
- Historical records collections are being added to almost weekly – keep encouraging the indexing! Now 681 collections. Tip: if you browse collections did you know you can sort any of the 3 columns by clicking in the column heading! So you can sort by Records or by Last updated or by Title.
- Catalog at familysearch.org continues to be improved – data is all there now but the design in not finalized – send Feedback – when get a results page it tells you how many items in each result and clicking on one of the results creates a drop down preview within the results list so you can easily go back.
- maps.familysearch.org – continues to be a great product for those of us researching England (cry your heart out if you are researching other countries!). I noticed during the conference that they now have a view that uses the UK Ordnance Survey maps – look for OS map button on upper right.
- Rootsmagic news – I asked Bruce Buzbee if they were going to create a Macintosh version of Rootsmagic. He said that they are awaiting the release of a mac compiler from their software tool company and then would be working on a mac version. Reasonable estimate of public release is one year from now! Meanwhile Rootsmagic have a great article on how to run Rootsmagic on mac (go to Rootmagic.com and the support and search for mac). They offer several ways to do this.
- Please consider and encourage the use of the FamilySearch Research classes in your FHC. You can find the ever growing list at Learn and then the link to Research Classes in the lower centre. I can see this being done very effectively by inviting a group of people to a lesson in the FHC – watching the lesson together and then discussing parts of it. Is pop corn allowed in a FHC for the first part? Perhaps the list of possible lessons could be circulated and people could select the ones they are interested in and then you could schedule them for the group.
Great keynote presentations! They flew in Joshua Taylor from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. You don’t want to know how young he is! He helped with some of the Who Do You Think You Are tv shows – and shared some experiences. He showed some pictures behind the scenes during the making of the Ashley Judd episode.