Tuesday, August 02, 2005

CastleGarden.org — impressive!

After playing around with it a little bit yesterday, I can honestly say that this site will definitely be one of the top ten genealogy sites I can recommend to others.

The layout is attractive and site navigation is easy to use. More importantly, though, the information that CastleGarden.org offers should eliminate many instances of having to check "Germans to America" at the library (and quite a few GtA lookup requests at message boards and on mailing lists from those not near a set of GtA), at least for New York arrivals. (Is a New Orleans project in the works?)

Last night, CastleGarden.org's lead developer contacted me after seeing my previous blog entry. He was looking for feedback and I was happy to offer my opinion. The biggest issue I found was that the search feature did not allow for wildcards or soundex. I alluded to this in yesterday's post. Because spellings were so inconsistent from record to record back then, I really think CastleGarden.org needs to consider upgrading their search functionality. If that happens, I don't see how it couldn't become one of the premier genealogy sites. It's very good right now because of the content, but if that material is made more accesible, the site will be fantastic.

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