Home> GEDCOM X
GEDCOM X is being designed to be an open standard for genealogical data communications.
The following information is taken from the GEDCOM X About page
A Long Time Coming
A lot of things have evolved with genealogical technology since the original GEDCOM format was specified. Genealogical applications aren't just about making conclusions anymore. Indeed, a much more sound research philosophy focuses more on records and evidence than it does on making conclusions. Furthermore, with the advent of powerful search engines, software as a service (SaaS) offerings, and social networking applications, the legacy GEDCOM model just isn't going to cut it anymore.
Up through 2010, FamilySearch had been busy with other important things, like online access to their huge collection of records. But around 2010 a lot of notable events--including the sprouting of some impressive standardization efforts--came together to raise the priority of a new GEDCOM. By the end of RootsTech
2011, it became clear that the community needed something new...
GEDOCM X has a much broader scope than did legacy GEDCOM. The scope of legacy GEDCOM was primarily limited to allowing users to make conclusions about genealogical information, and provided only superficial support for citing evidence and sources. Legacy GEDCOM was primarily designed to be saved as a file to the hard drive of an isolated desktop computer and never considered the needs of other data providers, like an online web application.
GEDCOM X is designed to continue to meet the requirements accounted by legacy GEDCOM. This means GEDCOM X will provide support for genealogical conclusion data and a file format. But GEDCOM X expands on the original scope of legacy GEDCOM to include concepts such as:
- extracted record data
- sound sources and citations
- search results
- images, audio, and video
- research logs
- long-term persistent identifiers
- genealogical metadata
- genealogical semantic markup
The scope of GEDCOM X also includes support for standardization of the APIs
that can be used to work with genealogically relevant data. These interfaces are based on the same principles that made the World Wide Web a success
and provide a industry-standard way to do things like:
- search for data in a repository
- modify conclusions in an online pedigree
- link to online records
- supply genealogical metadata for an online artifact
Models and Profiles
GEDCOM X is neatly partitioned in such a way so as to allow developers to easily use the pieces they need without having to swallow the entirety of the specification. The data is divided into different Data Models
that define the genealogical data types and their properties.
But the GEDCOM X specification defines not only the data models
used to describe genealogical data, but it also defines a set of APIs that describe standard operations on genealogical resources. The API specifications are divided into different Application Profiles
that are intended to address specific sets of well-defined requirements and use cases.
To read about the different GEDCOM X data models, see the data model documentation
To read about the application profiles, try starting with the developer's guide
Here for the Long Term
GEDCOM X is designed for the long-term. Through solid design principles
and active community support
, GEDCOM X is the standard mechanism to establish a rich and collaborative environment for the noble work of genealogical research.
Links to GEDCOM X pages
- the project page
- the community page
- the project repository
- the project blog (atom feed)
- the project wiki
- the project issue tracker
Links to Articles about GEDCOM X
Glimpses of GEDCOM X
- Randy Seaver, 2012 02 07
Ryan Heaton: A New GEDCOM
- the Ancestry Insider, 2012 02 04
FamilySearch releases GEDCOM X
- Tamura Jones, 2012 02 02
- Tamura Jones, 2011 12 12