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

Friday, February 7, 2014

#RootsTech 2014 -- Winners of the Developers Challenge

This year there were 17 entrants in the Annual RootsTech Developers' Challenge for 2014. The entries came from countries all around the world. I had the privilege of being one of the Judges for the Challenge and I can say that it was a difficult job. All of the entrants had really interesting concepts and my challenge was deciding between so many good programs. There were three finalists and the winners were announced at today's Keynote address:

Here are the winners:

1st Place:
 Saving Memories Forever 2
Saving Memories Forever is the creation of Harvey & Jane Baker, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. They wanted to know the people behind the names and dates. What were their dreams? What did they like? What made them laugh?

The Bakers saw that smart phones could serve as a mobile recording studio and as a tool to upload stories seamlessly to a private website. The app provides prompts and questions to encourage recording life stories and make them available for generations. It creates an easy way to connect families through the richness of voice and the warmth of storytelling.

For more information about Saving Memories Forever, go to

2nd Place:
Fina a Record
Find-A-Record is a searchable worldwide index of records collections. A family history researcher can enter available information about where and when their ancestors lived and discover the various record collections available. The search is integrated with popular online trees through a browser extension.

Find-A-Record is a creation of John Clark and Justin York of Genealogy Systems LLC in Provo, Utah, USA. Clark spent the last 6 years working as a CTO and Founder at various startups. York has years of experience in web development. They share a passion for making genealogy research easier for everyone.

For more information about Find-A-Record, go to

3rd Place:
 PhotoFaceMatch Logo-1
PhotoFaceMatch, developed by Charley Smart & Steve Miller of Eclipse Identity Recognition Corporation, uses facial recognition technology to help genealogists. This application is a tool to analyze a digital shoebox of pictures, automatically detect common features and even build an album of portraits.

PhotoFaceMatch allows users to select one or more photographs of a known individual and photos of a different individual to determine the likelihood that the two are the same person. This can be used as a tool to help identify unknown individuals. Perhaps most notable to genealogists is recognizing the same person at various ages.

For more information about PhotoFaceMatch, go to

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