Are there plans to improve GEDCOM export?

+1 vote
I'm new to WikiTree and loving it!  One thing is really worrying me though: All my hard work recording vital sources and citations can not be exported properly in a GEDCOM.  It would take me months to tidy up the NOTEs and make the sources and citations accessible again in GRAMPS, or any other program I know of.

Are there any work-arounds or tools to tidy up the GEDCOM files and get the sources and citations organised properly again?

I very much agreee with the brief summary of GEDCOMs in the WikiTree help.  They are good for everyone.  It's fantastic (and unusual) having a standard file structure that pretty much all, free and commercial, Family Tree tools import and export.  This makes it easy to keep your work safe.  It seems to fit with the ethos of WikiTree of being free and open too.  As genealogists, we all know the importance of carefully recording our sources.  It would be great if this could be reflected in an export that follows the GEDCOM 5.5 standard.

Thank you to all who have worked to create such an amazing community site.  I am excited to be a part of it and hope I can make helpful contributions.
in Genealogy Help by Chris Orme G2G6 Mach 2 (20.1k points)

1 Answer

+1 vote
Hi Christopher,

Great comments.

We are working on improvements to GEDCOM export. One that should be ready within a week or two: export by individual. You'll be able to export just one tree, instead of everyone in your Watchlist.

But that has nothing to do with the improvement you're asking for. Honestly, I'm not sure how this would be done. Unlike many systems that store sources in a database table, WikTree makes them part of the wiki text of a profile.

Conceivably during imports we could create tags to demarcate the different parts of a source and we could encourage WikiTreers to keep and use these consistently. It would never be perfect, but it could be done. Or maybe someone else would have ideas?

by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
Hi Chris,

Thanks for your response, back before Christmas.  Since then I have been pondering your request for ideas and having  a look at what other systems do.  The most interesting is, of course, the other major genealogy wiki, WeRelate.  They have followed a route much closer to other family tree programs by storing sources and citations in a database.  This seems to have considerable advandages (lack of repitition, greater consistency, easier/faster data entry, ability to export this vital data in a GEDCOM file).

After my research, the question I am left with is, why does WikiTree keep this data as free format text?  What are the advantages over a database for souce and citation data?  I expect there are good answers to these questions, so I am keen to hear your reply.

Best wishes,

The route cause of many differences between WikiTree and other genealogy systems is that almost all the others were designed entirely for genealogists. If you're making a stand-alone family tree software package, you can make some assumptions about your audience.

WikiTree is designed for collaboration with non-genealogists. For everyone in the family, not just the family historians. That's led to some different decisions. Mostly about simplicity.

There certainly would be ways to have sources in their own database and keep things simple. But that's not how it evolved.

I'm sure you've seen that you can create pages for sources? If there's much to say about a source, that's the way to do it.

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