One of the hottest online issues in the US is the online edition of the 1940 US Federal census - the year when the US finally began to emerge from the Great Depression and a year before it entered World War II against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan. The huge interest in the census crashed the National Archives and Records Administration site under the weight of 37 million hits on the first day.
MyHeritage Ltd. has made available the first free online index search of 132 million people and 3.8 million scanned documents included in the 1940 US census at its website 1940 US Federal Census
Ancestry.com and the Mormon Church are also providing search platforms for the 1940 US census, but even though they have over 1,000 employees each, compared with 100 for MyHeritage, the Israeli company has the upper hand. It was the first to upload the census data, it was the first to index the data and analyze the handwritten documents to create a free search engine on the basis of names, and not just general area of residence.
MyHeritage has made the 1940 US census searchable in 38 languages, and it is launching a mobile search app for the 1940 census for iPhones, iPads and Android smartphones.
The company's staff are still working hard to process the remaining data and put it online - a task that will take several months - but industry sources favorably site the company's technology, which beat its rivals to succeed in matching Americans' curiosity.
MyHeritage CEO Gilad Yefet said, "Access to the data by the American public via name search is no small thing. We have made it possible to find anyone in the database within seconds, instead of searching for them through scanned documents for three hours. This is an impressive achievement, and we beat Ancestry, even though we're a much smaller company.
Yefet added that the search of the US census data was based on a new search engine that the company recently installed on its site. He said that the SuperSearch engine could search for two siblings in the census documents without the need to type in the family name or residence in 1940. For example, it will be possible to find a person born in Paris in 1930, who immigrated to the US before 1940, and died in New York in October 1986.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 5, 2012
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