Some industry trends and new products are born at RootsTech; others gain exposure and take off. Keep an eye on these blossoming genealogy trends:
FamilySearch has blazed wide trails for collaboration across the industry. The public release of the FamilySearch programming interface in 2013 encouraged developers to create apps that work with data and family trees on the site. FamilySearch partnerships with for-profits Ancestry.com, Findmypast and MyHeritage have led to record-sharing across the sites.
For example, in conjunction with the 2016 conference in February, Findmypast and Ancestry.com each announced the impending release of a searchable index to the National Library of Ireland’s Catholic parish records; this was a quiet joint effort. Another collaboration announced there was the initiative to sync Ancestry.com trees and records with RootsMagic genealogy software.
The National Genealogical Society (NGS) began offering fee-based live-streaming sessions of its annual family history conference in 2014, the same year Ancestry.com sponsored live viewing of selected Jamboree sessions. The 2016 annual conferences of NGS and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies offer live-streaming registration that includes follow-up access to recorded classes.
Family health tracking
Digital archiving products
FamilySearch’s emphasis on sharing family stories makes RootsTech the ideal marketing venue for digital archiving services, which back up scanned documents online. For example, Forever, a major conference sponsor in 2016, offers online photo storage for 100 years past the customer’s lifetime. It includes migration of file formats, which may be necessary to allow future generations to open the files. Because long-term online photo archiving is a tough sell in a dynamic marketplace where websites merge and go out of business, Forever invests subscription fees in a sort of trust fund to finance the site in the future.
Innovator Showdown entrepreneurs also offered new spins on digital archiving products, including Studio by Legacy Republic, with a portable digitization service for scanning photo albums, and the History Project, a platform to help family archivists unify various media and memories into a “living time capsule.”