Today we released major changes to our Connection Finder, our tool for showing how 20 million of us are all connected to each other through blood and marriage.
Actually, it's been completely rebuilt by Ales Trtnik. It's all new. Everything. But here's what regular WikiTreers will notice to be different.
Before today we had been featuring just three "Connection Anchors": the Member of the Week, the Profile of the Week, and our persistent anchor, Henry VIII.
Now there will be as many as 10 featured connections per week. We're still doing the Member of the Week and Profile of the Week, but then instead of Henry VIII or another persistent anchor we'll be featuring a new group of profiles every week. This week it's a group of aviation pioneers to go along with the Profile of the Week, Orville Wright.
But that's not the big change. The big change is that now you can find the connection between any two people, any time.
It used to be that you could only check your connection to the Connection Anchors. Every night we would calculate and record how all 20 million people on our big tree were related to these three anchors. You could see how anyone connects to them, but you couldn't see how anyone connects to anyone else. It would have put too much of a burden on our servers. Now, thanks to incredible efficiency innovations by Ales, this limitation has been removed.
The featured connections are now just examples. We are calculating and recording the number of steps to them simply as points of interest. Viewing a connection to them is no different than viewing a connection to anyone else.
Another little limitation that Ales removed: the 100 degree limit. It used to be that we stopped looking for connections after 100 steps. If a connection couldn't be found within 100 degrees of separation, we stopped looking. The Connection Finder is now essentially unlimited. But this may sound like a more significant change than it is. Almost all our connections are found within 50 or 60 steps. Almost no connections are found beyond 100. It's amazing, really.
Of course, we still have millions of people who are unconnected. About 80% of the profiles on WikiTree (20 million) are connected, and 20% (four million) are not.
Are you seeing any problems? Any large or small bugs? Please report them here. Thanks! Or post if you have any questions or comments.
Onward and upward, for our single family tree,