* ZoomPast

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gerrynuk
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ZoomPast

Post by gerrynuk » 13 Jun 2015 16:25

Very interesting new way to display your family tree:

http://www.ZoomPast.org

Would be a great extension for FH!

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mjashby
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Re: ZoomPast

Post by mjashby » 13 Jun 2015 19:33

Interesting

Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

"1.) The default privacy setting for any tree you upload is private - visible only to you."

BUT

"9.) You give us perpetual royalty free licence to store, access and host the information that you upload to the Zoompast website."

So once you upload any data/information 'they' have a right to access it even if it's private and therefore use it for as long as 'they' want, extract anything 'they' want; and use it for whatever purpose 'they' want.

Perhaps I'm too suspicious, but there has to be a reason for the plethora of purportedly 'free' online services that are popping up almost weekly. I may be paranoid, but that doesn't mean they're not out to get me :shock:

Mervyn

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tatewise
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Re: ZoomPast

Post by tatewise » 13 Jun 2015 19:54

ZoomPast is an enticing way to display a tree.

I know it is quite new, but its Gedcom import/export suffers several deficiencies:
  • ZoomPast has its own Date formats that only party overlap with Gedcom Date formats.
    1. Exported Gedcom use ZoomPast Date formats, so often contain invalid Gedcom Dates.
      Thus a ZoomPast database is difficult to migrate to another product and is 'locked' into ZoomPast.
    2. ZoomPast only recognises Gedcom imported Exact Dates optionally prefixed with BEF or AFT.
      Approx, Period, Range, Phrase dates are considered 'invalid': ABT, CAL, EST, FROM TO, BET AND, INT (" "), etc.
      So imported Events and Facts using 'invalid' Dates are NOT listed in chronological order.
      Edit Events and Facts fails if any Date is 'invalid' because Update is barred until all Dates are valid.
  • Does NOT recognise some Gedcom level 1 tags: ALIA, ASSO, NCHI, NMR, SLGS, WILL, etc.
  • Does NOT support fact level 2 ADDRess fields or NOTE fields or CAUSe fields.
  • Only supports one simple Primary NAME.
  • Only supports one Job derived from one OCCUpation attribute and loses its DATE & PLACe.
  • Does not automatically import or export any linked Multimedia image/photo OBJEcts.
  • Exports Biography notes in 1 _FACT tags, one per line, and of unlimited length, whereas 1 NOTE with 2 CONT & 2 CONC could be used.
  • Only INDIvidual and FAMily records are supported.
    NOTE, SOURce, REPOsitory, OBJEct, SUBM & SUBN records are ignored.
    SOURce citations are particularly important because they link together associated facts such as all the CENSus events for one household in a Census Return.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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zoompast_james
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Re: ZoomPast

Post by zoompast_james » 15 Jun 2015 19:46

Hi Everyone,

My name is James, I'm one of the two people behind ZoomPast, a university based project. I'm delighted to see some lively conversation here about our website and some names of people I've been e-mailing with already too.

On the terms and conditions your private data is kept private by default unless you choose to share it. The terms and conditions was just something I wrote personally to cover ourselves - the only purpose we have in mind for people's data is helping them to visualise it - we won't be sharing it or passing it on unless your actively choose to make your tree public or shared with particular family members. I'm trying to rewrite the terms actually to reflect this. How does the following sound…

1.) The default privacy setting for any tree you upload is private - visible only to you
2.) It is your decision if you wish to change the privacy options to share your data with friends and family or make it public
3.) We will not share your e-mail with any third party
4.) You can stop receiving e-mails from us at any time by flicking a switch on your profile.

The Gedcom upload has been a challenge and continues to be that, but we are committed to solving all the problems and ensuring maximum compatibility - this is our highest priority in the short term.

We would incidentally love to link in with other genealogy websites and software packages to offer ZoomPast style visualisation to a wider audience so please get in touch if this is of interest.

