I found this message as I'm interested in working on something like this, for a number of reasons.
One, I'm trying to learn a new software language, so I need a project to test it out on.
Two, I have various older relatives, who are not comfortable with navigating WikiTree, and as they are interstate and I don't see them all that often, it is not easy to get them into the family tree.
Three, I would like to make this the basis of an online 'presentation/chat' tool, which I could use to show the relatives what we have on Wikitree, and visually show how and when our ancestors migrated to various locations.
The concept I had in mind for the visualisation of the tree is something like a combination of the histropedia.com timeline, and the google maps static displays shown above.
Ie, the main page would show a Google Map, and a list of people from Wikitree. If I selected my GGGF he would appear on the map in Wales, and at 1800~ on the timeline.
By dragging the timeline down from 1800, I would see his wife appear, also in Wales, then 5 children in later years, then the family moves to Devon, another child, then emigrate to South Australia, etc, etc.
I could continue down to, say,1950 and end up seeing where all the descendants ended up. The latest descendants would be most visible, and previous ancestors would still be on the map, but 'greyed out' to varying degrees. The paths they took to get to each location would also be shown (not the actual route, just straight lines).
Clicking on any person's marker would show their WikiTree info.
I think something like this would make it much easier to answer questions like 'which relatives ended up going to the Victorian Gold Rush, and when'?
Technically, I think it is all quite do-able, I've done something similar before, displaying GPS tracks on Google Maps.
The only thing missing is location details that aren't actually recorded on WikiTree. Eg, If 10 years after a couple marry, they move from one state to another, that is not recorded on WikiTree, except possibly as text in the biography.
Am I right in assuming that the API doesn't allow access to the biography field? I can't see it mentioned.
Even if it did, the text would not be structured well enough to decode what the event was and when it occurred.
So, I'm thinking of allowing the user to add in their own 'annotations' for anyone, to a database on my system, which could then be merged in with the WikiTree info as I display the page.
I'm now retired and have some time to work on something like this, although I can't promise how fast the progress will be.
What do you think?