I have upon occasion (here and here and here, for example) expressed my frustration with current genealogy software. Those of you lucky (cough) enough to have spent time with me personally have heard me
Imagine my reaction when almost the first words out of Elizabeth Shown Mill's mouth last Saturday morning at her NGS 2012 session Information Overload? Effective Project Planning, Research, Data Management & Analysis expressed her own frustration with the limitations of genealogy software vis-à-vis the research process? I was not restrained. Fist pumps were involved.
There is a light on the horizon, however. Or a vine to cling to, using the metaphor Katie and Chris Chapman of Pentandra have chosen for their new software, which will be released to beta testers this summer. Geungle, as in it's a jungle out there (which certainly reflects my research at this point), aims to provide a software platform for genealogical research and analysis that complements rather than constrains the research process.
I met Katie and Chris in the NGS 2012 exhibit hall after blogger Linda McCauley (who has heard those rants) told me forcefully that I must visit their booth. She was right. Rather than struggle to adapt existing software to fit their own research needs, they have opted to build a new cloud-based program that will integrate mobile apps, tools for analysis and reporting features that reflect genealogists' actual research work flow. Katie mentioned the ability to take a picture in a cemetery with your smart phone and add it directly to your Geungle database. I asked about linking individuals that are not related by family but by business partnerships, or as neighbors, and was assured that would be possible.
At this point they expect to have a free demonstration model with limited storage capabilities and a subscription-based version for individuals. They hope to include a professional version, as well.
I was completely smitten with their enthusiasm and vision. Completely. I want them to succeed! To the point of all but begging that they allow me to be a beta tester. They are wisely limiting testing in the first stages but (full disclosure here) relented and included me as a beta tester. They hope to start testing in July. Meanwhile, I am sending positive thoughts their way.
One more full disclosure note - I did send this to them to review for accuracy. I'd hate to have my muddled thoughts attributed to them!
Photo credit - From Flickr: Some rights reserved by Accretion Disc