GedSite News #010


In this issue:

GedSite Version 1.2.5 Released

This is a free upgrade that includes several new capabilities for places.

I recommend that all users upgrade to this version. See the Change Log for other details.

New Place-Related Features

GedSite now supports mapping service links using place coordinates or the geocoding feature of several mapping services.

For places with place notes and/or place exhibits, GedSite will create a place information page to contain that content, and the place information page is linked to the pages where the place is referenced.

See the Places help page for example output screen shots and other information.

Sentence Changes: [L:Details]

This release includes a change to place handling that affects sentences written using GedSite's sentence templates. If you have customized GedSite sentence templates and use them in place of sentence templates from Family Historian, Legacy, or RootsMagic, you must update your sentences to use GedSite's new "place index" parameter.

In Family Historian, Legacy, and RootsMagic, place information for an event is provided in one or two GEDCOM records, PLAC and ADDR.

In prior versions of GedSite, the values of those two records were merged. The combined result was accessed via GedSite's [L] variable. The PLAC value (the main place information) was accessed via GedSite's [L:ND] variable. The ADDR value (the place details) were accessed via GedSite's [L:Details] variable.

As of version 1.2.5, GedSite stores the PLAC value and ADDR value in separate place records. The PLAC value is accessed via GedSite's [L] variable. The ADDR value is accessed via GedSite's [L:I2] variable.

When using sentence templates from the source application, you do not have to make any changes because GedSite maps the source application variables to the correct GedSite variables. So, for example, the RootsMagic [placedetails] variable was formerly mapped to [L:Details:At], but is now mapped to [L:I2:AT].

For version 1.2.5 only, GedSite will treat [L:Details] as a synonym for [L:I2].

If you use GedSite's sentence definitions, you must update your customized sentences to use the new variable parameters. See the table below for the correct GedSite variable to refer to event location data based on the field names in the source application. The GedSite variables include options for matching the typical output from the source application.

Application Place Field Variable GedSite Variable
Place {place} [L:IN]
Address {address} [L:I2:NG:NP]
To {_place2} [L:I3:NP]
Legacy Place [place] [L]
Place [inPlace] [L:In]
Address [address] [L:I2:NG]
RootsMagic Place [place] [L:In]
Place Details [placedetails] [L:I2:NG:At]

For an explanation of the additional parameters for the [L] variable, see the L (location/place) Parameters section on the Sentences help page.


GedSite has some features and characteristics that separate it from the competition, but evidently I am not doing a good enough job of publicizing them because there is little to no discussion of them.

Area Comment
Character Encoding

One problem that besets many GEDCOM readers is character encoding. There are a variety of possibilities, and that is further complicated by GEDCOM writers that use invalid encodings. Unfortunately, many GEDCOM readers support a small subset of character encodings.

GedSite supports every character encoding in common use, and it properly detects which encoding to use.

GEDCOM Variations

Many GEDCOM readers support a single definition of standard GEDCOM tags and have limited support for GEDCOM extensions.

GedSite has a flexible GEDCOM reader that supports redefining all GEDCOM tags to account for differences between source applications, and it also understands dozens of important extensions like witnesses, roles, sort dates, private/hidden text, multiple places, master place lists, and more.

Sentence Templates

Many GEDCOM-based web site tools will not create narrative output.

GedSite will create narrative output, if desired, and interprets sentence templates using its own template language as well as templates from Family Historian, Legacy, and RootsMagic.

For source applications that do not have sentence templates, GedSite provides its own, and allows the user to edit GedSite's predefined sentences and add sentences for event types that GedSite does not cover.

Output Format

Most genealogy web site tools have limited output format options.

GedSite supports several output formats including support for narratives, lists, and tables, and you can mix and match those formats. GedSite also provides controls for customizing the overall result (through the Person Entry section) and additional features for controlling tag formats and tag sequences. Want a narrative for some events, and a table for others? No problem!


Most genealogy web site tools have limited support for media objects (aka exhibits).

GedSite has in-depth support for media objects.

  • GedSite supports images and other documents attached to people, events, citations, source, and places.
  • Images can be linked or embedded, and both have advantages. Embedded exhibits add visual interest, whereas linked exhibits help avoid clutter in the person entry.
  • Images can be resized to improve the results when embedding them in person entries.
  • GedSite will read image captions from the image itself if the GEDCOM file does not provide a caption.
  • Image exhibits can be displayed in one or more galleries.
  • Using GedSite "out of the box" produces good exhibit results, but GedSite also provides a few dozen options that provide precise control over exhibit placement, styling, etc.
Tell a Story

Most genealogy web site tools have limited or no support for providing content that does not originate in the GEDCOM file.

GedSite has User Items that provide the opportunity to create the content that differentiates your site from someone else's site. The per-person content of the site is the meat and potatoes, but you can add the dessert: pages that explain the history of your research, the brick walls, the notable or rogue ancestors, family lore you've proven, family lore you have disproven, etc. You've invested thousands of hours researching and you've uncovered interesting stories. Use GedSite to share it with your family and other researchers.

Use It Locally

Some genealogy web site tools require a web server to host the content.

GedSite produces HTML pages on your own PC, and you can browse those pages without uploading them to a web server. Most users will publish the pages to a web server, but that is not required. So, for example, you can share the files with other people via removable media such as USB-sticks (flash drives) or DVDs.

GedSite is fast, and it's extremely easy to review the results using a browser, so many people use GedSite (and its TMG-specific cousin Second Site) as a quality control tool for their genealogy projects.


Most genealogy web site tools have limited support for customizing HTML and CSS.

GedSite has extensive HTML and CSS customization options. GedSite provides several Themes you can use to create the basic look of your site, and you can customize those Themes or implement one of your own.

GedSite supports Layouts and provide more than 50 Layout alternatives so you can control the basic structure of the page, such as the number of columns, as well as choose variable-width or fixed-width content, etc. Layouts can vary based on the type of the page, such as using wide layouts for pages with wide content.

Many site pages are controlled via scripts, and those scripts can be customized by advanced users who really want things their own way!


Despite the many features and customizations it supports, GedSite is fast. It's GEDCOM reader is very flexible, but does not sacrifice speed for that flexibility. There are a few thousand options that affect the sites that GedSite creates, but GedSite still produces the typical site in seconds.

Those are just some of the features of GedSite. Best of all, GedSite is being actively developed and new features are added on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. If you aren't using GedSite now, why not?

How to Download

Existing customers may download the current version from the Downloads page.

To use the current version, you need a license for GedSite 4.

How to Buy

For purchasing information, see the Purchases page.

Prices and policies mentioned on this page were current when the page was published. Prices and policies are subject to change. See the GedSite home page for current version and price information.

This copyrighted material may not be redistributed.

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