I put a back at 3 sign in Federation of Genealogical Societies conference booth yesterday and headed to Ancestry.coms blogger summit.
It turned out the meeting was more review than news, the company’s lawyers having nixed any forward thinking statements in anticipation of its IPO.
But I guess a review couldnt hurt once in awhile, especially with, as content manager Gary Gibb conceded, just-released databases quickly overshadowing ones released just before them, significant additionsbeing termed mere updates on the list of recently added content, and some collections (such as audio recordings of oral histories) drowning in the sea of databases.
Key improvements for this year have been:
- An enhanced image viewer, which lets you view the record image and the index on the same page. This is available in preview mode for some censuses, including the 1880 US census. It also lets members build a better index by adding alternate information for most fields. The additions are viewable immediately to other people, and theyre searchable within about three weeks.
- Ancestry member trees have a new person and tree viewer that are easier to navigate
- The lifespan search filter, which has eliminated some irrelevant results. A lot still needs to be improved, says VP of product Eric Shoup. He says Ancestry.com wont kill the old search, but wants to create a search experience that combines what works about both the old and new searches. Potential improvements include more control over searches on a place and name, improving the search for an individual collection, making it easier to browse records and changing the search algorithm to deliver relevant results.
- Family Tree Maker 2010 was launched in August. Among other improvements, it lets you download trees into the program from Ancestry Member trees.