Old photographs can be a wonderful source of evidence in genealogical research. Ponga makes it possible to associate documents directly to details in images. Attach birth certificates to baby pictures, for example, to collect the evidence you need to justify an identification. Add an invoice for a car purchase to validate dates for that convertible in the picture. Attaching documents in context makes a useful reference to look back on. Since Ponga allows attached documents and comments, you can use the commenting feature to provide the back history and citations for the documents.
Genealogy has developed very specific standards for genealogical research. The gold standard is Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills. Check out the active community in the forum at evidenceexplained.com to research best practices.
To add a web link to a Ponga picture,
- Find the document you want to attach online, or put it somewhere that has an online link such as a URL ending in .pdf. Failing that, you can also adding it to a Google Drive or Dropbox folder.
- Copy the link for the folder or document
- Paste the link into the relevant selection in Ponga
It’s pretty much that easy.
The document type and cloud service will affect how the previews appear in Ponga. Some web-based applications like Google Docs and PDFs support embedding while others may only appear as links.
Cloud services for embeddable documents
- Google Docs: Completely embeds, though the view window is very small. Note PDF documents stored on Google Drive do not embed, nor do Google Sheets.
- PDF on web page: When the URL ends with .pdf, then the document will completely embed as long as the URL is visible from the public web (not on a private network.)
- Airtable base: Completely embeds, though the window can be very small, best to arrange the base so the first field is very narrow.
- Dropbox: PNG files preview well, JPG and PDF do not. Behavior depends on file type.
- All links have to be publicly accessible.
Links pasted into the description in a set or picture are auto-linked. This can be a useful place to put a link to family trees or reference documents.
Currently, though you can attach images to a Ponga selection, you cannot attach documents, or other file types such as PDF. You can, however, quickly and easily create images from a PDF document using a tool like smallpdf.com. Choose the conversion option from PDF to JPG, then drag in your multi-page PDF document, then select “Convert entire pages.”
Remember also that just because a link is there today, doesn't mean it will be there tomorrow. Links provide a current way to reference details, they aren't a permanent source of evidence. Again, for genealogical research we refer you to the standards in Evidence Explained.
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