John Ivie: The Face That Launched A Thousand Databases In One Day

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Shown above: John Ivie, World Vital Records, Inc.

When John Ivie, senior content engineer at, left his last
job at a genealogical company, his tasks were re-assigned to 14 people. John has set a standard for all who work at – Do the work of at least 10 people in whatever job capacity you hold.

Ivie is the man behind the thousand database launch at today, and has also prepped data for more than 10,000+ databases, and billions of records.

How does one accomplish the work of 14 others? Work smarter than your competitor.

“I build tools and eventually the tools get good enough that they can do the work on their own, without my help. A lot of time is spent upfront on the process, and then it just gets faster and faster as time moves on,” Ivie said. “After I get each database, I ask myself, ‘Is there a way I can get information about the data without going through it manually? How can I save keystrokes and save time?’”

Of course the data prep process Ivie uses still requires time and intelligence. For example, to launch 1,000 databases, here is the simplified process Ivie goes through to get the databases uploaded at

1. Get data from Quintin -comes in hard drive with lots of files
2. Copy files
3. Run an OCR process for each pdf (splits pdf into tif images and creates and xml file for each that tells the coordinates)
3a. Convert .tiff files into .jpg files
3b. Run batch file and get ID number which returns various items found in the source section of each database, such as title, author, publication data, etc. (Note: 3a & 3b are completed asynchronously.)

4. Determine metadata
5. Program goes through xml files, associates coordinate information with images and text information with the csv file
6. Index csv file
7. Copy database and images to external drive
8. Copy images to image server
9. Copy indexes to index servers
10. Copy information about the database to the database of databases
11. Refresh the servers.

The most exciting part of Ivie’s job is the good feeling he receives when he has been able to do a process faster and better. In essence, he has a talent for eliminated unnecessary steps in the data launching process.

After Ivie graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, he was hired to do technical support for Infobases, Incorporated. Ivie was also one of the first individuals to get involved with genealogy/family history work at During the years he worked for Ancestry, he helped to make billions of records, and thousands of databases available to the public. Ivie currently works full time at

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