E3 – Find Holes in Your Genealogy Data with GenSmarts

GenSmarts is a utility that uses artificial intelligence to analyze your existing genealogy file and produce research recommendations.”

GenSmarts, from Underwood Innovations looks at the data we have and helps us find what we don’t.

GenSmarts 2.1.2

Publisher: Underwood Innovations
Designer: Aaron Underwood
History: since 2003

Aaron Underwood has made an overview of GenSmarts available at http://GenSmarts.com/GenSmartsOverview.pdf

I emailed a few questions to Aaron to make sure I understood the product. Aaron responded graciously.

Aaron, what is your backgound?

“I’m a semi-retired software consultant. During my professional career, I specialized in advanced technologies and how to apply them in a way to create easy to use solutions. When I and my partners took our consultancy public, it provided me an opportunity to explore the GenSmarts idea as my own entrepreneurial initiative.

Why did you write GenSmarts?

“Genealogy has been a hobby that I began as a teenager, somewhat out of boredom. It provided me with something to do during the annual week long trips we would take to visit my grandparents, aunts, and uncles. As I got older and got busier with life, my dad would continue to work on our genealogy and ring me up, asking for suggestions on things he should research when he was going to be in a certain location. He enjoyed the process, but not so much all the record keeping and analysis. GenSmarts was my take on a tool that would automate making those lists for my dad on what he should be research.”

What are your plans for GenSmarts?

“The three things I’ve been working on addressing in a future version of GenSmarts are…

1) how cell phones and tablets can be integrated into what GenSmarts does

2) improve how users are able to design their own suggestion rules and share those with others

3) make GenSmarts more usable for those who keep all their data online (e.g. on Ancestry.com) rather than in a traditional desktop software program

(no specific timeline for a release of the above… I’m working on it and it’ll be released when I think it’s good enough to warrant users upgrading to a new version… 🙂 “

If I already have a genealogy program that offers hints, why would I want GenSmarts?

” GenSmarts is offering up research suggestions where typically program “hints” are offering up keyword matches. Attached is a presentation PDF with some examples (a bit dated, but still applicable I think)”

Is the list of resources recommended out of date or is it relatively current?

“I would imagine that by volume, for most people, the most common destinations for the suggestions would be FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com, which are obviously very relevant today. There’s a free trial version for download at GenSmarts.com, so it’s easy for anyone to judge relevancy with their own data.”

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