There are lots of aspects to the project, and many ways to approach them. It seems to be working out like this:-
The way it’s being done
Acquiring Raw Data from People and Documents
- talking to people with local knowledge
- examining websites with relevant facts and figures
- utilising specialist genealogical websites (subscription and free)
- visiting libraries and archives, and examining their collections
- finding and examining relevant books and other documents (e.g. biographies, house deeds, newspaper items, maps)
- looking around the area, and inside buildings
- thinking about possibilities, implications, and further questions
- pursuing a particular topic, or line of enquiry
Organising and Correlating the data so it becomes Information
- identifying people and dwellings in documents, photos etc., and tying in with those we know about already
- picking out the relevant, and significant, facts and events
- establishing relationships between people
- resolving seeming incompatibilities
Getting the Information into the Offline Database
- entering new individual people and facts
- manipulating bulk sources, and entering new people and evidence in bulk
- generating facts and citations from the evidence in these bulk sources (and automatically “intelligently” combining them – see here)
- converting, combining, refining photographs
- transcribing documents (either with or manually)
- recording the sources of the information, and any citation text and references
- obtaining permissions for publishing, where needed
Transferring parts of the Offline Database to the Website
- generating a file, for transferring genealogical data to the aspect of the website
- generating files, for transferring identified lists to the website, together with generating any required thumbnail images
- generating files, for transferring galleries (groups of photos) to the website, together with generating any required images
- uploading some of the documents and photographs etc. to the website
- adding to the pages of the website
- identifying and creating relevant posts for the website blog
In addition to what might be called handling information, I have had to develop a lot of things to help me do this (including the Access off-line database, tools to analyse data, techniques for moving things to the website). The basics are now in place, but there are still things to develop, including:
Things to develop
- routines for more bulk entry of data
- improvements to the Access database, its presentation, and analysis
- improvements in the generation of GEDCOM files, and other transfer processes
- development of a process for importing GEDCOM files
- improvements to the style of the website following feedback
- further implementation of and TNG plugins to enhance the usefulness of the website
- enhancement of some of the programming behind the functionality of the website
- enhancement of the website to handle information that is not catered for by TNG (e.g. for dwellings)
Generally, with a toggle you can alternate back and forth between two states by clicking the same button. We use toggles in this website to enable content to be alternately hidden and revealed, and they are usually indicated by .
Optical Character Recognition, usually abbreviated to OCR, is the mechanical or electronic conversion of scanned or photographed images of typewritten or printed text into machine-encoded/computer-readable text.
GEDCOM (GEnealogical Data COMmunication) is a specification for transferring genealogical data between systems. Version 5.5 was issued in 1995 and is the current standard. It has many problems, but attempts to develop a new internationally accepted standard have not yet succeeded.
TNG stands for The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding by Darrin Lythgoe. It is a software system used by thousands of people worldwide to store and display family trees. I have used it to show information about people, families, and what happened to them. Some of the pages of this website are "TNG" pages (they do not have a sidebar, but they do have a second, thinner menu bar), and others are not.
TablePress is a WordPress plugin that enables you to create and manage tables on your WordPress site.
Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable.
WordPress has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day. It is an Open Source project, which means there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it, and it is free to use.