Some recent developments have highlighted the contrasting systems.
Ancestry.com continues to expand by acquiring and partnering with smaller companies. As Ancestry.com's new web page explains they are developing a whole new area of DNA testing and partnering with Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation.
In March, Ancestry.com DNA, LLC acquired access to an extensive collection of DNA assets from Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, a non-profit organization. Founded by molecular genealogy pioneer, James LeVoy Sorenson, this organization has been dedicated to building the world’s foremost collection of DNA samples and corresponding genealogical information. Over the last 12 years, the Sorenson Foundation collected a one-of-a-kind DNA database of tens of thousands of DNA samples with documented family histories in more than 100 countries on six continents. This DNA database gives AncestryDNA test-takers an expanded family history genetic resource, and should enable new levels of discovery about people’s family backgroundsFamilySearch is in the process of expanding into a new product called Family Tree while at the same time making available millions upon millions of digitized source documents. FamilySearch has also recently released some information about a new website called Poindexter.
MyHeritage.com has recently acquired WorldVitalRecords.com and other acquisitions.
It is apparent that all three are expanding rapidly in both hosting of user generated family trees and in providing other websites and services.
Recently, there were some comments in the blog posts about a new organization called the Family History Information Standards Organization, Inc. or FHISO. The entity was organized as a non-profit corporation in Arizona on March 5, 2012. The new organization's website has little information other than links to BetterGEDCOM. FHISO is described on its website as:
FHISO is community owned. The organization will not sell stock; rather, those in the community “join” and become members of FHISO. The membership elects officers and board members; members also approve changes to the FHISO bylaws and articles of incorporation.The statements go on to say:
BetterGEDCOM has been, and will continue to be, an open forum for the exchange of ideas about different aspects of technology and standardization. Many of those ideas are at the stage where they will need a more structured and organised environment to come to fruition; FHISO will provide that environment.At about this same time, FamilySearch formally announced its involvement with GEDCOM X at RootsTech 2012.
The establishment of FHISO signals neither the replacement nor the end of BetterGEDCOM. FHISO will be the sponsor of the BetterGEDCOM wiki. The future role and function of the wiki will be determined as FHISO further documents its forum requirements.
Concurrently with the announcement of the FHISO, Ancestry.com apparently agreed to become a founding member of FHISO according to Dick Eastman.
So we have Ancestry.com in the BetterGEDCOM camp and FamilySearch in the GEDCOM X corner of the ring. I have yet to see where MyHeritage.com weighs in on the issue.
What is at stake is the future of genealogists to move their information from one database to another. The open questions begin with whether or not the two different standards that are evolving will have any compatibility? Will you be able to move your genealogical data from an Ancestry.com or MyHeritage.com format to FamiySearch and back?