Here we will begin piecing together how BetterGEDCOM might facilitate data models that address the Evidence and Conclusion Process.

The Big Picture

We hypothesize two distinct data models. The first we describe as a "conclusion model" the second, an "evidence and conclusion model." To our knowledge, no solution has been adopted that accommodates both kinds of data while preserving the integrity of both.

So who cares? We are a practical project with the goal of faithfully expressing all the data in a genealogy database without distortion as it is passed from an existing software application, into our specified BetterGEDCOM data format, and then presumably back into another software application. Unfortunately, this is the defining problem in genealogy data modeling. Any questions regarding other aspects of categorizing data take a back seat to this for a large number of folks who actually design genealogy software. Failure to address this issue is seen in technical circles as the primary roadblock to innovation.

We as a group must either resolve this problem or abandon the idea of an evidence model and move on. It's that simple. There are signs we can devise a solution to this problem, and we have in fact just started. Let me suggest that we need to frame our solutions to the problem of reconciling these two concepts thusly (although this is not presented as authoritative):
  1. Conclusional data must be represented explicitly (i.e., it must be defined and distinct and follow certain rules)
  2. Evidence data must be represented explicitly
  3. How these two might coexist in a dataset must be clear as well as how one might transition from one mode to the other

I think framing any solution that includes evidence-type data in this manner will allow us to proceed swiftly to matters more apparent to end users.

Working Definitions

As mentioned above, we need working definitions to use in our work. Let's get to it.

Data Model proposed by Adrian Bruce Nov 2010
Data Model proposed by Brian J Densmore Nov 2010
Illustration Of Evidence-Hypothesis Model submitted by testuser42 under the discussion of evidence vs. conclusions in Adrian Bruce's model.
Model Fragment - Mashup Of Evidence & Conclusion Models by Greg Lamberson

While the current working models included in the Data Models section and in the sidebar are certainly "in the running" as candidates for our model, I would hope we develop our ideas on the data model, its purpose and goals rather than devolving into a mere competition between possibilities.

Top-level element

I believe that this element needs to be properly descriptive and unique enough to be distinct in order to facilitate searches and other such functions. My suggestion is: