Column – Big Data

"Big data" is about finding patterns in large amounts of data. It is used in many places. Supermarkets use the purchase data to optimize store design so they know to put the beer next to the nachos. Medical researchers discover correlations between genetic mutations and illnesses to diagnose hereditary diseases. As genealogists, big data can help us too. Genealogical data is being made available as open data, allowing researchers to use it for their own analyses. Some patterns will be … [Read more...]

Open data case study: Changing names in Winterswijk

The Gelders Archief just published many of their genealogical indexes as open data. This allows everyone to download the indexes and re-use them. Being a bit of a geek, I could not resist downloading some of the sets for Winterswijk to see what I could do with them. Winterswijk is the town where my father was born, and most of his ancestors to0, and I have been working on a one-place-study of Winterswijk for over twenty years. I thought it would be fun to use Excel and see how Winterswijk … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Open Archives website

A growing number of archives in the Netherland provide access to their indexes and databases as open data. The Open Archives website provides a search engine that searches all these records sets. The Open Archives website is available in English, unlike the websites of some of these archives. Just type in a name and use the filters to find the record you are looking for. Available records As more archives provide their data as open data, more records will become available. Volunteers are also … [Read more...]