A RootsMagic Facebook group discussion about pedigree charts colour coded by state or country of birth triggered this idea of plotting ancestors birth places on a map and joining them according to pedigree. This would be a more graphic and informative representation than the standard box chart. This script aids in generating such a map through a web-based front end for Google and other maps.
|Example of a geo-pedigree map created through GPSVisualizer.com from the text created by the geo-pedigree script.|
The online map is interactive; the screenshot above is not. Clicking a point or line pops out a box with more information. Points or lines can be suppressed or highlighted. A line can be zoomed to its extent with one click. Directional tickmarks indicate the line of descent. The current script plots the five generation pedigree of the root person used by the RootsMagic Set Relationships tool. The waypoint marker for each person’s birthplace follows the person’s color code in RootsMagic; in the example above, the root person was uncolored, paternal ancestors red and maternal lines green. The pedigree lines (or tracks in GPS mapping parlance) follow the colour of the parent. Both tracks and waypoints fade with the number of generations from the root person. The GPS Visualizer input form has numerous controls giving the user choice of the underlying map source and various features in addition to choosing the GPS file to upload. The script queries the RM database to get the needed needed data for each person (geocoded places of birth are essential for it to be meaningful) and writes results in the GPS text format accepted by GPS Visualizer.
I was thinking about other possible improvements to the higgledy-piggledy script I had developed while learning how to use GPSV and what additional information might be included when I discovered that this was not a new idea. There is a very good extension to FamilySearch Family Tree that produces from that database a more powerful geo-pedigree map than I can possibly devise. Perhaps a better use of my time would be to ensure that my ancestors births are accurately recorded in FSFT so that I can rely on the geo-pedigree maps drawn from that data by RootsMapper.com.
|Screenshot of an interactive pedigree map by RootsMapper.com from data in FamilySearch Family Tree|
—TO BE CONTINUED—-