Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Are Genealogists Also Exhibitionists?

I don't know for sure but they may become exhibitionists once they get their hands on Exhibit.

As mentioned today over at Lifehacker, the basic premise of Exhibit which is a free, open source application, is to display your spreadsheet data in an interactive manner.

Big deal right?  And if I am keeping my data in a genealogy database application, why would I be interested?

For the professional genealogist who is perhaps researching family lines for a client, many don't bother to enter the data into a genealogy database application.  They opt instead to place it into a spreadsheet despite some of the character/data size limitations.  I've been working with such spreadsheets to drive a Microsoft Word template which would then produce a client report based on genealogy research data.

So how would Exhibit be beneficial for genealogists?  If you had a table listing locations such as birth place, burial site, etc., you could very easily build a dynamic page hooked into Google Maps and also displaying a timeline.  This would also be a nice way to depict data for your client besides the standard genealogy report.

Check out the project using US Presidents at the Exhibit site and you'll see the full potential of this application.

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