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Innovations in Family.Show: Age Graph

Tuesday, 28 Aug 2007 | by Mark Tucker

The Family.Show genealogy sample application includes an Age Graph that shows the number of people in the database for different age ranges.

 Age Distribution

In the sample data included for the Windsor family the number for each range was:

  • 0-19: 3
  • 20-39: 13
  • 40-64: 17
  • 65+: 16

The graph doesn’t include the additonal 32 individuals that didn’t have a birth and/or death date.  I am not certain why the ages were grouped as they were.

This graph also acts as a filter for the people list.  Clicking on each bar shows those individuals in that age range.

It is interesting how they chose to include both statistics and navigation in the same control.

Innovations in Family.Show: Surname Cloud

Thursday, 16 Aug 2007 | by Mark Tucker

Included in the list of innovations found in the Family.Show genealogy sample application is the surname cloud.  Similar to the tag cloud that you find in many web application today (Flickr, LibraryThing, Technorati, etc.), the surname cloud lists the last names of all people in your database.  This surname cloud lists names alphabetically with those surnames appearing more frequently appearing in a larger font size.

surnamecloud.jpg

When you click on a name in the surname cloud, then the person list is filtered to only show those that have that last name.

I have yet to see a surname cloud in any other genealogy software.

Evidence Arrived!

Thursday, 9 Aug 2007 | by Mark Tucker

I just received my copy of Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills and I am so excited!  I look forward to studying it in detail.  I am very interested in how its contents can be applied to genealogy software.  What if this book were used as a requirements document for software?  If the knowledge and best practices from this book were coded into a genealogy application, then genealogists and family historians from beginners to professionals would speak the same language.  What if all genealogy software encoded these same best practices and they became a standard feature just like the pedigree chart?  That would be some real innovation. 

The book can be purchased from Genealogical Publishing Company.

Innovations in Family.Show: Family Tree Diagram

Monday, 6 Aug 2007 | by Mark Tucker

In July, I introduced the Family.Show genealogy sample application.  One of the first things that you notice when you start Family.Show is that it doesn’t look like other genealogy applications.  The black gradient background and rollovers show that a graphic designer has been at work here.  After creating or opening a file you notice the main window with its clear graphics and animation.  Selecting a person on the family tree marks them as the active person and the diagram updates to show spouses, children, siblings, parents as well as additional ancestors and descendants.

Family.Show Family Tree diagram

The selected person is marked with a star and includes name, birth year, death year, and age.  Any spouse is marked blue and is joined with a solid green line that shows the marriage year.  If the couple is divorced then the line is dashed and includes the divorce date.  This image shows that Charles and Diana were married in 1981 and divorced in 1992 with Charles’ marriage to Camilla occuring in 2005. 

 fshow2.jpg

 I like how this family tree contains a lot of information but is still easy to understand.  If the person is deceased, then the figure is outlined instead of solid.  If a person has one or more children entered then an arc with small figures indicates this.  Following the lines from a person shows ancestors and descendants.  All direct-line ancestors and descendents are shown in red while siblings and collateral lines show in yellow.  You can move the diagram around with the mouse and use the zoom slider in the bottom right to change the diagram’s size. 

One of the most innovative features is the Time Explorer. This simple slider controls the year that the diagram uses to show the family tree.  Moving the slider changes the age of people and dims marriages and births that haven’t yet occurred.

fshow3.jpg fshow4.jpg

These are the main features of the family tree included in Family.Show.  There are still more innovations in the application to explore.

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