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Revision as of 15:58, 9 February 2007 by Bob Jonkman (talk | contribs) (→‎GEDCOM: Microformat re-use; date difficulties)
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Genealogy Formats

I started this page because someone (Bob Jonkman apparently) added a bunch of stuff to the Technorati microformats page on genealogy, and I moved it here. -Tantek


  • Had a look at some examples of what GEDCOM creates [1]. Basically, seems to be XFN relationships (siblings, spouses etc.) and hCard information (could genealogy be inferred from existing XFNs regardless of a hGED format?). The only additional information we do not currently hold in a format is that of gender. GEDCOM specifies male or female for each individual. Creating something using these formats would be quite straightforward, but not sure its takeup would be good unless someone was interested in creating a hGEDCOM2GEDCOM. -- Frances Berriman
    • Genealogical information has date-of-death, which is also missing in hCard format (although hCard does have date-of-birth). Much of genealogical information is event based: Date of birth, date of death, dates of marriages and divorces, and many other significant events such as religious observances (Baptisms, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs) and migrations ("Moved to Canada from the Netherlands"). This all translates wonderfully to hCalendar. Additionally, a properly researched family tree will cite sources for all the data listed, and so could use hCite. The biggest problem I see in using hCalendar is that genealogical data allows approximate dates, specifically "ABT 4 July 1776", "BEF 25 Dec 1903", "AFT 11 Nov 1918". It also also allows ambiguous dates, "July 1867" or just "1886", or even "4 July". And these in combination, (Approximately ambiguous dates? Ambiguously approximate dates?), eg. "BEF Feb 2007", "AFT 1945". The most ambiguous entries I've seen for dates are "DECEASED" when date-of-death is unknown, and "NOT MARRIED" for couples who have not had a wedding ceremony. (Info from Guidelines for event dates in the PAF Help File).
The only relationship links in GEDCOM are HUSBand, WIFE and CHILd. All other relationships (brother, sister, grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins) can be inferred by traversing family records. This does mean that any collection of genealogical pages need some way to cross-reference to each other. This isn't a problem for all pages on a single Web site, which use RIN (Record Identifier) or REFN (User Reference Number). However, different Web pages maintained by different genealogists may have conflicting RINs and REFNs. There is a globally-unique AFN (Ancestral File Number) issued by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), but I don't know how they're issued and most genealogical sites don't use them anyway.
The GEDCOM format contains much other data specific to the LDS, but I don't know how widespread it is, nor how appropriate it would be to code it into a microformat intended to reach well beyond the LDS.
Regardless of whether an hGED microformat is developed, it would still be valuable to mark up genealogical information with microformats on Web pages for the semantic value.
Bob Jonkman 07:58, 9 Feb 2007 (PST)

Wikipedia's Persondata

Wikipedia's Persondata aligns very closely with hCard, but has additional date and place of birth & death fields. Andy Mabbett 13:04, 28 Jan 2007 (PST)

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