waypointing

Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.

Waypointing is the process of providing "waypoints" such as landmarks or coordinates to assist people people in navigating physical space. The term has only recently come into common use, but the practice, if not the term, has been around for hundreds of years: navigating by the stars being one example. A common set of coordinates used as waypoints is latitude and longitude, providing a simple point of reference, or a way to determine one's exact destination, path, or location. Waypoints may be physical or abstract. Invisible waypoints are used in air navigation to guide pilots through the skies. Many interesting applications exist for waypointing, including the controversial geocaching.

Waypointing is a method used by FamilySearch in organizing some of the digitized collections of the LDS genealogical archive. Waypointing allows users to access images before they are fully indexed, grouping images into logical subsets such as country, state, county, etc., making it easier to navigate the collection and reducing the number of images the user must individually browse. Eventually, all records of the genealogical archive will be indexed and searchable, but in the meantime, waypointing provides a way to navigate unindexed records.

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