Mar 092020

One of the frequent topics for discussion in social media relates to software. Which type of programme do you use for what? What is the best software to store data/devise timelines/link families/create links between events/illustrate and present findings? The fact that this is a topic which crops up frequently indicates its importance to one-placers as well as family historians and surname students. Often it boils down to a few basic questions:

  • do you want a programme which is intuitive or are you happy to tinker?
  • do you want a programme which supports media or just text-based data?
  • are you using it to store and analyse data or to publish to the web?
  • are you happy to integrate various programmes or do you want to do it all in one software?
  • do you buy the software or does it run on a subscription basis?

and, perhaps the one most frequently asked:

  • does it work on a (insert piece of kit here)?

Name and Place has been in development for a number of years and was finally launched at the Rootstech conference in Salt Lake City last month. It is a database designed by Paul Carter and Pam Smith, two Society members, and is advertised as being able to ‘help reconstruct a community from Domesday to present day combining all the elements of research from records, maps, media and oral history into a single framework’ helping researchers to 'record, analyse, map, report and share’ their data. A bold claim but one well worth exploring further.

The design is cloud-based and accessible via subscription - that will attract some and put others off. The hints on their website about ‘regular updates’ suggests that it is not yet fully formed and that additional features will be added in response to feedback and requests from users. One thing that is not immediately clear is what happens to your data if you stop paying the subscription. However there certainly seems to be plenty of things to explore and the two-week free trial may be insufficient to look at the features fully, particularly when combined with that thing called work...

This has only just been launched and my knowledge is limited to promotional material and brief conversations with the developers, so this is by no means a review of features or usability. Rather it is to flag up to interested one-placers that there is a new resource around which may be worth a look. I’m saving it until I have time to do it justice before the free two weeks runs out without my having had time to have a good look. However for those who have looked, and like what they see, there are rumours of a discount code in the March issue of Destinations...

Janet Barrie

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