Duplicated Family Search Media

Instead of downloading multiple generations at once from FamilySearch I started experimenting with just comparing person by person so I can be far more selective about what I pull over as I’m trying to get my head around how I am going to migrate my tree into RootsFinder and clean up some issues as I go.

So I made sure my Grandparents Irving and Beverly were both linked to FamilySearch properly. I pulled over two photos of them using the compare function under my Grandmother’s profile. I pulled up my Grandfather’s profile and noticed they were not associated with him. I’m not sure if that would be considered a bug or not, as it is a compare for a single person.

Now I could of course associate them manually, but I thought if I also did it through the compare for him it would figure out what to do. Instead it duplicated the media items and the new items were only associated to him. I would argue this is a bug as the items already existed.

So I then had a third photo associated with only him and I manually linked it to my Grandmother. When I went into compare it looks like it did identify it as already being in place and in sync as expected.

That has me thinking about if you manage to add support to import user contributed media from Ancestry or other sources at some point. Some of the same photos being imported from there might already be uploaded to FamilySearch. I know I always update both places. If you don’t check for duplicates it might not be a bad idea to add a check after you download it to see if you already have a persistent copy of it before saving it.

Thanks for letting me know. I will add this to my roadmap.

Checking for duplicate photos between FamilySearch and Ancestry is a complex problem, unless the photos are byte-for-byte identical.

Agreed, I think machine learning algorithms that do that sort of stuff are computationally expensive. I’d think keeping a md5 or sha256 hash of the image and comparing the hash of a new image against the list to be a reasonable enough compromise which I imagine is what you’d do.

This should be mostly fixed now. If the same media item is attached to two people in FamilySearch, when you “Compare with FamilySearch” in RootsFinder and attach the media item to both of the people in RootsFinder, the media item will no longer be duplicated.

If two separate but identical media items are attached to two different people in FamilySearch, when you attach the two items to people in RootsFinder they will still be duplicated, but I think that’s a much rarer problem.