We're only starting out, so please be patient and watch this space - keep the feedback coming in - we are working hard!

James

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Shiriki
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Re: ZoomPast

Post by Shiriki » 16 Jun 2015 10:34

Hi

Have had a brief look at ZoomPast and it seems similar in concept in displaying a family tree as the 'Branches' program for Windows/MAC (Sherwood Electronics).
In essence, from the initial family tree screen, one can zoom in to reveal more information and detail if it is available without having to open additional views or click on additional listings in order to 'jump' around the family tree....
I tend to use the 'Branches' app for iPAD quite a lot (after importing a GEDCOM file from Family Historian) for its ease of use and convenience when away from home when undertaking research.
Anyhow...Zoompast looks interesting and I will have to keep an eye open to see how it develops.


Shiriki

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davidm_uk
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Re: ZoomPast

Post by davidm_uk » 16 Jun 2015 10:50

James,

I think that users would feel a lot more comfortable if your item 3 in your post above read:

3.) We will not share your data or e-mail with any third party without your prior agreement. If you share your tree, and then subsequently remove sharing, the tree will no longer be available to anyone it is no longer shared with.

Quite a lot of people won't put their trees on other websites (e.g. Ancestry, Genes Reunited, Find My Past) because of concerns over privacy and/or plagiarism, and anything you can do to reassure them can only help encourage them to use ZoomPast.

I like it, and I hope it "takes off". Good luck with it.

David
David Miller - researching Miller, Hare, Walker, Bright (mostly Herts, Beds, Dorset and London)

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zoompast_james
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Re: ZoomPast

Post by zoompast_james » 18 Jun 2015 23:32

Thank you for your kind and helpful posts about ZoomPast.

Shiriki, thanks for your post, yes ZoomPast uses the same type of zooming interface as Branches. I should say though that I only found out about Branches after I'd already released ZoomPast so actually was quite disappointed to find out ZoomPast wasn't completely novel. Still, I think there are differences between the two softwares, for instance we each adopt different visual representations and styles though both with a zooming interface inspired by Google Maps.

David, thanks for your suggestions on the terms and conditions. It's surprising how much people do look at this and comment about it. I have already changed point 9.) since Mervyn pointed out his concerns - it now reads
"You grant us permission to store, access and host the information you upload to ZoomPast for the purpose of providing you with the best possible visualisation of your data under the terms of privacy covered in 1.) and 2.)"

Your suggestion for 3.) is good, but I'd like to make a couple of small changes:

"2.) It is your decision if you wish to change the privacy options to share your data with friends and family or make it public. You can un-share or delete your tree if you wish.
3.) We will not share your data or e-mail with any third party unless you agree by changing your privacy settings."

The reason I suggest this is that as soon as a user chooses to share something or make it public ,others with access could see the data and take a copy - even if they just write it all down on a piece of paper. We can't do anything about such copies if the original data is then unshared later.

Any thoughts on this or anything else related to improving the website are always gratefully received.

Thanks again.

James

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davidm_uk
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Re: ZoomPast

Post by davidm_uk » 19 Jun 2015 08:08

James,

I'd be happy with your revised 2. and 3.

But as I have (edited) public versions of my tree on Ancestry and GR anyway, perhaps I'm too easily satisified. :roll:
David Miller - researching Miller, Hare, Walker, Bright (mostly Herts, Beds, Dorset and London)

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zoompast_james
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Re: ZoomPast

Post by zoompast_james » 19 Jun 2015 20:15

Thank you David,

I will make those changes then, I'm glad that they are enough to make you happy about it. I hope that if people are really worried they will still use the site, but simply choose not to share their tree.

Incidentally, we've now addressed the first of Mike Tate's really useful bullet points with an improved data selector that uses the correct tags for import and export.

