Location, Location, Location
A common saying in real estate and business goes like this: “There are 3 things that matter in property: Location, Location, Location.” The same can be said of your family history. Location largely dictated the types of vocations your ancestors had available to them, their social circles, and many other aspects of daily life. Location also affects where records of genealogical value can be found today. And location can increase your connection with the past when you reach across space and time by visiting those places today. To facilitate those connections, we are thrilled to introduce Accupin TM from The Family Nexus. This set of features will be released later this month in v2.0 in the App Store!
Introducing Accupin TM
The Family Nexus uses data about people, dates, and places directly from your tree in FamilySearch.org. (See The Family Nexus App Data for a detailed description of what data we use from FamilySearch.) When data is entered in FamilySearch the system tries to match a place name to a “standardized” place in their authoritative database of modern and historical place names. Locations are usually not any more specific than a town or city.
This is usually fine for genealogy purposes. However, for family history treasure hunters who love to explore ancestral places we want to be more precise. The Family Nexus version 2.0 allows ALL users to edit the location of an event to set the precise GPS coordinates. The app then moves the map pin for that event to the new location. We call this edited location an “Accupin TM.”
Accupin TM locations make the map more interesting and accurate. It also adds value to premium features like Navigation Directions and Google Street View as well. For now, this doesn’t affect any data stored in FamilySearch, but we hope to be able to share this GPS data with them soon.
Why Does it Matter?
Imagine seeing your own custom map of family history locations including birth, marriage, residence, death, and burial locations! You could filter the map view to focus on a particular person, family line, or life event type. I can’t wait to enter street address for residences I find in census records, draft registration records, parish records, and more! The Family Nexus app makes it really easy to edit and save Accupin TM locations. To make it even better, you can collaborate with family members! It has never been easier or more fun to create your custom family map. Accupin TM locations are automatically shared with all users that share that relative. Each user has the ability to accept or decline the Accupin TM locations in their device.
Create Accupin TM Locations
There are 3 different ways to create Accupin TM locations in The Family Nexus mobile app. Let’s step through each one.
1. From an event card, tap on “Options” and select “Edit Location”
We’ve added more ways to interact with ancestral places in The Family Nexus. Below each event card is an “Options” link. Tap this to expand the card and see additional actions that you can take. You unlock some options by becoming a premium subscriber. Social Share and Edit Location are free to all users.
When you tap on ‘Edit Location’ you are taken to a new map screen. Here you can update the precise location of that event. There are 2 ways to do this. First, you can tap and hold the map pin. The screen shifts up slightly once it is ready to be moved. Then simply drag your finger and release in the proper place. When you are satisfied that the pin is in the correct location tap Save Location. The second way is to search for an address. This is great for those cases where you have a street address for the event. Keep in mind that Google Maps requires a modern-day address. In some cases street addresses may have changed.
The Accupin TM feature then stores the updated GPS coordinates and links it to your account in The Family Nexus. For now, this data is NOT updated in the FamilySearch family tree. This feature is intended for editing the “generic” location from the center of the town or county to the precise spot on the map. If the location data (e.g., wrong city, county, etc.) is wrong you should edit the event directly in FamilySearch.
2. Accept Accupin TM data from a relative
As mentioned above, when an event location is edited other relatives are notified. You then have the option to review the new Accupin TM and decide to accept the edit for your own account. This make customizing your map fun and collaborative! Below are some concept designs for what this might look like. The first screen is what appears after you tap on a notification banner from The Family Nexus or on the item in the Notification screen.
It lets you know what user created an Accupin TM location, which family member, and which event. You can accept or decline this update from this screen. Or if you want more information you can view the edit on a map. This concept is shown in the screen on the right.
3. Check-In and update Accupin TM location (Premium)
The final way to create an Accupin TM location is to use the Premium “Check-In” feature. This feature allows you to keep track of the ancestral places you visit. When you are close to the location of an ancestral event you can select the “Check-In” option from the Event Card. This will record a visit to this place.
The app will then ask you if you want to use your current GPS coordinates to update the precise location where this took place. Imagine standing in front of the house where your great-grandparents lived. Simply Check-In and say yes to the prompt to update the Residence location stored in The Family Nexus. Or perhaps you are visiting headstones with your family. The Check-In feature allows you to keep track of which ones you have visited and on what date. At the same time it updates the exact location, so that next time you or a relative can find the grave plot more quickly!
Family History Discoveries
As you and your family members begin using the Accupin TM feature you will begin to make more family history discoveries. Suddenly your custom family map is more precise and more interesting. Locations can be visited easily by getting navigation directions. If you can’t travel, in may cases you can visit virtually using the embedded Google Street View. I can’t begin to tell you how excited we and others in the community of Family Nexus users are for this awesome new feature!
Be sure to download the latest version today and begin making your own family history discoveries! Be sure to come back and share with us some of your adventures in the comments below!