The following was received from Amanda Tantisalidchai at Geni.com:
Major new features launched to help Geni.com users enrich the World Family Tree and discover unknown relatives
Los Angeles, USA – April 23 2013: Geni.com, the leader in collaborative family history, today announced the release of two major new features, Record Matching and Smart Matching™, which enrich family trees with relevant historical records and help users discover unknown relatives and ancestors, respectively. This will add significant new detail and color to the World Family Tree, a global initiative by Geni.com that shows how everyone in the world is related, and will help members learn more about their shared ancestries.
The move upgrades Geni.com from a family tree network into a more comprehensive service that includes historical records, fulfilling the promise of its parent company MyHeritage that acquired Geni.com in November 2012. Record Matching and Smart Matching™ are unique technologies developed by MyHeritage which are now made available on Geni.com for the first time. They are designed to automatically search the massive MyHeritage database and suggest matching historical records and family connections that can then be added by users in one click to their family tree on Geni.com.
These new enhancements will illuminate the legacies of the millions of individuals in the World Family Tree, and allow the community to conduct family history research collectively. Enabling members to immediately leverage the work of fellow family historians without duplication is an industry-first. Once a record is confirmed and added to the World Family tree, sources and citations are automatically created, allowing users to view information in the right context. This makes the World Family Tree a more accurate and better documented resource, like the value added by footnotes at the bottom of every article in Wikipedia.
“We’re thrilled to integrate MyHeritage’s groundbreaking features of Record Matching and Smart Matching™ and extend them to our loyal community of Geni.com members and curators”, said Noah Tutak, formerly CEO of Geni.com and now General Manager, USA of MyHeritage. “By adding historical records and unique family tree matching capabilities to the World Family Tree, it becomes the authoritative reference for the human family tree and the go-to resource for anyone interested in family history. This is a great stride in advancing Geni.com to fulfill its mission.”
Record Matching is the next generation of family history exploration. It finds matches between family trees and a massive database of global historical records on Geni.com’s parent site, MyHeritage. The records include birth, marriage, death and divorce documents, gravestone photos, census information, military, immigration and other documents. It’s the only service of its kind to automatically find relevant newspaper articles, books and other free text content through semantic analysis, to shed light on the actual lives, personalities and achievements of one’s ancestors.
Smart Matching™ automatically finds matches for family trees on Geni.com in the global database of family trees, containing more than a billion profiles, on its parent site MyHeritage. These matches allow Geni.com members to grow their family tree, discover new ancestors and relatives, connect with other family tree owners and reunite with long lost family members. Sophisticated name-matching technology uses synonyms, phonetics and international variations to facilitate discoveries despite differences in spelling and language.
The two matching technologies work together in a cycle that constantly pushes forward the users’ knowledge of their family history. They were both developed by MyHeritage and integrated into Geni.com by the companies’ combined engineering teams.
Record Matches and Smart Matches™ are displayed on Geni.com family trees and individual profiles. Users can also view a list of all Record Matches and Smart Matches™ in their Merge Center, where they can sort, view, confirm or reject them. Confirming a match adds a reference to the tree on Geni.com in a single click. These features will continue to improve over time; planned enhancements include regular email updates about new matches and the ability to extract information from records into Geni.com using a convenient interface.
Record Matches are displayed for free as an extract and a range of record collections can be viewed in full for free. For full access to every type of historical record and to all Smart Matches, users are offered an affordable Data subscription. The same subscription also provides full and unlimited access to SuperSearch, the powerful search engine for historical records on MyHeritage.
Anyone can join, contribute to and benefit from the World Family Tree by signing up to Geni at www.geni.com. Basic accounts are free and are unlimited in size.
Geni.com is the leader in collaborative family history and the home of the World Family Tree, a global initiative showing how everyone is related. The collective research of casual and expert family historians benefits the entire community of people interested in discovering and preserving their family history. The site was founded by David Sacks, co-founder of PayPal and Yammer. For more details, visit www.geni.com.