Decompressing from NGS 2010, Salt Lake City

I arrived home yes­ter­day after­noon from the Nation­al Genealog­i­cal Society’s annu­al con­fer­ence, held this year in Salt Lake City. I’m still decom­press­ing from a great week of pre­sen­ta­tions, speech­es, singing from the Mor­mon Taber­na­cle Choir, and research. I do not this one post will encom­pass all that I have to say about the event, so here’s the first of a cou­ple of posts on the Con­fer­ence.

This year there were sev­er­al items of note:

  • Jay L. Verkler, Pres­i­dent of Fam­il­y­Search (which includes the Fam­i­ly His­to­ry Library in Salt Lake City, the over 4,600 Fam­i­ly His­to­ry Cen­ters in more than 80 coun­tries, and the FamilySearch.org web­site) gave the Wednes­day morn­ing keynote address, which includ­ed:
    • A pre­sen­ta­tion of “From the Gran­ite Moun­tain to the Ends of the World,” a video vir­tu­al tour through the LDS Gran­ite Moun­tain Records Vault, where the mas­ter copies of the Church’s 2.4 mil­lion micro­film reels are stored.

      I expect this video, enti­tled  will soon be post­ed to http://wiki.familysearch.org/en/FamilySearch_Presentations_at_NGS_2010 where the oth­er LDS pre­sen­ta­tions from the Con­fer­ence have been post­ed. The pre­sen­ta­tion is list­ed there, but does not have an active link yet.

      Update: The film is up on their web­site. See the entry “Gran­ite Moun­tain Records Vault: The Video.”

    • An announce­ment that the Fam­il­y­Search web­site has post­ed 300 mil­lion new names in indexed genealog­i­cal records.
    • An announce­ment that dig­i­tiz­ing the Church’s micro­film (once esti­mat­ed to take 178 years) will instead be com­plet­ed in … 10 years, due to tech­no­log­i­cal improvements.Indexing will take addi­tion­al time, but the fact that all the imag­ing will be done as soon as 2020 means that these records may be acces­si­ble in unin­dexed dig­i­tal for­mat (folks, the films are not indexed either!), and the index­ing could be done via crowd sourc­ing, as the FamilySearch.org, Ancestry.com, and Footnote.com web­sites are already doing.
  • The NGS Con­fer­ence includ­ed a Gen­Tech sec­tion, where genealog­i­cal soft­ware and web­site com­pa­nies demon­strat­ed their prod­ucts. There was an unmanned booth (though some­times there were peo­ple there!) with the pro­posed Genealog­i­cal Data Mod­el (GDM).Here’s one researcher who hopes that the GDM is final­ly dust­ed off and used to cre­ate a true stan­dard for the stor­age, main­te­nance, and shar­ing of genealog­i­cal data that will com­ply with the Genealog­i­cal Proof Stan­dard and the sourc­ing guide­lines of Evi­dence Explained by Eliz­a­beth Shown Mills. This would give us a bet­ter way to share and com­pare genealog­i­cal infor­ma­tion as well as to take it clean­ly from one prod­uct to anoth­er with­out the cur­rent vagaries of GEDCOM.