Table of Contents

Data Exchange Problems for GEDCOM files

Why exchange my data?

Hopefully during our research we will run into fellow researchers who would like to exchange our data. But very often they will use one of the many other genealogical programs.

Besides, Genj is a great application, but …

GEDCOM – and still problems?

Inspite GEDCOM was developed to foster the data exchange between genealogical programs there are often problems with exchanging data between applications. yet

The most insidious problem is:
The exporting researcher doesn't know that his data has been mangled and the importing researcher doesn't either!

This is a problem for applications that have an own database to store the information and to extract it into GEDCOM format. In contrast is GenJ storing all its information into GEDCOM immediately and thus avoids garbling information on reading and saving.

The main reasons

The main reasons are (roughly in that sequence):

Some examples

The standard allows user defined tags (_<ABCDE>). These are per definition unknown for receiving applications.

The following lists some further problem areas for data exchange.

Applications are not completely conform to the standard and often mangle:

The standard is incomplete or not up-to-date to actual needs:

Unclear standard:

What can I do to avoid these problems?

The following hints may reduce the data exchange problems:

Further keywords: data migration, portability

1) here: all directly subordinate properties of an entity or property