Our next featured RootsTech 2012 presenter is Stephen P. Morse, PhD. A description of each of his RootsTech classes is listed below. Some of Steve’s RootsTech classes are geared towards an intermediate level technology user, and some are geared towards an intermediate or advanced level software developer. Don’t forget to check out his syllabi for more information about each of his classes!
One-Step Webpages: A Hodgepodge of Lesser-Known Gems
This class will be held Thursday, Feb 2 from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm MST, and is geared towards an advanced level technology user.
This is a sequel to the Potpourri talk (see abstract for that talk). There are too many utilities on the One-Step website to be covered in a single talk, so many of them found their way to the cutting room floor when the Potpourri talk was being edited. However several of those are quite useful. This talk describes those gems that you might not otherwise be aware of. They range from problems with genealogical searches to problems with identity theft to problems with DNA. For more information about this topic, see Steve’s syllabus.
Creating One-Step Search Tools
This class will be held Thursday, Feb 2 from 3:00 – 4:00 pm MST, and is geared towards an intermediate level software developer.
Many people or organizations have tables of data (e.g., name lists) that they would like to make searchable and share over the Internet. This normally involves technical skills in designing html-based search forms and programming skills in developing search engines. Even experienced programmers find this to be a time-consuming process.
This talk presents a tool that allows you to simply describe your data and it will then automatically produce the desired search form and search engine for you. All that’s left for you to do is upload these items to the web and then sit back while others access your database. For more information about this topic, see Steve’s Syllabus.
Deep Linking and Deeper Linking: How I get the most out of existing Search Applications
This class will be held Friday, Feb 3 from 9:45 – 10:45 am MST, and is geared towards an intermediate level software developer.
Deep linking provides a means of optimizing the information extracted from existing third-party websites in general, and from search applications in particular. Various means of deep linking are introduced such as URL editing, using search forms, and placing a man in the middle. These are the very techniques that are used by many of the tools on the One-Step website.
Then the tables are turned and methods of blocking others from deep linking to your website are described. The legalities of deep linking are also discussed.
The purpose is not to make you an expert at improving other people’s websites. Rather it is to expose you to the techniques that were used on the One-Step website and give you a better appreciation for what is there and how to use it. As such, no knowledge of webpage programming is required. However, if you have such knowledge you will be able to apply the ideas presented here yourself. For more information about this topic, see Steve’s syllabus.
Phonetic Matching: An Alternative to Soundex with Fewer False Hits
This class will be held Saturday, Feb 4 from 9:45 – 10:45 am MST, and is geared towards an advanced level software developer.
Searching for names in large databases containing spelling variations has always been a problem. One solution, known as soundex, is to encode each name into a number such that names that sound alike will encode to the same number. The search would then be based on finding matching numbers, which results in finding all names that sound like the target name.
The “sounds-alike” criteria used in soundex is based on the spelling, with no regard to how the name might be pronounced in a particular language. The phonetic encoding described here incorporates rules for determining the language based on the spelling of the name, along with pronunciation rules for the common languages. This has the advantage of eliminating matches that might appear to “sound alike” under the pure spelling criteria of soundex but are phonetically quite unrelated. For more information about this topic, see Steve’s syllabus.
This work was developed jointly by Alexander Beider and Stephen Morse.
One-Step Webpages: A Potpourri of Genealogical Search Tools
This class will be held Saturday, Feb 4 from 1:45 – 2:45 pm MST and is geared towards an intermediate level technology user.
The One-Step website started out as an aid for finding passengers in the Ellis Island database. Shortly afterwards it was expanded to help with searching in the 1930 census. Over the years it has continued to evolve and today includes about 200 web-based tools divided into 16 separate categories ranging from genealogical searches to astronomical calculations to last-minute bidding on e-bay. This presentation will describe the range of tools available and give the highlights of each one. For more information about this topic, see Steve’s syllabus.
More about Steve
Stephen Morse is the creator of the One-Step Website for which he’s received both the Lifetime Achievement and the Outstanding Contribution Award from the IAJGS, Award of Merit from the National Genealogical Society, first-ever Excellence Award from the Association of Professional Genealogists, and two awards that he cannot pronounce from Polish genealogical societies.
Morse is a computer professional with a doctorate in electrical engineering. He’s held various research, development, and teaching positions, authored numerous technical papers, written four textbooks, and holds four patents. He’s best known as the architect of the Intel 8086, which sparked the PC revolution 30 years ago.