Thursday, May 26, 2016

ARCHIVED: FamilySearch Pilot Indexing Tool

Check out the FamilySearch Pilot Indexing Tool - a Chrome Browser Extension. That means the "software" to index online images is installed on your browser, not your computer's hard drive. This is not the same as the usual FamilySearch Indexing software that must be installed on your computer's hard drive.

The FamilySearch Pilot Indexing Tool will work on Chromebooks and such, where programs cannot be installed on the device's hard drive and you must work totally in the cloud. That being said, this Chrome extension works fine on Ol' Myrt's desktop computer as demonstrated in this edition of WACKY Wednesday. Cool beans, huh?

Special thanks to my *very distant cousin* Pinky for hosting this hangout.  :)

While watching this demonstration hangout, Betty Lu writes "I have been using land records in New York and there is an index at the beginning of each volume. I was thinking of indexing the ones I have to look through any way."

Individuals may index the FamilySearch's unindexed "browse only" digital images.
  • One or two images in a record group that mention your ancestors. 
  • An entire record set, if highly motivated. :)
Family associations may index a family history book that's been digitized and posted on the internet.
  • Justine asks "If you and someone else start to index the same group of images- how do you have a consistent way of indexing from person to person?" Ol' Myrt here recommends creating a collaboration unit, using an outside tool like a Facebook Group. You'd then offer assignments of five specific pages at a time, having participants reporting back for the next assignment. At this point, the FamilySearch Pilot tool itself doesn't promote communication among individuals who may choose to work through the same record set. There is an indication within the FamilySearch Pilot tool that the record has already been indexed but this is your only clue.
Genealogy societies could use this if, for example, the society has placed scanned images of their tombstone inscription book on their website. Indexing the pages where eventually that index becomes part of the "record search" at will increase traffic to the society's website in addition to making the content available to a larger audience. (Just make sure to include maps, but I digress.)

The indexing we do using the FamilySearch Pilot Indexing Tool will eventually provide access to records previously researched only by sloooowly clicking through online images, sloooowly, page by page. Did I say sloooowly? Ugh!

  • With "regular" FamilySearch Indexing, a list of projects to index is provided. With FamilySearch Pilot Indexing Tool, indexers locate a document image on the web using the Chrome and click the tool's icon to activate the indexing interface.
  • At the moment, the indexed entries are not included in the FamilySearch "record search." Our friends at FamilySearch plan to integrate the indexed entries we create with this tool within a year. 
  • Dan Edwards asks "Is there a way for us to see what sites have had index work performed already?" There is a way to avoid duplication using this "on the fly" ad hoc FamilySearch Pilot indexing tool. When you open the tool and are looking at a digital image on the web, the tool takes a second or two to recognize if the image has been indexed.

    Cousin Russ, in New Jersey, proved this point *live* during this hangout. He was given the link to a specific image indexed during an earlier portion of the hangout by my *very distant cousin Pinky* in Utah.

    Using his Chrome browser, Cousin Russ then clicked the FamilySearch Pilot icon in the upper right portion of his web browser. Red text came up indicating the image had already been indexed.
    IMAGE: Zoomed-in view of the FamilySearch Pilot
    indexing tool Chrome extension.
  • You do not have to be part of a group to do indexing. (Use the DearMYRTLE group if you wish.)
  • Kathleen Moore said "I should have known about this last month I went page by page through Kentucky records!" I agree that this makes sense, when eventually the record set is integrated into the FamilySearch "record" search. 
  • There is no apparent double data entry or arbitrator supervision. Ol' Myrt's thinking here: Aren't slightly flawed indexes of many records useful, considering how many record sets aren't indexed at all? 
  • The index fields can be customized to fit the indexer's requirements.
HERE'S WHERE TO OBTAIN the FamilySearch Pilot Tool:

Using the sample page from the Chrome Web Store, I've added a green border around the sample web page of a digital image, and I've added a red border around the FamilySearch Pilot tool itself.

Sure you *could* watch the video of this FamilySearch Pilot Indexing Tool session here or on YouTube, but you'll want to log in at:
so you can read all the comments and links posted before, during and after the live hangout.

FOR MORE INFO features the FamilySearch Pilot team including Scott Cummings and Devon Ashby in this free video "FamilySearch Pilot"

Hangouts: Pay what you want. So it's simple. If you value the work Ol' Myrt, +Cousin Russ and our beloved panelists do week in and week out on your behalf, please:

Check the DearMYRTLE Hangouts Calendar for upcoming study groups and hangouts. There you'll find links to the GeneaConference (in-person) and the GeneaWebinars Calendar with over over 200 hours of online genealogy classes, webinars, live streams and tweetchats from other hosts and presenters over the next 12 months.

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