The digital revolution has definitely taken genealogy by storm. Instead of handwritten pedigree charts and boxes of old documents, genealogists are now finding their research made easier with family history software, digitized documents, digital cameras and scanners. This technology isn't just for computer professionals, however. Check out some of my favorite genealogy gadgets and learn how they can make your research easier.
Different from other pen scanners in that it scans a full page width, the Planon DocuPen DPEN-R700 is a great tool for research at the courthouse, library or archives. The DocuPen is capable of storing up to 100 pages in memory, including text and graphics, and takes about 4-8 seconds per page. You can easily recharge its lithium ion battery by plugging into your computer's USB port, and transfer images to your computer the same way.
This tiny, light-weight USB 2.0 portable drive is about the same size as your thumbnail. A great tool to carry with you on your keychain, the Iomega Micro Mini Flash Drive plugs into any computer's USB port. It's a simple solution for transferring files from one computer to another, storing photos from your digital camera, and taking your genealogy software and files with you on the road.
This 4X magnifier itensifies the light that passes through it, increasing the clarity and brightness of the magnified subject. It works especially well in low-light situations, such as the courthouse. It even works at night with the dome light in your car. The Magnabrite Light Loupe comes in 2 sizes, from the 2" travel size, to the 4.5" desk model.
When you're visiting with the relatives, or transcribing tombstones in the cemetery, you'll appreciate the features of a digital voice recorder. Olympus models often receive top marks from reviewers - the W-10 model with 16MB of memory provides up to 3 hours of recording time. You can also take 640 x 480 pictures to visually document your recordings. It connects to your PC with a USB port.
This pocket-sized handheld GPS navigation unit can get you to where you're going with an accuracy as good as 3 meters (10 feet). A color display, waterproof design, and 24 MB of internal memory for lots of map storage are just a few of its great features, and it also includes a mini-USB port for easy connection to your computer. A very handy tool for locating cemeteries, courthouses, libraries, and old homesteads.
If you like to research from the comfort of home, this innovative product developed and offered by DatagraphiX allows you to view, digitize and enhance microfilm and microfiche images with a simple point and click of the ImageMouse. The ImageMouse PLUS is available in two magnification ranges to accept a variety of film formats from microfiche to open reel ANSI and media cartridges.