Sunday, October 09, 2011
Noticeably lacking: Ancestry & FamilySearch collaboration
Noticeably lacking from collaboration with the new Open source community: model for improved citations at SourceTemplates.org are two big players in the online database and scanned images world, namely Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.
From my point of view, FamilySearch appears to have a better track record than Ancestry for working with other genealogy vendors, so I anticipate there are only a few more concrete steps to be taken before FamilySearch will join the SourceTemplates.org collaboration. This will be a worthwhile alternative to FamilySearch's current citation model -- a "fully-editable by-anyone" wiki. (Just typing that makes Ol' Myrt here cringe!) See GeneJ Composer's comments on this travesty in her blog post Please, let's not Wiki FamilySearch Historical Record Collection Sources.
As genealogists become accustomed to using SourceTemplates.org with their desktop genealogy software, and I predict we'll see a ground-swell of Ancestry.com members clamoring for an Ancestry.com - SourceTemplates.org collaboration. Ancestry.com didn't invent GPS, but they use it. Ancestry.com didn't invent good source citations, but let's hope they use SourceTemplates.org when it becomes available.
brightsolid (ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk, findmypast.com, ancestorsonboard.com), Digitalarkivet.uib.no (Norwegian church records), Staten-Archivers (Denmark), and other online foreign-language document archives will join the SourceTemplates.org ranks, I have no doubt. Just as US-based genealogists are reaching out to learn more about our immigrant ancestors' homelands, so too must the archives and libraries holding applicable record groups reach out in a global initiative to make records not only available but easily and accurately "citable".
Online tree sites such as Geni, WeRelate, WikiTree, MyHeritage and others will readily accept the SourceTemplates.org model due to ease of adopting it into their sites. Members of those sites will be happy to see the citation work is practically done for them.
In the end, genealogists the world over will benefit from SourceTemplates.org, the open source citation model initiative.
Key to the success of SourceTemplates.org:
The model will be easy for web and software programmers to incorporate into their products.
I think of it as a "plug-in" but that's just Ol' Myrt talking.
Happy family tree climbing!
Your friend in genealogy