Ancestry.com hosted the 3rd Ancestry Bloggers Summit this afternoon at the FGS Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. Despite two fire alarms and one evacuation, we managed to learn a few new things. As Ancestry.com is in the "quiet period" prior to going public, Securities and Exchange Commission requirements compelled presenters from speaking about "what's coming" unless it has already been discussed. From my notes you can see that the meeting was worth the effort.
The "life span" filter of the Ancestry.com new search is designed to eliminate 1920 phone book entries for an ancestor you specified died in 1793.
When printing digital images George Morgan of The Genealogy Guys notes the page includes the source citation.
US state-land states land records are now being scanned by Ancestry at a higher resolution to accommodate the readability of those tiny owner labels on narrow lots. You'll be able to rotate the image when attempting to decipher the names of neighbors who may well prove to be collateral lines.
New US federal census images are being captured from an "earlier" filming, contrary to the belief that the new images were merely remakes of the existing images.
Indexing of several post 1840 US censuses are done in collaboration with FamilySearchIndexing.com where Ancestry's index becomes "part A" and FamilySearch Indexers complete the "part B" index and "arbitration" stages to create an improved index.
The Enhanced Ancestry Image Viewer allows for user annotations that appear immediately, and cycle into the searchable index within three weeks. This means that as members locate a typo in the index, their additional index notations appear as additional index entries, facilitating access to records. Prior to the release of the Enhanced viewer, Ancestry.com members were submitting such notations at a consistent 26 thousand corrections per week, but last week's count totaled 111,000.
Concerning the release of Family Tree Maker 2010, Ol' Myrt here inquired about the concern of many genealogists who are sticking with Version 16 or 2006. Anecdotal information was provided where a supposedly "corrupted V16 file was readily opened by FTM 2010. This is significant since that same file could not be opened in FTM's labs using versions 16, 2006, 2008, or 2009. Of particular interest is the ability for FTM 2010 to readily download a file from Ancestry Tree (merge or new database) including links to all the images attached to individuals in the database. Links, not images, are essential for keeping the database trim and fit. Duff Wilson admitted the only know issue when importing an older FTM database is the imperfect translation when bringing over a FTM "Book". He indicated that the few number of people who preferred the "Book" format in earlier versions makes this problem a low priority.
Ol' Myrt here must say that Ancestry.com is truly following through with efforts to communicate with the genealogy community and figure out ways to prioritize user feedback -- a refreshing departure from previous corporate policy.
Happy family tree climbing!
Your friend in genealogy.