Friday, 7 January 2011

Legacy Webinar: Google for Genealogists

Think you know how to use Google?

In the latest in the Legacy Family Tree Webinar series on Wednesday, Chicagoland genealogist Thomas MacEntee presented on the 90% of useful Google resources that most genealogists don't use, or even know about.

If, like me, you learn better from a presentation than a book, and in the fast moving IT world books can become quickly dated, you would likely benefit from viewing MacEntee's archived presentation available from www.legacyfamilytree.com/Webinars.asp 

The session was hosted by Legacy guru Geoff Rasmussen who intervened to pose questions sent in from amongst the more than 1,500 live participants in 33 countries. Imagine being at a conference with that many attendees -- and still being able to see the screen.

MacEntee's presentation started a bit slowly, perhaps he just wanted to get people comfortable with more familiar material. Then he presents in more or less detail Google Alerts, Books, Data, Docs, Earth, Groups, Images, Mail, Maps, News, Patents, Scholar, Sites, Translate, Voice and, Picasa. Highlighted are two areas where I found the presentation particularly valuable.

The whole webinar runs about 90 minutes. There is also a useful handout with live links you can download from the site above. Recommended.

And to add a couple of things Thomas would not be aware of: Google News Archives has a great selection of archived Canadian newspapers, especially for Montreal and Ottawa; and Google Voice is not yet (readily) available in Canada or elsewhere outside the US. I had to add readily as there is a posting here on how it can be done, with some fiddling around. 

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