Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Watercooler Wednesday #29 - FAR Chrome Extension and Data Updates

Two things of note for this week.

The first is that we have updated the Find-A-Record Chrome Extension to work with the new search page. We also setup a redirect on the old search page to send you to the new search page. Now that traffic is no longer hitting the old search page and stressing our database, we can continue importing more data and work on creating the new collection details view.

The second is that we figured out why some of the collections available from FamilySearch were being labeled with incorrect record types. First some background. FamilySearch tags their online collections with information about what record types they contain, which is great news for us. They label things as containing, birth, marriage, death, census, and several other tags. But they also label things as "vital" records. Based on what we were seeing initially, it seemed as though collections were being labeled as "vital" if they contained birth, marriage, and death records. Well, it turns out that's not the case. Take the collection Minnesota, Marriages, 1849-1950. This is labeled as vital and not marriage. Why? We have no clue. Thankfully these inconsistencies seems to be limited to the vital tag. To fix this, we ignore the vital label and generate the list of record types ourselves by parsing the title, as we do with all other data sources. That properly gives us a tag of marriage for Minnesota, Marriages, 1849-1950. Much better.

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