Genealogical Data Communication

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What Does Genealogical Data Communication Mean?

Genealogical Data Communication (GEDCOM) is a data structure that holds genealogical information in a specific format for genealogy software dealing with such information. A special format for genealogical information is necessary for different applications to interact (store and exchange) with each other. A GEDCOM format has “.ged” as a file extension.

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Techopedia Explains Genealogical Data Communication

Introduced in 1984 in its raw form, GEDCOM files are simple text files with headers and special fields that can be interpreted by Personal Ancestral File (PAF) or other genealogical software. The files are lightweight and can be easily emailed as an attachment and imported to a number of programs. This gives flexibility to the user to transfer useful data. GEDCOM files are text files that enclose the data and connections required to transfer genealogical data between two users.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.