FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Waypointing/Waypointing FAQs and Troubleshooting

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Frequently asked questions

I’ve noticed more projects on the Waypointing tool than are listed in the Wiki. Can I work on one of those projects?

The Waypointing wiki page was set up as a place to list projects that volunteers can work on, and to post the instructions for those projects. Before a project is listed on the wiki page, the Project Owner looks at the project, decides if it is possible for volunteers to work on, and if it is, writes detailed instructions on how to complete a folder in the project. Volunteers may work on any project listed on the wiki without talking to the Project Owner, or getting special permission from anyone.

The levels listed on the wiki are meant to provide general guidelines for how long a folder will take, or the level of language expertise needed to complete a folder. Looking at the description of the levels (found in the Current Projects section of the wiki page), a project may be listed as Easy if there are 25-50 waypoints per folder OR more difficult judgment calls than the Simple level OR the project requires some experience reading the language OR the folders take between 10-30 minutes. These guidelines are meant to help an individual volunteer decide whether or not to try a project. We encourage you to try a folder or two from any project listed on the wiki, before deciding if you want to continue working on it or not.

Projects that appear in the drop-down menu in the tool, but are not listed on the wiki, should not be worked on without speaking to the Project Owner first. There is currently no way to separate projects into different access levels. This means that every volunteer can see every project that is currently set up in the Waypointing tool, whether or not it is approved for volunteers. There are many reasons why a project could be in the tool, but not approved for volunteers. Some, like a recent Tennessee project, are set up for training purposes only. The Tennessee project was being used for demonstration purposes at the NGS conference in South Carolina. The Project Owner had already completed the browse treatment on the project using an internal process called Vault Express. Any volunteer work on this project would be discarded, and we don’t like to waste volunteer hours.

Another reason a project may appear in the tool, but not be approved for volunteers, is that the project is being waypointed, but requires special training and expertise. All projects from Brazil require additional training. The treatment required for these projects is not self-evident from the Consolidated Form template. The treatment also requires reading large portions of the documents to find the needed information. This can only be done by people who are fluent in Portuguese, and familiar with Brazilian Portuguese in particular. Some projects are set up for Genealogical Societies, and we are under contract to allow only members of that society to work on the project. Some are special projects for the temples, and are required to be restricted to missionaries and full-time Church employees. There are many other reasons why a project may not be listed on the wiki, while still appearing in the tool’s drop-down menu. We rely on you to know the wiki, and to only work on those projects that have been approved. Again, if you see a project in the drop-down menu that you would be interested in working on, contact Travis Mecham, or the Project Owner (if you know who it is), and if at all possible, we will give you specific instructions for the project, and let you work on it.

I’ve been Waypointing for a long time. Can I give the waypointing tool to a friend and train them on it?

While we are always happy when volunteers tell friends and neighbors about Waypointing, access to the tool and training new volunteers needs to be restricted to the Digital Browse team. Our systems track work done on all of our projects, and give us usernames, with time spent on a folder and the DGS#’s worked on. We need to keep track of the users working on our projects to make sure they are completed quickly and accurately. If an unknown user works on any of our projects, we have to track down the work they did, find out who they are, and why they are working on our projects without our knowledge or consent. Please help us keep track of our volunteer work force by referring all friends or family members who would like to get involved in Waypointing to Travis Mecham.

How do I get the Waypointing tool?

Contact Travis Mecham, and follow these instructions


  • I get an “Invalid Username or Password” error when I try to login, but I know both are correct. What do I do? First, go to Java and make sure you have the most up to date version of Java. If you still get the same error, contact Travis Mecham
  • If you cannot find Waypointing.exe, Waypointing.exe opens a text file, Waypointing.exe will not open: Your anti-virus may have deleted or changed the program after identifying it as a threat. Add Waypointing.exe to the exceptions in your anti-virus program, and install the tool again, if necessary.
  • I get a warning when I try to install the tool that there is a problem with the Certificate for the tool. What should I do? Install anyway.
  • I get an error that says I’m not authorized to view all images, what do I do? Contact Travis Mecham