Project Topoged

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Genealogy 2.0 - topoged and data visualization

Expanded 3d image
Originally uploaded by m0smith.
Consider a topographical map. If you have one, go get it. I'll wait....... If you don't have one, check out

Consider the amount of information contained in that small amount of space. Not only does it tell you how far two place are from each other, but how steep the terrain is at any given point. You can also distinigish water, roads, etc.

Now look at your family history. Try a family group sheet. Not too much information. Maybe a pedigree chart. Still rather limited. I have over 10,000 people in the family history. That is not bragging, I didn't do all that work. But I need a way to adress all that data at once.

Why not combine the huge amount data that is represented by genealogy with the ability of a topographical map to represent a lot of data in a small area? A topographical map can be thought of as mapping 4 dimensions ( latitude, logitude, altitude, terrain ) into a 2 dimensional representation (a piece of paper or a computer screen). Using the same techniques, a computer could take 4 aspects of genealogy and map them to a 2 dimensional image.

The types of information that could be used from family hsitory are:
* Name - surname most likely
* Birth Date
* Marriage Date
* Death Date
* Relationship to a given person
* Number of childre
* Birth country
* Longitude and latitude of an event
* Date of any event

Those are just a few examples. The computer could then prompt the user for which four of all these type of information to use and then generate an image using mapping techniques.