Kind regards,

James

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SunnyLady
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Re: ZoomPast

Post by SunnyLady » 20 Jun 2015 14:37

A friend wanted to put this on her iPad to travel to show grandchildren, having looked at the program on PC. She does not travel with her PC. She tells me no "mobile" version is available. Is this one of the developments to come?

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Re: ZoomPast

Post by zoompast_james » 20 Jun 2015 21:20

Hi SunnyLady,

Thanks for your message. Yes we certainly want to have an iPad version either via an app or via just making the website work better on an iPad. This is more likely to be a medium-long term project though based on the reception of the basic version of ZoomPast - it's looking good so far. Our short term priorities are more related to the fundamentals of getting any gedcom file to load, be editable, viewable, sharable, and exportable. Please we patient with us and we'll get to that iPad app. Thank you.

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Re: ZoomPast

Post by tatewise » 22 Jun 2015 16:23

SunnyLady,
Assuming your grandchildren, or their family have a PC, you don't need to take anything.
Just login to your ZoomPast account via their PC, or even "share" your tree with them.
Then they can follow any updates and explore the tree, even when you are not there.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: ZoomPast

Post by tatewise » 22 Jun 2015 16:54

James,
Regarding your modified ZoomPast Date formats, I have the following initial comments:

Any 'complex' Dates using the old format are not automatically converted to the new format.
e.g. 29-30 MAY-SEP 1957-1965 does NOT become FROM 29 MAY 1957 TO 30 SEP 1965 but is treated as Free text that Gedcom calls a Date Phrase.

When Edit > Basic Info is chosen, the ? help for Valid Date Format still describes the old format and needs updating.

I suspect most people would prefer the British date format Day Month Year, rather than US format Month Day Year, or there needs to be an option to choose.

In Gedcom there are 4 formats for a Simple Date, but ZoomPast only has 3.
Exactly = unqualified Simple Date
Circa = ABT Simple Date
Unsure date = EST Simple Date
Calculated = CAL Simple Date is imported as Circa

A Free text Date should export as a Gedcom (Date Phrase), but the enclosing parentheses are missing, i.e. 2 DATE (Free text)

Also INT Simple Date (Date Phrase) is not supported.
It provides an INTerpreted Date for the Date Phrase.

The Edit > Events & Facts window should present details in Date order rather than alphabetically by Event/Fact name. Genealogists usually expect details in chronological order to make better sense of them.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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SunnyLady
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Re: ZoomPast

Post by SunnyLady » 22 Jun 2015 19:41

Mike

Not my grandchildren (!) but a friend to whom I had drawn attention to the programme as it seemed to meet her needs on a trip (ipad easier to haul around!) with "littlies"... I believe she has gone the PC route pro tem, but having iPad access (or presumably other mobile type tablets etc) would be major bonus.

SL

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Re: ZoomPast

Post by wuthered » 24 Jun 2015 00:00

I am revisiting Zoompast and imported a GEDCOM file which has biographical notes. Previously these showed up but this time they are not visible to me. Presumably something has changed? Is the change in the importing or display?

As a suggestion, I would like to see a marker near the name to show if more information is available under the Bio tab.

Mike Pringle

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Re: ZoomPast

Post by tatewise » 24 Jun 2015 08:48

Mike, I assume you are importing a GEDCOM that was exported from ZoomPast at least several days ago.

ZoomPast puts the Biography notes against 1 _FACT tags in the GEDCOM file. So check they are still present.

There have been recent changes in ZoopPast mainly to do with the handling and format of Dates.
The bio button now does NOT display Biography notes, but a chronological list of Events & Facts.
To see the Biography notes, click the edit button and choose edit biography.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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wuthered
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Re: ZoomPast

Post by wuthered » 24 Jun 2015 13:11

Thanks Mike.

