Can future GEDCOM importers be required to merge all applicable profiles?

+10 votes
As an Arborist, I've been merging old profiles (of old people) and just realized some of the imports were done in December of 2012. After merging 4 to 8 profiles and all their sources, I would hope not to have to do this again. Unless there is some control about future imports this will truly be a never-ending job.
in Policy and Style by Tom Bredehoft G2G6 Pilot (214k points)

1 Answer

+4 votes
Best answer
Recently we released the GEDMatches feature. Now, when uploading a GEDCOM, you have to look at the suggested matches and say whether or not they're a match. If a profile already exists (assuming GEDMatches finds it), that person must be skipped in the GEDCOM import. This results in way less duplicates being created than when GEDCOM imports were not compared to the existing database.
by Liander Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (459k points)
selected by Keith Baker
Sounds good, thanks. (assuming it works as planned)
I hope you're talking about GEDCOMS from early December. If they were after about December 22, GEDMatches was in place (though still being tweaked). If you see recent imports with a pattern of problems please post.
Yes, it was early December, I don't remmember the exact date.  Sounds like the solution is in hand.
I found subsequent dupes created from gedcoms uploaded in mid January. That would indicate some people are getting around GEDmatching. I will report this next time i see this happen.
Hi Jillaine,

There's no question that there will be some duplicates being created. When I said "that person must be skipped" above I should have been clearer. It's not that technically they can't be created; it's that they shouldn't be created. It's left up to the member to decide whether it's a duplicate and they should be skipped.

Moreover, the directions say that in some cases it may be appropriate to create a duplicate as an Unmerged Match. For example, if Joe Schmoe exists on WikiTree but has no information, and in a GEDCOM Joe Schmoe has ancestors and descendants, it would be easier to import and then merge Joe instead of skipping him.

A couple comments about the GEDCOM import - is there a way to retain the original matches report where I set each match to duplicate or rejected? It goes away once the import is done, and we only see 'Skipped' instead of some link to the matched profile(s) in the report. With 5500 people in WikiTree it's not practical to run a separate duplicate profile check report afterwards.

Also the privacy settings of the imported profiles seem a bit off. I would have wanted everyone I know is alive under age 100 marked private, but they were marked as having a public biography (orange), even the ones under age 21. It's a small difference but I had to fix over 100 profiles the other night to make them all private. Probably unnecessary since all the biographies were stubbed. I marked the ones under age 21 as 'Unlisted'. It looked like the cutoff for unlisted was set at year 2000, those born after that date were correctly set to unlisted. The green and white (Public and Open) settings seemed to work OK.
There is another concern that applies to both importing gedcoms and also using an existing profile when extending a family tree.

If I create a new profile, or import a profile through a gedcom and THEN merge it, the new profile is on my watchlist, and I am a manager of it, and the profile is part of "my" family tree. If on the other hand, I use the existing profile, I do not have the profile as part of "my" tree unless I get permission.

I must admit that I find the process of getting permission for each ancestor or line to be cumbersome, and without it people in my direct line are not on my watchlist.

Also, I think I have seen some 'gaming' going on whereby someone creates a new profile, and then merges it to an existing profile in order to become part of the trusted list, and thereby a manager of the merged profile (also bringing in unsubstantiated children in the process).
Good points, Toby.

On your last one, how can the merge be completed if the "gamers" are not on the TL or PM of the other profile? I've seen this happen, too, and I don't understand how the merge gets completed without the existing PM approving it. And if the PMs aren't responding to Trusted List requests, seems like they would also not be responding to merge requests. (or is that a weak hypothesis?)
That's what super visors are for, their super power allows them to adopt, temporarily, the orphaned or unattended profiles. They can merge them, straighten out the biograpy and quiety retire back into the woodwork.

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