Friday, February 10, 2017

RootsTech2017, Part 1 (Tuesday-Wednesday)

I've been at RootsTech for the past few days, and it's been a whirlwind (in a good way).  On Tuesday, I went to the new (just opened this week) Family Discovery Center in the Family History Library.
Family Discovery Center

The whole center is interactive.  Upon entering, you're given an iPad with a special docking mechanism.  You can either log into a FamilySearch account if you have a tree there or just log in with a guest account.  You can then go to many different stations and dock your iPad to interact with that station.  Some will allow you to find famous relatives (if you have a FamilySearch tree); others allow you to dress in native costume from many different areas.
Not quite how the Jews of Ukraine dressed, but still fun
That evening I went to the Media Dinner.  We heard lots of great information about RootsTech and also got some cool swag.
RootsTech Cutting Board
We were told that Family Discovery Day was full at 30,000 people!  Innovator Summer maxed out at 1400 people.  And the rest of RootsTech has 12,000 participants!  Having been in the crowded convention center, I can believe those numbers!
RootsTech cookie cutter
On Wednesday morning, I registered early.
Ready for RootsTech!
I went to the Semi-Finals for the Innovator Summit, where 10 products each had 2 minutes to pitch a genealogy-related product.  (You can see the list here.)  My two favorites were Banai Feldstein's CSI: Crowd Sourced Indexing and Louis Kessler's Double Match Triangulator.  Louis made it into the finals (and ended up in third place).
Banai Feldstein about to present CSI
I then went to hear Judy Russell talk about how to resolve conflicts in genealogical records.  She went through many examples from her own research in how she resolved some conflicts--and in others how she simply doesn't have enough information to make a conclusion, at least just yet.
Judy Russell Presenting at RootsTech
And then that evening was a big 80s-themed welcome party.  You haven't lived until you've seen a bunch of genealogists dancing to "Thriller"!
At the RootsTech welcome party
Stay tuned for more (including my class on Thursday)!

Note:  I'm on Twitter.  Follow me (@larasgenealogy).

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  1. I watched your Thursday class - you got a lot of information into that hour! Good thing people can watch it again because it was great.

  2. Love the photos, as well as the info. The new Discovery Center looks cool. And 12,000 genealogy/tech folks at RootsTech? Amazing.