Family Search Indexing

So you have the BIG idea that the Church or community needs to develop. Discuss that idea here. Maybe you just want to make a suggestion on a new forum topic. Let us know.
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Family Search Indexing

Postby koohlman » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:19 am

So I love indexing, in fact it is the thing that really keeps me out of trouble and I wish that I could do it a little more often like if I was inline at the store, or sitting in the car waiting for someone, but, I don't know about anyone else but I don't carry my computer around every place that I go, but I do have a smart phone and I know a bunch of people that have tablets and carry those around just about every time they leave the house, so what I was thinking, and I don't know if this has already been mentioned before or not, but someone needs to come up with a way to have the Family Search Indexing as an application for tablets mostly but also for smart phones that way people like me when they are out and about they can still get some work done.

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Postby JamesAnderson » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:32 am

I have heard in several places a smartphone app is in the mill, first for iOS then Android if not both at the same time, and instead of a page with many fields to navigate you would be given things a field at a time and this due to the size of a smartphone screen.

No further details were given nor was a timeframe given for release. I also think a tablet version, such as for iPads, may also be in the works as well.

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Indexing one word at a time can mean more possibilities and many more people indexing

Postby danielgibby » Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:31 pm

If the words can be indexed one at a time, we can open up indexing to many other possibilities than just mobile apps.

For better indexing accuracy, each word could be requested multiple times from different people so that only words that were transcribed the same way a few times would be considered authoritative. That would drastically reduce bad input.

If the process for splitting the fields into single words was the first step in indexing, there would be more possibilities of apps that could be made to either let someone index just one field or all of the fields, with better highlighting of what the current field is that should be indexed.

Another app that could be made to index single words is a captcha API, which could be provided so that any website could use an API similar to the reCaptcha service.
For those who don't know, the reCaptcha service is supposed to transcribe books so that they can be digitized. The reCaptcha model could be used as is for record indexing.
The captcha form would ask users to input two words: one key word whose transcription is already assumed valid based on previous input, and one which is has not been transcribed or hasn't had enough people transcribe it the same way yet. The two words are submitted to the API, which returns a pass or fail message based on the key word, and storing the transcription of the second unknown word so that after multiple people type the same transcription for the same word that word is assumed to be what they typed. At that point, the previously unknown word would be indexed.

This service is beneficial to website owners because it helps prevent automatic (robot) form submissions, known as form spam. Governments would potentially want to use this service on their websites since they could help their citizens participate in the free indexing of their public records. By making this service available through more and more websites, many more people would be able to contribute to indexing than ever before.

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If you are a beta tester

Postby kinthamen » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:29 am

I haven't seen a beta testing anything for indexing but something tells me the church will put something out soon. Keep watching the projects section of

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Postby jdfoote » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:18 pm

FYI, this came out for Android and iOS at RootsTech, and is available.

On a related note, does anyone know if there is a web-based tool on the horizon? I have had recurring problems with the Java app on Linux, and I'd love to just index in the browser.

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