Why do we continue to allow ged uploads?

+19 votes

Well, the darned ged uploads have just struck me again. I have in the last few days profiled several Clower people to go along with a recently finished POW profile. I entered Clower-311 and just today, when beginning to profile his father, I found that Clower-311 has a duplicate, Clower-164,with no dates at all. It did not come up in the search when I made the profile. Why on earth do we continue to allow this nonsense? It is inevitable that the ged will make duplicates, unsourced, undated, etc. It's a lazy man's way to do genealogy and darned inconvenient and annoying for many of us who end up cleaning up the mess these people make.  

WikiTree profile: William Clower
in Policy and Style by Darlene Kerr G2G6 Mach 3 (31.2k points)
That first William is a really old gedcom import from 2010. 2010 predates the checks that are now in place, for instance a date is now required, although if the date was an estimate the match might not have picked it up anyway.
There were no dates, no estimated dates. Nothing. I can't say how often I run into this exact same thing. I'm putting dates on every family member that this ged uploaded for William's family. Unless you knew everything around it, there is no way not to make a duplicate. People load all of these things up and then they don't go back and fix them. Why isn't it possible to just do a few at a time instead of thousands?  That way the people might attach the facts and sources. These had no source except the ged upload.
Anne has the best actual answer here.
What you describe, Darlene, is 90+% of what I encounter on this site.  There are a few good ones, but you're likely to get discouraged looking for them.
Darlene, the dates that Anne is referring to are the dates the GEDCOM was uploaded. You'll find those under the Changes tab.
Jillaine, Anne refers to 2 different dates in her answer. She refers to the date of the GEDCOM, which is right on the profile page. The only date if you look at Clower-164 is the GED date. The other dates she refers to are the estimated dates of the person. As I said, there were none. I put dates on all of Clower-164's siblings yesterday. There weren't any in changes. Take a look.  That's my complaint.  We have thousands of these undated, unsourced people on Wiki now. I've been trying to do something about them when I come across them, but the whole GED process seems to be pregnant with problems.  Can't we really limit them and let people work on a few at a time? Those Clower profiles which were empty like 164 (I'm waiting for it to be merged with the profile I did on the man which is complete; so not putting more on 164) have been sitting there for 6 years.
Big problems are also caused by guessed dates where no dates are known.  Merges often get rejected because dates don't match, although the dates shown are unsourced random numbers.

Another common problem is that the gedcom contains a date range like "BET 1317 AND 1432" and the WikiTree importer turns this into "about 1317".

Then you get the profiles that say "before 1300" meaning anything from 1150 to 1299, but the crucial "before" often gets ignored or dropped.

On the whole, missing dates are preferable to bad ones.

The site search needs dates, but the site search is useless anyway, because it has no tolerance for spelling.  Use the site Google search (at the bottom of the search form).  Type in William Walter Clower and 164 comes straight up.  No dates needed.
I don't usually search for duplicates w/o date.  Most of those profiles are empty (just names linked up w/o sources).  Even a WAG would help - could WikiTree add support for another qualifier for that?  If it shows as "WAG 1755" then those like you who hate it can ignore it.  It could be some other label for those that are offended by that one, maybe "TUG 1755" (totally unsourced guess) or just "~1755" or force upper and lower limits"1725-1775".  Any of those are better than "    ".

But Anne's point is that it's not NEW GEDCOMs that are creating these problems. The dateless, near-worthless profiles you're finding are from OLD GEDCOM uploads before the days when wikitree had tighter controls. New GEDCOM uploads are not creating these anymore.

2 Answers

+10 votes
I agree; at least for rank beginners.  We have the GED Equipped badge, but it really doesn't involve any training or warning.  A new badge which would be necessary to enter a GEDCOM might at least get rid of the worst of the problems.  Perhaps one of the requirements would be having to clean up some number of old GEDCOM entered residue and that alone might reduce the desire of newer members to enter profiles by GEDCOM.
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (409k points)

I started with a GED and it's the only one I'll ever input.  The sourcing doesn't carry through in a readable way and the notes that I had are unintelligible.  I clean up as I go - both the residual from mine and as I am sourcing others.

What is perhaps equally as challenging is when people flat abandon profiles from GEDs or create duplicates of the same information ~~ not ~~ GED related.  I'm sure it taxes the resources of the tree itself; I know it taxes the resources of the people trying to move forward and expand.

I uploaded 3 on the same day, thinking it would save me work. WRONG. Now I have to do so much more. I will get through it all, but it's going to take time.
0 votes
William and Gang, I am a Wiki Tree beginner!  And I am uploading GED come file.   I have numerous trees, and I am now learning what comes up and what doesn't.  I have to find new software for certain so I can again download.  But I have been on ancestry for years and though I search outside of ancestry, do add stuff to my findings.  But no, that's not going to come through.  And learning what is ok and what isn't is a trial by error thing.  I just uploaded a bunch of death certificates that I hid, but are sourced, because I have read that photos from online are now copyrighted, even if it's from my state vital statistics and archive pages, that my tax dollars generate!!  I am currently going through each individual  on a tree and making sure that they have a date, and that its written out, not abbreviated.  I have noticed a lot of my sources are coming through and some are not.  Having had a brick wall for 20 something years with many others, I have done numerous trees in the name versions possible.  I would hate to waste the years of work and I have searched these folks on Wiki Tree and haven't found them.  So they have to be beneficial to some. IMHO what I paid for should be able to be shared!   So please pardon me, but I am learning and am learning! And the stops are helping, I do check my errors and I do fix them.  I am checking my merges carefully.  The uncertain button is a real gem in the comparisons!  Now, I am deleting people from my trees so that they don't upload in the GED file.  Realize though, these GED files are coming from a source that is NOT A WORLD tree, and just a marriage does not constitute always, being through on a tree!   You have to stop somewhere, but HERE.  Thanks for your patience old timers :)
by M Bale G2G6 (6.8k points)
Oh, I am also trying to get some collaborators from Ancestry to join me here.

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