GedML: Genealogical Data in XML

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These pages describe GedML, a way of encoding genealogical data sets in XML. It combines the well-established GEDCOM data model with the new XML standard for encoding complex information. The result is a representation that can easily be converted to and from GEDCOM, but can be manipulated much more easily using standard tools.

Updated 8 June 1998, with improved software: see changes

On other pages:


I want your feedback, both on the principles and on the current (very early) software.



8 Jun 1998 Since I announced GedML in April 1998 there has been a fair trickle of feedback, which I have responded to privately. I've been working on the software and have some exciting developments in progress. At this stage I'm not releasing any pretty user interfaces, but the basic GEDCOM-to-GedML and and GedML-to-GEDCOM converters are now supplemented by:

The converters themselves are much improved: As far as the GedML spec is concerned, most of the changes were already anticipated:

25 May 1998

Since I first wrote these pages, a paper has been published on Future Directions for GEDCOM. This paper suggests a considerable advance in the GEDCOM information model, but it does very little to improve GEDCOM at the encoding level. I have produced a comment on the proposals.

In some ways it is a disappointment that the paper makes no progress on the encoding level at all, concentrating entirely on improving the GEDCOM data model itself. In fact the encoding proposals are very messy indeed, displaying a poor understanding of character coding standards and other such issues. But I prefer to see this as an opportunity: since no work has been done in this area, the field is wide open.

Michael H. Kay
15 June 1998