Research links

Research links for simple data access

The Research links module provides a list of links from any individual to web site search pages with the key details inserted into the search fields.

How well each link works depends on the way the external web site is structured. Some are easier to work with than others.

The display, in the sidebar of every individual’s page contains a list of links grouped by the location they serve, plus a group of “international” links. Some links in turn have sub-links of their own for specific grouping, usually by country. Ancestry.com and findmypast.com are examples of these. The display also includes a small currency symbol to indicate sites that require payment to view search results.

When your kiwitrees site is first created you will have a limited selection of the best known links on display. But if you go to Administration > Tools > Research links

you will find more you can select. If you do not see that option, go to Administration > Modules > Manage modules and check that the “Research links” module is enabled.

It is also reasonably easy, and requires minimal programming skill to add your own new links. Following is an explanation about how to do that. But if you prefer not to attempt this, just contact me via the support forum on this site with the details and I can create it for you – IF the external web site operates in a manner that allows us to link to it. Not all do!

If you do create your own, please share the file on the forum or email it to me and it will be added to future standard releases of kiwitrees.

 


Easily create your own research links

To create your own research link you can start from the sample.php file available in the folder kiwitrees/modules_v3/simple_research/sample/. Open it with a php editor. (Note: do not use a basic text editor like MS text. This can appear to work but can introduce hidden code (byte order marks or ‘bom’) that will prevent php from correctly interpreting it.).

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Change the name of the plugin. In the example, this is changed to archivelink. The name of the file should have the same name, so this would be archivelink.php. The name displayed on the website is returned as Archivelink.

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If the website requires you to pay for data set the getPaySymbol to “true “otherwise set it to “false”.

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Set the country the link relates to using the 3-character country code ( ISO 3166-1). The example below shows NLD (Netherlands) If it is an international link set it to INT.

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To create the actual link, first open the page of the website you want to search on. Enter details such as first and last name or full name depending on the site requirements, click search. You should now see the name you searched for in the address bar (URL). In the example here the name Jan Jansen is used. Use a common name to get positive results for this test.

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Copy the link from the address bar to the PHP editor. Edit the link and change the “return $link = ” part of the createlink() function. You can use any of the options listed there to replace the name parts in the link. For example, the first name Jan to . $givn . Surname Jansen becomes . $surname . etc.  Note that the link is between single quotation marks.

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You can use any item from this list of available options in any of your research links:

  • $fullname : Full name e.g. “John Michael van den Burgh”
  • $givn : Full given name e.g. “John Michael”
  • $first : First given name e.g. “John”
  • $middle : Second given name e.g. “Michael”
  • $prefix : Part of surname e.g. “van den”
  • $surn : Last name without prefix e.g. “Burgh”
  • $surname : Last name with prefix e.g. “van den Burgh”
  • $birth_year : Year of birth if recorded e.g. “1800”

 

Next save the file, using the correct name as described above, and upload it to your web server in the appropriate folder, kiwitrees/modules_v3/simple_research/plugins/.
Now open Administration > Tools > Research links. If the link is not made correctly a message will appear and you will have to edit the plugin. If the link is made correctly the list of links will appear. Find your new link and check it to add it and click save.

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To use the link find a person in your family tree, click on Research links in the sidebar and click on the link just made.

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