04 May 2010

JewishGen: ViewMate feature improved

Have a letter in an unknown language? Need help in deciphering a tombstone inscription? Require assistance in analyzing difficult handwriting?

Over the years, many researchers have used JewishGen's ViewMate feature with great success, uploading an image of their particular problem, and posting a message - detailing the required assistance - on the appropriate discussion group list.

The concept was created by Tracing the Tribe's friend Bernard Israelite Kouchel.

Users may upload letters, documents and photos for translation as well as to identify people, clothing, artifacts, and many other items. Images remain visible for seven days or 168 hours. They may be reposted after that time expires.

Click here to see archived images. As of today, there are 579 pages (20 images per page) of images, totalling  10,975 items. The first item in the archive was posted 14 October 2002. Set the archive to reveal 10-50 items on each page.

See the current gallery here, which includes requests for tombstone inscription translation as well as language translation for Yiddish, Russian, Polish, Hungarian.

Current images may be organized in chronological order, reverse chrono, grouped by category, new images and other parameters. Categories include: "Do you recognize," "Interpretation," "Photo Identification," "Tombstone," "Translation-Hungarian," "Translation-Polish," "Translation-Russian," and "Translation-Yiddish."

Please note that to post a translation or comment, you must be logged into JewishGen. But any visitor may see the Archive or the Gallery. To register (free) at JewishGen, click here.

On May 1, the ViewMate team, headed by administrator Sam Eneman and webmaster Gary Sandler, made enhancements to its look and use:

-- Changed to new JewishGen colors and page layout.

-- New, easier-to-understand navigation menu.

-- Support for new image types TIFF, PNG and GIF, in addition to JPEG.

-- Bookmark and share images and pages with more than 200 Web 2.0 tools - Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, Digg, Email and more.

-- Filter and sort images on the Gallery page - new ways to organize and view posted images

-- Rotate a full-sized image while translating - easier to read words in margins

-- Display time remaining for each image on the Gallery page

-- Updated FAQs for managing and editing submissions

Contact Enemean and Sandler with comments or questions.

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