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FTM2012 Well-formed GEDCOMS

Replies: 39

Re: FTM2012 Well-formed GEDCOMS

Posted: 11 Aug 2012 8:05AM GMT
Classification: Query
Within this thread when I wrote about "best practices" I was really talking about "Well Formed GEDCOMs" the topic of this thread.

Best practices for doing the work of a genealogist, i.e the searching, recording, documenting, sourcing of genalogical information are handled rather well within the community. To obtain these best proctises you generally need to join a good and well organize genealogy society, like those at LDS and DIS-Norge. Some ethnic colleges, libraries and museums have genealogy societies for that ethnic group, find one and join today. You can also find some generally good best practises on the internet, and in books. One of the best "best practises" for sourcing is Mills "Evidence Explained", but you may need the help of a cataloging librarian to understand some of the deaper concepts.

My point in this thread was about best practises for inputting data into various genealogy database so that when the data is shared with other people that may or may not have the same software that similar information can be found in the same place.

For example in very recent threads in this board several people have given their individual way of recording specfic pieces of data. One example is street address. Do you put it in the address tag, the place tag or the "description" field? Do you put it in several places so the information is correctly documented? A best practises document for FTM should be produced to tell everyone where the best place for this data is AND why. But this idea needs to go beyond just FTM, it needs to be extended to all software products. You should be able to enter data in a field in any software interface and have that data show up in the same place on standard genealogical report accross all products. When a GEDCOM is produced that data should be placed in the same tag or tags. The GEDCOM data dictionary gives us hints as to where it should go but it is incomplete. A newly formed standards body should make it a high prority to correct this problem by creating a data dictionary for the current version of GEDCOM (v5.5.1) and demand that all software products utilize that data dictionary when creating a GEDCOM and "out" all those that violate the standard.

As Andy indicates, there are several layers of best practises, but they should all be geared toward the same goal and not be adverse to each other. Many software programs seem to be working at odds to each other and the standards bodies and community are letting them get away with it by not demanding interoperability and the ability to share easily. Yes the GEDCOM standard needs work but with so many violations already seeping into our best practises the users of these products and the community in general are worse off.

IMHO... Well maybe not so humble! :-)
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
KATHYMARIEANN 10 Aug 2012 10:00AM GMT 
AGHatchett3rd 10 Aug 2012 2:31PM GMT 
KATHYMARIEANN 10 Aug 2012 2:58PM GMT 
kj_norway 11 Aug 2012 2:05PM GMT 
Russ Worthing... 11 Aug 2012 11:01PM GMT 
padmin1 29 Dec 2011 2:11AM GMT 
kj_norway 29 Dec 2011 2:37AM GMT 
padmin1 29 Dec 2011 2:52AM GMT 
kj_norway 29 Dec 2011 4:24AM GMT 
silverfox3280 29 Dec 2011 2:58PM GMT 
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