RootsTech 2018 – Expo Hall Review – Part 1

Innovation Alley

This year’s updated RootsTech 2018 now features the Innovation Showcase, in conjunction with Innovation Alley in the Expo Hall, where the Showcase companies can demonstrate their products. Attendees learned first hand about the newest genealogy apps on the market.

In addition to the Alley, there were 60 (!!!) companies represented at RootsTech for the very first time. I was a bit hoarse by the time I headed back to Tucson, as I spoke to LOTS of company owners and reps. I didn’t make it to all 60, but the mounds of business cards and advertising proves that I visited with many of them.

Now to begin all the sharing of what I learned. First, as I do each year, I need to clearly state that I am NOT promoting the purchase or use of any of these products and I have received NO special consideration from any vendor.

The purpose of my Expo Hall post is to give those of you who were unable to attend RootsTech an overview of the huge amount of genealogically related products on the market and an overview of new companies.

If you see products of interest, click on the link and it will take you to more information on the company website. I will note whether each product is FREE, FEE or FREEMIUM (free version available, but additional perks on a fee version).

With the exception of DNA Painter as the Innovation Showcase winner, followed by other Showcase participants, the Expo Hall companies are in no particular order.

Let’s get started with the winner of the Innovation Showcase:

DNA Painter
Jonny Perl, 2018 Grand Prize Winner

DNA Painter is a fun new app. It’s an online tool for chromosome mapping. The program allows you to (1) visualize your DNA matches (2) map segments to ancestors and (3) have user-friendly tools for chromosome mapping. All you need to do is register for a FREE account.

Blaine Bettinger’s comment on the home page says it all:  DNA Painter is an easy-to-use tool that helps genealogists make sense of DNA testing. By mapping segments of DNA to chromosomes, we can begin to see which ancestors gave us which pieces of DNA, and thus how new matches are related. As a result, DNA Painter has quickly become an essential tool for genealogists!

There was a lot of buzz and activity at this table – I think thousands of genealogists will now be using DNA Painter. I just got into the DNA testing last year and haven’t heard about this until now. However, I will be one of the many trying this out as soon as I get caught up with my RootsTech posts!

There were four other finalists:

Match CompareFREE Kent Jaffa’s program allows users to find ICW (in common with) DNA matches.

Sorting DNA Cousins also offers video tutorials on how to use the app. If you have atDNA results and want to quickly find matches, visit Match and Compare and watch the tutorials.

It Runs in My FamilyFREE Brandon M. Welch, MS, PhD, founder, has developed a free app that helps you get to know your family’s health history.

Sign up is free, but a log-in is required to enter the site, so I don’t have any more details.

rootsFinderFREE and FREEMIUM Dallan Quass has developed an app that offers a variety of features – online clipping to a family tree, FamilySearch sync, hints from Familysearch, FindMyPast and AmericanAncestors, research logs, the capability to create books with stories and pictures, videos and photo mosaics and more. There are DNA tools in beta version.

There are many options, some of which are fee-based, so visit the website for complete details.

Here are a few of the other participants in the Innovation Showcase this year:

ProStamm FREE TRIAL and FEE (pronounced: ProSchtom) is the “now genealogy computer program,” based in the cloud. There one one person who is the main administrator, but the program can be accessed from anywhere in the world, which means family members near and far can view, access and contribute to the family tree.

ProStamm has a variety of neat features. Not only does it manage data, it generates pedigree charts and family tree. It also enables tagging of every person in each photo and document that is uploaded. If the tagging feature isn’t great enough, it also INDEXES all the tagged people. A tree can be created manually, person by person, or via a GEDCOM file.

Vivid-PixFREE TRIAL and FEE is an easy photo editing software program that is currently available for Mac, Windows and iOS and is coming soon to Android.VIVID-PIX

The handout describes Vivid-Pix as a “picture-fix to restore and revive color and clarity from color print/slide, black and white, sepia and mobile & camera digital photos” with easy-to-use sliders. If you edit a lot of photos, take a look at the website. There is a free trial option.

Lifey – FREE, plus DONATIONS – I remember talking to the folks in the Lifey booth, but somehow I missed taking a photo, so here is some info from the website.

Lifey enables individuals to create in-depth video interviews, which are browsable. There is a sample video on the website, which gives a good idea of what can be accomplished.

The only downside here is that they are located in Provo and one must visit their studio to record the interview. If you live in Provo or are planning to visit Utah soon, an appointment can be scheduled.

Afro-American Historical and Genealogical SocietyFREE and FEE  has information on multiple African-American genealogical organizations.

Their conference is scheduled for 11-13 October 2018 in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Visit their website for more resources and information about African-American research.

eSociété Généalogique du Québec FEE – a new eSociety so anyone with Québec roots can be a member and attend virtual meetings.

The website also offers resource links accessible by members. What a great resource an eSociety is for those who live outside of Québec.

Tomorrow, there will be two posts – photos of many of the activities and Expo Hall booths for companies that I haven’t included in this post or tomorrow’s, plus Part 2 of the Expo Hall and new-to-me companies.

5 thoughts on “RootsTech 2018 – Expo Hall Review – Part 1”

  1. Wow, well done Linda. Your explanation of each product is simple and easy to understand. I visited a few of these vendors and sometimes walked away scratching my head. Not sure if I understood their product fully.

  2. I checked out the website for this vendor you list above, Ukrainian Bar Association for Foreign Affairs, but could find nothing on their site that mentions genealogy. It caught my eye because your blurb mentioned European countries I have been trying to search in. Do you know if they are adding anything to their site?

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