Family Tree University’s Google classes

By Diane Haddad

Everybody googles. Heck, I google things about every 4.5 seconds, it seems. And no genealogist should be without a solid working knowledge of this beast of a search engine. That’s why we’ve got a whole Google track over at Family Tree University. Our courses starting June 21 include two just on Google.

In Lisa Louise Cooke’s Google Tools for Genealogists, you’ll learn about Google Earth, historical maps and more. Here’s a sample:

A new feature in Google Earth is Historical Imagery. Click the clock icon on the Tool Bar and a slider bar will appear at the top of the map indicating how far back map images are available for your location. In the case of San Francisco we can turn the hands of time back to 1946 image. To return to modern day just unclick the clock icon or move the slider back up to the current year.

In the new Mastering Google Search class, Cooke gives you the tools to harness the search engine’s power. Here’s an example of using Google’s image search:

Go to Image Search and look for a portrait of a historical figure such as George Washington. In the results pages you’ll see many faces of George Washington. However, as you move on through the search results, soon you’ll come across other things, like a photograph of George Washington’s false teeth. Not exactly what you were looking for.

To eliminate the unwanted images and narrow in on the desired images, go back to the search box and click the Advance Image Search link. You’ll see a blue box near the top and then a white box below. Within that box the first option is Content Types: return images that contain. Click on Faces and click the Search button again.

Now every search result is a facial image. It might be a portrait on a stamp or on a coin, but it will be a face. We have succeeded in narrowing the original search results down from 6.7 million images to 548,000 images. Think how well this might work with an ancestor who is not quite is famous as George Washington!

Not sure how online classes work? No problem! Just sign up for our free FTU Crash Course that’s happening tomorrow! In the half-hour webinar, you’ll meet some of our instructors, get a guided tour of the virtual campus and learn how online learning works. One lucky registrant will win a free FTU course of his or her choosing, and everyone who attends get a valuable coupon code. (Even if you can’t attend the webinar live, sign up and you’ll get a link to view the recording and still be entered into the drawing!)

And remember — Family Tree University’s June webinar, Brick Wall Busters, is still taking registrants at the early bird price until tomorrow (June 9) at midnight. You can sign up for just $39.99 and submit your own brick wall for some expert advice.