Future Proofing

Discussion of Genealogy search sites, software, etc.

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Future Proofing

Postby GerryM » Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:17 pm

I'm wondering if anyone has looked into future proofing their Genealogical Research.

As an example of what I mean.

I have an extensive family tree that is stored on FTM, linked to a tree on Ancestry.
I also have a quantity of paper and photgraphic records and a small Access database. At some
point in the (distant, I hope) future I'll have left this to others. If they are not currently interested
but at some future time decide to pick it up, how can I make sure that is possible. Software changes,
becomes unsupported, unusable. Storage media becomes redundant and unreadable by new technology, file
structures change and file types change. Online materials become inaccessible or changes formats and
website disappear.

What is the current best way to ensure that existing data of all types remains accessible and usable.

Is it better to protect physical copies and store them carefully, or digitise them, or both.

Are there some filetypes that are more likely to last (pdf for instance). What about photographs?

What are the biggest issues here, what is easily dealt with and what will be difficult. Is there anything
we should be doing now to make life simpler in the future?

Any ideas?
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Re: Future Proofing

Postby SRD » Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:56 am

As far as I know, in general, the simpler the process and/or the more widespread its use, the more likely it is to have programmes to read it, so .txt .pdf .jpeg are likely to keep going for some while.
.ged is, I understand, a .txt file with special features, certainly all .txt readers I've come across will read a .ged even if they can't process it into a tree in some way.

But I try to keep my research in various different forms, online, on the laptop, backed up to external hard disc and printed out in physical form in the shape of my notes which can always be used to reconstruct a database should something disastrous happen.
Currently investigating the Hillmans of Sussex.
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