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106Re: An event database

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  • Paul Blair
    Nov 18, 2006
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      --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "Ray Murphy" <raymur@...> wrote:

      > >So I wonder if anyone knows of the existence of such a program, or
      > >if anyone else has felt the need for it.

      I've not heard of such a program...but Google is your friend!

      > >As I see it, it would be useful not just to genealogists and family
      > >historians, but to general historians, biographers and others.
      > >Has anyone felt the need for such a program? Can anyone else see
      > >that it might be useful?
      > [....]
      > >So this is really a half-baked idea and I'm hoping that someone will
      > >be willing to bake it.
      > > --
      > > Steve Hayes
      > Hello All,
      > A few hours ago I was invited to join this group after posting a
      > request on soc.genealogy.computing for assistance with an MS Access
      > database project which handles people's events.
      > I may not be an ideal candidate for this group because I only have a
      > minimal knowledge of genealogy and programming (Visual Basic 6 and
      > MS Access) but I know enough about those things to be able to hold a
      > discussion and offer suggestions.
      > My chief interest right now is not genealogy or programming. It is
      > actually astrological research, which has progressed to the stage of
      > processing genealogical data, but currently there is no way any data
      > ~can~ be processed unless an inordinate amount of re-typing is done,
      > and my experience with research has tlold me that it's not going to
      > happen.
      > Ideally what I need is a modified genealogy program that does the
      > following things:
      > (1) Stores more detail about birth location, i.e. latitude and
      > longitudes and time zones (incl Daylight Saving) via a plug in
      > module called ACS Atlas, which handles most places in the world.

      ACS is a $200 product, which wouldn't encourage its broad use. There
      are other geographical databases (eg the US Board on Geographic Names
      [BGN]) that are free, if cumbersome. Google Maps are free, and places
      can be "spotted" for lat/long in traditional and decimal format.

      There is no GEDCOM standard for defining places - it was proposed for
      (I think) 5.5, which never made it to finality. So there is absolutely
      no standard way to code a conversion utility from , eg
      Legacy/TMG/anything else.

      > (2) Allows the retrieval and export (in csv format) all data that
      > fits relationship category pairs such as Mother-Child; Mother-Son;
      > Father-Daughter; Person-Great Grandfather, Husband-Wife etc.

      All what data is this? In this context, I guess events?

      > (3) Stores (suitable) dates in an extra column in DATE format,
      > so that sorting is possible and accurate dates can be separated from
      > approximate dates.

      Legacy uses MS Access, and has a way of storing dates as text, that
      allows eg Abt 1948 to fit between 1.1.1947 and 1.1.1949 - but this
      requires quite a bit of coding to make it work. Even if you store
      accurate dates in one field and "about" dates in another field, they
      have to be "married" to derive a chronology.
      > (4) Allows the retrieval and export of all Names + Events of a
      > particular category, (selected from a Listbox) including such things
      > as marriage, engagement, childbirth, death, migration, illnesses. In
      > fact any event at all (literally).
      > Currently I'm developing a (non-genealogy) program that does all the
      > above things for 600 categories, but it cannot import from gedcoms
      > in a meaningful way yet, so I'm trying to make an MS Access
      > 'intermediate' program to bridge the gap. It only took a few minutes
      > to create the link between people and the standard (genealogy)
      > Events, but I need to somehow place *people* in the family tree in
      > the Events table.
      > ------------
      > When I arrived here I saw that there was an MS Access event database
      > already in this group's Files section. I've also had a look at the
      > discussion about it, and even though I'm avidly interested in the
      > whole topic of relational databases and people's events, it hasn't
      > all sunk in fully yet - partly because I don't understand the full
      > capability of relational databases.

      Again, Legacy is Access. Their structure, briefly, is that all data
      "hangs" from individual records. Marriages, families, events are all
      constructed on an "individual" record matched with some other record
      (or records).
      > Besides that I'm still trying to see how lots of people can be
      > related to ONE event, although I feel
      > that Steve Hayes is right and that genealogy needs what he's
      > suggesting. The easiest way to be certain is for all of us to dream
      > up examples of what might (or might not) be needed.

      Think of a wedding with 100 guests. There's an event with lots of

      > I can certainly see the value of it from my own (research) point of
      > view - where I see each person as the technical equivalent of an
      > "event". In my own case if I entered the latitude & longitude of the
      > birthplace of a g.g.g.grandfather, I'd know that with such a system
      > that Steve is promoting, that information effectively goes out to
      > every ancestor or descendant, although it's obviously not visible or
      > wanted until immediately prior to export.
      > An extremely good reason for adding a decent Events module to
      > genealogy programs is that it will enable everyone on the planet with
      > a PC to contribute towards genetic research on a scale that is
      > impossible at the moment. The latitude & longitude preference (of my
      > own) would also help geneticists to easily see what regions have been
      > involved.
      > Ray

      The broadest genie software "church" I can think of is PhpGedView.
      This is open source, and contributors add modules that extend software
      functionality. Its use is server based, which is quite an advantage
      for collaboration.


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