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RootsTech 2012: My Experiences

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  1. RootsTech 2012:My Experiences Dr. Brand Niemann Director and Senior Enterprise Architect – Data Scientist Semantic Community AOL Government Blogger February 4, 2012

  2. What Is RootsTech? • RootsTech is a leading edge conference designed to bring technologists together with genealogists, so they can learn from each other and find solutions to the challenges they face in family history research today. At RootsTech, genealogists and family historians will discover emerging technologies to improve their family history research experience. Technology developers will learn the skills to deliver innovative applications and systems. They will also have the opportunity to receive instant feedback from peers and users on their ideas and creations. Attendees will learn from hands-on workshops and interactive presentations at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced level.

  3. What is RootsTech? • RootsTech is a new conference (2nd year) designed to bring technologists together with genealogists to learn from each other and find solutions to the challenges faced in family history research today. The conference’s activities and offerings are focused on content that will help genealogists and family historians discover exciting new research tools while enabling technology creators to learn the latest development techniques from industry leaders and pioneers.

  4. RootsTech is live!

  5. Important People I Met at RootsTech • Elder Dennis Brimhall, New CEO of Family Search • Jay Verkler, Former CEO of Family Search • Professor William Barrett, Brigham Young University Computer Science Department • David Burggraaf, Senior Vice-President Product Engineering, Family Search • Josh Coates, Utah Entrepreneur of the Year and CEO of Instructure

  6. FamilySearch • FamilySearch has helped make the world's historic records easier to access online, publishing more than 2.4 billion names in historic records at, including 870 collections from more than 50 countries indexed by more than 250,000 volunteers. During this period, FamilySearch has also created an unprecedented, free global service organization that engages more than 70,000 volunteers who provide needed local and online support to research patrons and the genealogical community. FamilySearch has pioneered genealogical search, record linkage, imaging, crowd-sourcing and digital preservation technologies.

  7. Important Announcements at RootsTech • Winners of the Developers Challenge (50 apply, 29 submit, 17 demo, and 4 winners) • Brightsolid Launches at RootsTech • Funium Launches on Facebook • New FamilySearch and FamilySearch Wiki • Beta for 20 Minute Genealogist: • Google Toolbar and Genealogy (Many tools and Extensions for Chrome Browser) • Microdata: • 1940 US Census • See My Blog at Conference – Slide 11 • New Things at

  8. My Goals for RootsTech • Besides Meet the Important People  • My Entry Submission • My Friday Demo • My Blog for the Conference • Free Family History Book Scanning for Sharing • Teaching Family History with New Cloud Technologies (right after this conference)! • Beyond My Goals: • Comment to Elder Brimhall and David Burggraaf • Find New Czechoslovakian Digital Records at the Family History Center

  9. My Entry Submission

  10. My Friday Demo DavidFurnishFamilyHistory.xlsx

  11. My Blog for the Conference RootsTech2012_Conference#Help_Index_the_1940_U.S._Census

  12. Free Family History Book Scanningfor Sharing Editable PDF will be posted at FamilySearch soon and can be used to build a Semantic Knowledgebase that can be indexed, search, and linked to the new Family Search Wiki

  13. Teaching Family History with New Cloud Technologies • Keynote Speaker Josh Coates, Exabyte Social Clouds and Other Monstrosites • The On-Demand, Self-service Cloud is the way to get a “data river”, but how do we apply it to family history? See my demo! • New FamilySearch can be done with distributed (under your control), scalable (can become bigger as needed), affordable (cheaper than current approach) cloud technologies. • “The security for reputable cloud service providers is better than for legacy systems” – Josh Coates. • New FamilySearch Wiki can work with your Wiki. • Connect their geography to your names and stories!

  14. Teaching Family History with New Cloud Technologies • Church Members should get a few (4) generations into FamilySearch and Temple Ready with minimum technology distractions. • Non-members and Church Members can use spreadsheet, wiki, and dashboard cloud technologies to store, document, and display their family history data from many sources without being overwhelmed by the large number of Web sites, tools, and publications that are available.

  15. Comment to Elder Brimhall and David Burggraaf • I was pleased to see FamilySearch starting to use Semantic and Wiki Technologies because in my experience with these technologies, they will reduce the current efforts to write and revise software code while delivering improved cloud-based services. • I next want to show you a pilot one of the most advanced semantic technologies you could use, namely Dynamic Case Management from Be Informed for New Family Search. I also suggest that FamilySearch sponsor App Development Contest using common public family history data sets.

  16. My Visit to the Family History Center • First see the floor directory – 5 levels. • Level B1 is International. • Asked who is the Specialist for Czechoslovakia? • Referred to a Sister from Austria at the Main Desk. • Asked where to I find those archive records that I had heard had been digitized recently? • Went to Czechoslovakia about 40 years ago and was told I could not have access to the records in the Archiff! • Told first I need the place in Czechoslovakia where my relatives lived, use the FamilySearch Wiki, then go to (Gazetter) to find that Archive for the digital records of my ancestors!

  17. FamilySearch Wiki