Today’s Moment of Zen: The New Íslendingabók App and “Bömp” Technology

via News from Iceland

Information below about the Íslendingabók website has been corrected.

Awhile back, I received an announcement through the University of Iceland’s student listserv awhile back about an app competition for the Íslendingabók website. This website, for those of you who aren’t familiar,

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.

In the creation of the Íslendingabók database we have used various sources and both unpublished and published documents.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.

Reading the ad for the app competition, which urged students to create their own smart phone app for the website, I immediately thought back to the first thing I had been told, by an Icelander, about how this website is often used in the every day. As an incredible resource for genealogists, you ask? Yes. But also as a way to avoid getting…too familiar…with close relatives.

Not just a salacious tale told to foreigners, as it turns out, based on the winning app design which was created by the students of Sad Engineer Studios. Per the description on the previously linked-to description page, introduces new “bömp” technology: you tap your phone to someone else’s and the Íslendingabók website will tell you if you are too closely related to “date.”

I’m going to be writing a short article on the competition and the winning app. But in the meantime, a few articles have come out about the winning app, so while I continue my research and writing on this fascinating and rather humorous phenomenon, I thought I’d share a couple of these with you.

Anti-incest app built by Iceland college students (via NBC)

New App Prevents Icelanders from Sleeping With their Relatives (via News from Iceland)

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