Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Even Computers Have Standards

The latest tool released by FamilySearch Labs is a Standard Finder. The old FamilySearch is great at "fuzzy" searches (I can search for "Chroferus Dunnum" and still get hits for my name), and I expect the new FamilySearch to be even better.

[H]ave you ever wondered how computers determine that a person your looking for may be the same as another person? It goes through a match process. One of the key ways of determining whether two possible candidate persons match with each other is to evaluate the genealogical data known about the person. Of course it gets kind of tricky. How does the computer know that Polly Pay is a pretty good match to Mary Pay? How does it know how to compare dates on different calendaring systems or just interpret 24 Jul 1847 and 8/24/1847? How does it know that SLC, UT is the same place as Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA? [Link]

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