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04 August 2006 @ 06:06 pm
On Thursday I was able to go to BYU's Genealogy Conference. Since I was broke from my daughter going on a mission and having to buy a new washing machine I didn't pay to attend classes. Having no money doesn't stop me from seeing what's happening. I always go to visit the vendors and attend the vendor classes at 5:00 p.m.

I found out from Legacy that they are giving a nice surprise with their next update. The update should be available any day now. What will be added (for free) is the ability to create shareable CD's. This is very much like their competitor RootsMagic's shareable CD. The only difference is Legacy has teamed up with Passage Express to bring this feature. There will be a little icon in the toolbar for us to click on to create this shareable CD. If you're not familiar with Passage Express they are a multimedia presentation software program. (They deserve a whole article sometime from me.) With partnering with Legacy they are giving us a scaled down version of their program. It will have limited graphics to design your CD and some deluxe features missing. But you will be able to create a copy of your Legacy database and all the multimedia that you have associated with it and put that into a usable CD for others to view on their computers. If I remember correctly you can also make a DVD to view on your TV's DVD player.

When Geoff Rasmussen was showing it to us he wasn't sure if others had to already have Legacy to view the CD. If they do there is a link on the CD to download the free version of Legacy so they can view it. Since he had Legacy on his laptop he couldn't experiment and tell us for sure. Since my family isn't "into" genealogy none of them would of wanted a GEDCOM to import into a genealogy program to look at my information. With a shareable CD it's just up the ability to get them interested in what I've done. I know all of them would love to view the images I have in my database, now I have a way of sharing them in context. I am very excited to have this new feature become available and can't wait for the next update.

The other free vendor class that I attended was a sneak peak on the soon-to-be-released "Family Atlas" from the makers of RootsMagic. This program should be available to purchase in September 2006.

This program makes it fun and easy to map your family history. It has the ability to read RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, Personal Ancestral File and Legacy Family Tree files, as well as GEDCOMs. It will take all the localities in your database and Geocode them, matching them again it's database of 3.5 million worldwide place names. If it can't find an exact location for a place name in your database it will give you suggestions based either on exact spelling, names that are similar, or on the coordinances you might already have for them in your database. When your localities are Geocoded they will have a latitude or longitude assigned to them. I really liked how the program had a way of saving the original names you had in your database and then showed what it was matched to. This will help you find that place in your genealogy database and correct them.

Now the fun can begin.

When you imported your database all your individuals and their events came over with it. This allows you to manipulate the program to view you localities in many different settings. You can specify any individuals and events and plot the places on an interactive world map, using markers that you define.

Here are some possibilities:
-Track all individuals during a certain time frame in your database and where they were born or died.
-Track just one surname and the places they lived.
-Track an individuals direct line and find where they lived. Using different markers you can see several individuals direct lines at the same time.
-Trace your ancestors migration around the world. You can link the localities and see migration patterns.
-You can show any event you already had in your database. You can track all the mission locations for the members of your family.
-Pinpoint the sites of important family events.
-You could view an individual's military career and all the places they served, battles they fought in, etc.
-See chronological sequence of events for any individual.
-You can also show all events within a certain number of miles of a location.

The neat thing you can do with this information is print maps out. The maps can be saved in several graphics formats. They are working on the ability to email the graphics to others right from the program. You can customize your markers to create personalized maps. The maps will print legends based on your markers. Currently there are a very limited number of historical locations. They are working on adding historical locations. They said the only thing that will limit them is if they decide to make the program available through download or CD only.

You are not limited to viewing your markers and printing your maps only on "Family Atlas" world map. You can import your information into Google Map and have all your markers show up in that program. I really liked Google's Maps better than Family Atlas' Maps so this would be my preferred way of viewing or printing things.

This seems like an interesting program that will help bring some excitement to any family history.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!