27 March 2012

Updated Info About the FamilySearch Indexing App

Last month I posted about the new FamilySearch Indexing app. There were several questions that were raised about how the app operates that were not covered or were not clear in the Guide. I was able to speak with an employee at FamilySearch who is involved in the implementation of the app and he was able to shed some light on a number of issues. So here are a few questions and answers that you might find useful.

If you want to refer back to the original post click here:  FamilySearch Indexing App for Apple and Android...

1. I noticed that if you swipe your finger across an entry in the History Tab, the image can be removed. Does it "undo" the submitted transcription?

Answer: No, the only thing the DELETE does is remove the image from the history screen. The transcription has already been submitted.

2. The Guide does not say anything about viewing the tiny image in context by clicking on the right-hand icon at the top center of the app. So do you transcribe ONLY the portion of the name viewed in the small image or do you look for the full name as listed on the full-sized document and transcribe it?

Answer: Yes, view the name in the full image and find the full name. Then transcribe the entire name, but, do NOT transcribe titles such as Mr., Mrs, Miss, etc. You may end up with several submissions with a surname only.

3. Sometimes there are two names inside the name box. Which one do I transcribe?

Answer: Always transcribe the top name only.

4. Why do I not get every name on a full document when I start indexing? Sometimes I will get a name somewhere on the page and sometimes on a new document.

Answer: As you are indexing a name on a document the next name may be distributed to some other indexer. There is no arbitrator involved with indexing within the app. Each name is distributed to about three different indexers and continues until either a consensus is made, or it is pulled for audit. This process is referred to as "crowd sourcing model".

5. After I submit a transcription and realize that I either made a mistake or hit the submit button in error, can a fix it?

Answer: Yes, but only the very most recent submit. When you click on the UNDO button in the upper left of the app after submitting the transcription, the image will return and it can be corrected. This only works on the one document. It will not continue to bring back multiple submissions.

6. Will you explain the Queue size listed in the settings?

Answer: Offline Queue Size - Indexing on the app can be worked on without an internet connection after first downloading or queuing up a number of records while connected to the internet/wifi. You can download as many as 500 records while connected and, then without an internet connection, transcribe all 500 records. Then when you reconnect to an internet/wifi connection the 500 records will be submitted and another 500 records will be automatically queued up.

History Queue Size is simply the number of records that you have indexed that you want to continue to display in the History tab.

7. Why are my stats so low?

Answer: You submissions may take a while to make it through the system long enough to gain a consensus by all indexers. Also, handwriting can be very difficult to interpret.