My GEDCOM file is a bit more ancient. I inherited it from an Ancestry export. Rightly or wrongly the 'biography' notes appear in the GEDCOM file against the 1-NOTE and subsequent 2-CONT and 2-CONC tags. I have not yet educated myself as to the difference between these. A previous import into Zoompast, some weeks ago, had these visible under the Bio tab, but they disappeared when I imported an updated file yesterday. My goal is to have this tree freely shared amongst family members, ultimately with a concise printout including indexes of first names, surnames and places (not including the notes at this stage). My tree has 900 names at present but has yet to be updated to include the most recent generation.

I appreciate you sharing your knowledge

Mike

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Re: ZoomPast

Post by tatewise » 24 Jun 2015 13:48

Following my Sat Jun 13 and Mon Jun 22 postings, ZoomPast appears to be undergoing updates to bring it into line with Standard GEDCOM.

The Ancestry use of 1 NOTE, 2 CONT & 2 CONC tags is correct, but ZoomPast does not now recognise them, and only uses 1 _FACT instead.
1 NOTE is the primary tag introducing note text and holds the first line of text.
2 CONT is a subsidiary tag that holds CONTinuation text for a new line of text.
2 CONC is a subsidiary tag that holds CONCatenation text where it exceeds the GEDCOM line limit and must be appended to the preceding text.

ZoomPast does not currently appear to support indexes of first names, surnames, or places.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: ZoomPast

Post by wuthered » 24 Jun 2015 16:00

That is very useful information to have. It looks as if I may have to write my own print routine. But I will do some more trawling for GEDCOM print utilities first. Will come back to Zoompast in a few weeks to see where it is at.

Mike

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Re: ZoomPast

Post by tatewise » 24 Jun 2015 16:15

I am not surer what you mean by "print utilities" but FH can pruduce indexes of first names, surnames, and places in various formats such as PDF, CSV, Text, or on paper.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: ZoomPast

Post by zoompast_james » 27 Jun 2015 19:30

Thanks for all these useful comments everyone,

I'm monitoring the thread regularly and we're using it to further develop ZoomPast with the goal of having the best possible Gedcom support so all these comments are extremely helpful to us.

Tatewise, thanks for your comments on the date format. We've made some updates since your first message, as you've seen, but I realise now it's not perfect yet. We'll be working on this.

Mike, I guess that we introduced a bug in our software when making some other updates that stopped your tree from importing properly when it did before. I'm very sorry about this. We will be fixing this and in fact biography details is something we're currently working on. Please be patient with us and we'll get this sorted before long.

iOS support is something we certainly want to do, but I think it's more important to get full Gedcom support on the existing website first. Printing on paper is a lower priority I'm afraid, this is because I think as time goes by all the details will be increasingly impractical to print (too much paper would be needed) and most people will have computers to view the trees on.

Thank you again everyone for all your comments and for keeping this a lively forum,

James

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Mai
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Re: ZoomPast

Post by Mai » 14 Oct 2021 21:09

I am coming to this thread very late as I have just found ZoomPast and have been trawling for reviews. After downloading it for my brother who is interested in our whole tree I am very impressed with it. Family members are also liking being able to see the whole tree. I'm surprised it has not been advertised or reviewed more than it has as I find it a great addition to go along with my Family Historian programme.

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Re: ZoomPast

Post by tatewise » 14 Oct 2021 21:28

Yes, it is a very novel way of presenting family trees.
I suggest you use the Export Gedcom File plugin and choose (ZPG) ZoomPast Genealogy mode.
The only snag is that it does not currently bulk upload Media image files.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: ZoomPast

Post by Mai » 15 Oct 2021 09:59

Thank you Mike, everything worked brilliantly and so far I have not come across any problems or obvious issues.

Although it would be a bonus if it uploaded photos I am ok with going through and entering them. Luckily the relatives who I have done this for are not particularly interested in copies of census and other such data, more the family photos, homes, gravestones - more specific information like that. Some of them felt that a bonus was the ability to enlarge the boxes of chosen people as they were looking at them was a benefit, as well as not having to download anything.

So for me a good addition.

As always thanks for your comments.

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