Browser Extension

What is a browser extension?

Evidence comes from sources, and in modern day genealogy, many of these sources can be found online. That's why we've created a browser extension (available from v1.10) to help you import web sources into Centurial.

According to Wikipedia, a 'browser extension is a small software module for customizing a web browser. Most modern browsers typically allow a variety of extensions, including user interface modifications, ad blocking, and cookie management'.

The Centurial browser extension scans the current web page for genealogically relevant information, such as source citations, person- and relationship information and images, and imports all this into Centurial as a source.

Installing the Centurial browser extension

As they are the mostly used web browsers, the Centurial browser extension is currently available for Google Chrome and for Mozilla Firefox. For both browsers, the Centurial browser extension van be installed from the appropriate web store:

Browser Download location How to install?
Google Chrome Chrome Web Store Click the 'Add to Chrome' button.
Mozilla Firefox Firefox Add-Ons Click the '+ Add to Firefox' button.

After the browser extension is installed, the Centurial icon will be added to the top bar of the browser:

How to use the browser extension?

If you want to import a web page in your browser as a source into Centurial, first of all make sure that the Centurial application is running, and that you have opened the project to which you want to add the source from the web page.

Then, once the web page of interest has loaded completely, simply press the Centurial icon in to top bar of the browser. A progress bar will appear, notifiying you of the progress of the import process. This usually takes a couple of seconds.

Once the import is complete, the Centurial application will be activated, and a new source will be created. This source will then be displayed:

Web Scrapers

The code that imports the data from the web page into Centurial is called a web scraper. Scrapers can import any combination of the following:

  • a source citation
  • Information and claims for persons and relationships
  • files, images and screenshots

Centurial comes with a default web scraper that creates a source citation of type 'web page', imports a screenshot of the page and scans the web page for microdata.

However, for some websites, a more specific web scraper has been developed. Currently, the following specific web scrapers are available:

Website Web Scraper Imports the record images directly, and creates a source citation with 2 layers. Creates an extended source citation with an online collection per publication. Scans for the A2A data, and imports the available persons, relationships and event information. Also creates a source citation based on the A2A data. Creates a source citation of type 'Wiki Entry'.

Developing your own web scrapers

The web scraping architecture in Centurial is actually implemented as an extensibility framework, which allows software developers and code enthusiasts to easily develop their own additional web scrapers for Centurial. Interested? Please visit the developer page.

Uninstalling the Centurial browser extension

If you no longer wish to use the Centurial browser extension, please right-click the Centurial icon in your browser, and select the 'Remove from Chrome' (Google Chrome) or 'Remove extension' (Mozilla Firefox) option from the context menu.