Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

#InnovatorSummit Sharing Photos and Stories with FamilySearch Memories API

What is an API? And why should I care. Photos and Stories is now FamilySearch Memories. First, an API is an Application Programing Interface. This presentation is by Rob Lyon. Tells about his Great-grandfather before with no story or photo and after with a story and photo. It is only when he understood the story that he was able to connect with his GGF. We have over 2 million photos and stories on Can get immediate value out of the Memories program within a few clicks. The startup page for Memories has changed.

FamilySearch added a date and place function to Memories. You can upload a document and have a square tagging marker. They will have a scanning app that will automatically upload a document you scan. I will be posting an more detailed explanation of the Memories program shortly.

Image processing. They are going to add TIFF format and other new formats They will be processing asynchronous images for thumbnails. They will be adding DeepZoom from or
This is a system of tiling the photos so that they will load faster. Only download what the user sees and what they download. DeepZoomLite You will be able to resize, crop and rotate images and possibly more.

They have a 7 layer screening process for images. This includes screening for all the things listed in the Conditions of Use or Terms of Use. By the way, this included eliminating Church records. They will be bleeping text also. Screening PDF documents also.

Memories Platform API. Partners can add their own connections to the Memories program such as add a photo to the Family Tree and also connect that photo to the reference. This is a connection from the "artifacts" resource to a "personas" resource. A persona is one person extracted from a single source. Add a photo to the system and attach that photo to a person in the tree. They are using GEDCOM X documents as part of the process of attaching photos to the Family Tree.

The API for uploading a photo to the Family Tree is available today in Beta form. They will be putting scanners with special firmware that will automatically upload a photo to Memories for Family Tree into the larger FamilySearch Libraries.

By the way, the room for this presentation was packed and I ended up sitting on the floor, but I did this mostly to sit next to a wall plug to charge my computer.

What about wrong connections to a person in the tree. They are working on being able to edit the attachment of photos and will implement this in future. There are currently bugs in the mobile apps. What happens to photos in the system when there is a merge. The merged person's photos are lost. They are working on a system to allow the user to choose which photos to move over to the remaining person after a merger. The presenters declined to say when is going away. The size of the uploadable images will go to 15MB shortly.

What happens when you link to a living person? There is no restrictions on viewing the photo. This is something I need to get clear. Can documents become searchable? They are not integrated into FamilySearch search. The content of the PDF files is not presently searchable.

Most of these comments came from questions asked by participants in the audience. They are fragmentary and scattered for that reason. There will be a lot more API features coming in the near future. They want to connect the back of the photo to the front and allow video.

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