“Bump the app before you bump in bed”

18 04 2013

Oh, the complexity of Genealogies in Iceland. A friend recounted the first meeting of an Icelandic girl and guy:
First they named their parents, all their aunts and uncles. Then they moved on to grandparents, and great-grandparents, specifically listing where they were from. In Iceland, everyone is related… just how closely is the question. The answer to that can be found in the Íslendingabók (Book of Icelanders), which is which a list of all Icelanders dating back to the first settlers.  Any Icelander will tell you that this book is used every day!

From printed - to online - to on the phone!

Used every day, but not in the hard cover form. It has gone from print – to online – to on the phone!

Íslendingabók is a collaboration project between deCODE genetics, a research company in the field of medical genetics, and Friðrik Skúlason, an anti-virus software entrepreneur. The project’s goal is to trace all known family connections between Icelanders from the time of the settlement of Iceland to present times and register the genealogical information in a database.

The creation of the Íslendingabók database used various sources and both unpublished and published documents. Most of the genealogical information comes from sources such as church records, national censuses, inhabitants registers and other public documents, but in addition to these sources there are chronicles, books of convictions, various publications on genealogy, books about individuals within specific occupations, lists of descendants and ancestral records as well as memorial articles to name but a few.

The Íslendingabók is now online database, but people might not always have the opportunity to look that up when they are, for example, out partying (when they need to know who they might be sleeping with). Now it is a cell app!

The slogan is, "Bump the app before you bump in bed."

The slogan is, “Bump the app before you bump in bed.”

The app was launched as part of a competition by the website owners to help make the Íslendingabók available on a smartphone, offering 1 million Krona (around $9,160) to the makers of the best app. The winning app— ÍslendingaApp SES from Icelandic app developers Sad Engineer Studios —  helps users learn about their family from wherever they are. But most importantly, for those in the dating world, it also features a “bump” feature which essentially allows two  smartphones to be bumped together to check if there’s a potentially embarrassing family reunion about to happen. If there is, an “incest alarm” discreetly warns both users  of a potentially awkward situation.

 So back to the girl and guy in the beginning… they were not cousins or second cousins, but they shared a Great Great Great Grandmother. Phew!

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