Mapping Revolution

I am sure that I am maybe a decade or more behind in GIS mapping and similar developments, but you have to start somewhere to catch up. Never before did I take mapping as seriously as I do now. Perhaps this is just me, but I see mapping initiatives as the biggest, hottest thing since PAF’s endorsement by the LDS Church back in the 80s. But this has a much prettier interface. I received a newsletter article today that made me stop and re-evaluate my actions from the past week in changing majors. Enough to jump into the new program with both feet.

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BillionGraves is an app that just blew open the door on Internet genealogy. A year old, this company’s development took part of what I want to do and already made it happen. I need to ask them about their API and see what they use. What I want to develop is similar, but this was the first step in its evolution. I am unsure that I can develop the rest of it quickly enough to finish it for my Masters project before I end up having to do something else because it is already done.

Although much tech development has happened in the last 15 years, this is the next level. Bringing the technology to the people for use in practical, every day approaches. Simple user ability, wiki possibilities. I don’t know how to develop this, but this is literally the thing next door. After that, I have no idea what to do for that project. And people say that family history, AKA genealogy is dull. They have never tried it or else they would NEVER say that. The technology alone being developed to make things work faster and better is moving so fast that it is almost impossible to keep up. And I’m writing the book on this process, literally.

I am in-process of switching one of my Masters programs and refining the other to reflect the need that I have for learning to program web apps. Without them, all of the current infrastructure becomes meaningless. Obvious to most of the world by now, web apps are the way that everything moves and getting into development is the obvious solution for anyone who wants a job over the next ten years.

Historians typically have not been programmers. That has to change. Everyone needs programming skills. It is not an option unless you want to farm away creative control and/or design elements and the guts of the thing to a developer who often does not have the background. Why historians do not normally learn programming is the sheer math involved. I had enough with being scared. I have apps to make and Masters degrees to hope is not out of date by the time I graduate from the program.

Time to play,

The GenealogyDr

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