It’s time to take a look at some of the vendors I visited at this year’s RootsTech 2017 conference. How did I choose these vendors? With the exception of one or two, I am spotlighting them because they are either brand-new companies or are new-to-me companies.
DISCLAIMER: I have received no products, services or other compensation from any company in return for inclusion in this post. Further, the point of this post is to allow you to access more information from these companies if their products/services appeal to you. This post is NOT a recommendation from me to buy or use their products/services.
Companies are listed in ABC order below the Innovators’ Showdown 2017 winner. Click on the website links for further information. Part 2 will be posted on 15 February 2017.
Many other bloggers have covered the Innovators’ Summit entries, so I won’t duplicate that information. However, I would like to share information about the winning product, which is already available in the Google App Store:
Innovators’ Showdown Winner 2017
OldNews USA Mobile App
Bill Nelson is the founder and chief technical officer of OldNews USA mobile app and winner of the $95,000 first place prize.
Do you use Chronicling America to check old U.S. newspapers for stories about your ancestors? If so, you’ll want to check out the OldNews USA app. Right now, it’s only available on Android phones, but Bill said that plans are in the works to add an iOS version.
What does this app do? OldNews USA allows you to do a full-featured search of Chronicling America’s newspapers. Basic and advanced options allow you to search by state or by individual newspapers and you can add in surnames or other phrases in the search terms. Searches are automatically saved in the app as either a PDF or an image. It even creates a source citation for you in the saved file! This app even ties into Google Maps – it will provide a list of historical newspapers in the Chronicling America collection that were published within “X” number of miles of your chosen location. Articles can be clipped and saved to Evernote, GoogleDrive and Dropbox and other apps.
My description is just an overview of the main features of this app. The demonstration included an incredible number of ways to search, sort and save information. If OldNews USA sounds intriguing, check the website for a video and blog links explaining its features. There is a free version available to download from the website home page. I couldn’t find anywhere that had a price for the app – I imagine if there is a pay version, then there are added fancier features in it.
Congratulations to Bill Nelson and OldNews USA!
Now for the vendor booths:
DAYONE Journal is an Apple-only app that describes itself as “a simple way to journal. It’s easy to quickly enter your thoughts and memories and have them synced and backed up in the cloud.”
It can be used on any Apple device.
Photos, current location and even weather data can be entered and saved with your journal entries, in which you can record memories, single events, vacations, activity logs or anything else you want. The app syncs with all Apple devices so there is easy access to your journal. Entries can be tagged and/or starred to mark special entries.
This app launched in 2011. The Mac computer app is $39.99, but the iPhone and iPad versions are much less expensive at $4.99.
e-ImageData Microfilm Scanners are not, at about $5000.00 each, inexpensive, by any means, and I doubt there are many genealogists who personally own one, but the company had a booth and I love, love, love this machine. If you’ve used it in the Family History Library, I imagine you love it, too.
If you’ve been doing family history research for a few decades, as I have, you might remember the days when microfilm images had to be transcribed by hand. Then, along came specialized machines which could print out copies of microfilmed pages for us. Most of my printed pages faded and are now unreadable. Some of them barely readable when I first printed them because of the poor image quality on the microfilm. Well, the e-ImageData microfilm scanner is now here – paper printing is no longer the only option (aside from hand transcribing.) This machine allows you to bring up the microfilm image, manipulate it so it can be lightened, darkened, enlarged, cropped, image area-repaired, rotated and who knows what else.
I believe that this scanner is a researcher’s best friend. It is very easy to use and volunteers in the FHL are available to help newcomers find their way through the options.
Genealogy WallCharts isn’t a new company, but I don’t ever remember featuring them in a vendor review. I have to say I think they were kept hopping keeping up with the on-site demand! Based on the huge machines they displayed, I figured they were Utah-based and I was correct.
This is the company that makes those beautiful wall charts (which can be laminated, too) with fan-shaped family trees and pedigree charts. They debuted a new chart at RootsTech, which could download photos directly from FamilySearch to enter into a chart tree. Those charts were rolling off the presses as fast as the sales reps could produce them and every one of them looked fabulous.
That is the first half of my list, so I will end here. Look for Part 2 on 15 February 2017.
Please keep in mind that I am not recommending the purchase of any products or services in this review. This is meant to be somewhat of a virtual walk through part of the Expo Hall so that you, too, learn about some of the newer companies and what they have to offer.