The below article in the Provo, Utah newspaper, The Daily Herald, informs us of 'things to come'..... very interesting... read on:
Family history technology grows
Date: Friday, March 25 @ 00:00:30
Topic Our Towns
A standard book of remembrance just doesn't cut it anymore for today's diehard genealogists and family history gurus.
So technology experts around the world are racing to create faster and better ways for people to search for and store information about their progenitors.
Business and nonprofit organizations are creating better computer images and databases for electronic genealogy projects and collections, and one organization in Salt Lake is compiling the world's largest database of ancestral DNA, which can link generations through the genetic codes of living relatives.
These technology innovators and experts gathered Thursday at Brigham Young University to show off and discuss these new ideas. Attendance at the fifth annual Workshop on Technology for Family History and Genealogical Research attracted more than 100 attendees this year, twice as many as last year's, said Mindy Varkevisser, program director.
"This is a time for experts in the field to come
together and talk about what is out there and what they have been working on," Varkevisser said.
The participants, ranging from LDS Church historians and other professionals to retired couples who just love family history, sat with laptops and notepads and listened to several hours of lectures on a variety of technological issues in ancestral research. They discussed digital imaging and analysis, tools for collaborating groups records, and among other things, they learned about four emerging tools in the field including new software, digital preservation technology and DNA databases.
"Some of it is over our heads, yes, but we are learning a lot," said Alene King, a retired local resident who attended the conference for the first time this year with her husband Larry. "We have been using computers for a long time ... so we are just keeping up today."
BYU professor Bill Barrett, who first started the workshop, said it hit him about 10 years ago during a church talk by then-LDS Church President Howard W. Hunter that technology is going to change genealogy forever, and at that time Barrett decided he was going to be a part of it.
"At that point, I think a lot of us realized that if the Lord is guiding the development of technology, we were going to be a part of that," he said. "A lot of us went to work to apply our own special fields to genealogy."
The LDS Church challenges its members to keep written family histories and to research genealogy records. The church created the first genealogy database program for personal computers about 15 years ago, Barrett said. The program Personal Ancestral File has since been upgraded and copied by other organizations.
But new products presented at the conference go far and beyond just typing in a family tree.
Genos, a program developed by Northface University in Salt Lake County, makes maps and advanced graphics out of people's family history facts and then puts the information on a Web site.
ProMedia Manager Suite creates software for people to upload and store their current and historical photos. It also allows people to record the exact Global Positioning System location where a photo was taken or where a grave stone is located.
A third product at the event taught attendees how they can use their genetic code to find their ancestors. The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation in Salt Lake City has collected both the DNA and the sixth-generation pedigree chart from more than 5,000 people around the world and compiled them into the world's largest-known genealogy DNA database.
This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page D1.
This article comes from The Daily Herald
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