PHProots: Resurrected.

It’s been years since I conceived the idea, and then the idea was forgotten. Or rather more likely, dropped due to lack of interest, or motivation. I had the idea for a web-based family history site where family data could be updated frequently, high-res photos could be posted, and stories could be added as recalled. However, I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t have anything to use as an example. But that changed last month when my Great Aunt Lorraine finished the John E. Holmstadt Family History book. She’d put so much effort into it, but unfortunately, none of it is in electronic form.

So here’s where I plan to step in. I’m going to start on my PHProots project and see if I can use the information she had gathered as a springboard. Hopefully it will provide enough structure to lead me in the right path, design-wise. The first step will be to import all the data back into electoric form by scanning in all 334 pages. I’m not sure just yet what format I should use for this, but my initial thoughts are to use 2400 DPI scans of the pages (in case someone wants a replica print of the book), and then make a downsampled copy of the images at ~150-300 DPI for scanning purposes. All the pages will then be ran through OCR and dumped into raw text files. This text will provide the filler for the initial database design.

…(much programming and design tweaking takes place)…

After a working site has been created, I want to invite family to re-submit photos and high-res scans for the website. Many of the photos in the book are poor quality, possibly due to low-quality reproduction. Not to mention, all of them are black and white.


Finally, I want to design a PDF-izer and CD/DVD-izer feature into the PHProots suite. Basically, a person could take a snapshot of the album at any time by pressing a button on the site, and minutes later a print-qulity PDF, CD, or DVD would be generated, ready for printing or multimedia viewing.

It’s ambitious, but I think it’d be cool.