My next exercise in data visualisation

+12 votes
364 views

This one has to do with looking at events in geography and time. The example uses the births for a single surname in one English county over a fifty year period; not especially useful but it was a dataset I had handy. I'm thinking it may be of more interest looking at Australia or North America during the settlement phase. You can see the results here. If anyone is interested in the technical details I'm happy to share.

The actions to move around the map don't seem as intuitive as Google Earth, but you can see them by clicking the ? icon.

in The Tree House by Chris Hampson G2G6 Pilot (105k points)
edited by Chris Hampson
Would you envisage these as an animation, like the example Magnus gave, or a single presentation that includes the time dimension? That is the crux of my comment. For instance, the lifetime could be presented in a single tableau with lines connecting the events. The Oregon Trail seems to me to be an obvious candidate for the method I used.

I have created Custom Google maps see Free space were I link to a custom Google map link (video I did how to create a map)

One cool thing is that I have blacksmiths in the family and they moved a lot and that would be interesting to follow/animate I think we need a wiki template with date and location on the profile and that infomation is then extracted and used to create the map....

On Wikipedia I have seen people creating categories and then use the location info on the items in the category to display a map it's a project osm4wiki 

e.g. Wikipedia category Kategori:Socknar_i_Östra_härad,_Jönköpings_län

and translate it to dots on a map

Category:Works_Progress_Administration_in_Minnesota ==> Map

Category Category:Pre-statehood_history_of_Minnesota ==> Map

Hi Magnus, there is only one issue that is not straight forward in doing this - converting the place names to a latitude-longditude for the map tool. There are a few options, but I think they all charge.

"here is only one issue that is not straight forward in doing this -converting the place names to a latitude-longditude for the map tool."

What coordinate systems?!?! 

See also:

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?

Cheers
Peter
Sounds like just the kind of thing I am interested in. The issue of the machine readability of the biography section will need to eventually be solved, so this would be a step in that direction.

It would be good to be able to encode sources as events in the program you're proposing. My first four or five generations on my family tree are generally a good test for this; I have government data for many of my family members from their birth to their death, and you can see that quite a few of them moved around a lot during the course of their lives.

In the long run, encoding this geographical and chronological data would help immensely in training expert systems to identify probable matches of genealogical documents without relying almost exclusively on merely matching names. If the machine can see what percentage of people live within 20 miles of where they are born their entire lives as compared to how many move, how far, and how frequently within a given era of transportation technology then the machine can infer the probability that a given candidate is a good fit despite seemingly having moved across the country or even from one country to another.

>>one issue that is not straight forward in doing this - converting the place names to a latitude-longitude for the map tool. 

My suggestion is adding locations also as GPS coordinates the wiki way of doing this is to create a Template like Coord 

Doing Genealogy 2016 then you have the ambition to share location of houses and graves using coordinates....

>> The issue of the machine readability of the biography section will need to eventually be solved, so this would be a step in that direction.

Today Wikitree has machine readable fields see Thomas-18071 see Google test tools for Structured data 

They understand
<span itemprop="name">John  Thomas</span>

If we look at schema Person or historical-data  and how to extend the schema WikiTree could add more that is machine readable using templates that generates good machine readable code.

Template:Coord generates machine-readable Geo microformat.

Cool chrome plug-in that reads microformats on a web page

Another cool plug in for Firefox Operator that recognize microformats on a page and then let you do actions on the below Wikipedia page Alabama

 

>> encoding this geographical and chronological data would help immensely in training expert systems to identify probable matches of genealogical documents without relying almost exclusively on merely matching names. 

I more than agree that if we start to add Data as Data for location, time, sources then it will change genealogy a lot. A Swedish programmer took FTDNA data and displayed peoples family trees in your FF resultlist on FTDNA on a map ==>

==> you could zoom in and out and get displayed the people from the family trees that had born/dead locations in this area. BUT as what a change if we also had all the places a person had lived in?

Video in Swedish how the tool looks at 29 min , at 30:30

If we also start adding sources using templates ==> we get that information in a structured way ==> at least in Sweden we can then understand if two people has sources from the same church books and combining that with if we have done DNA tests and has a segment match then that is magic.... 

1 Answer

+2 votes

Another tool I saw yesterday http://histropedia.com/ makes it easy to create online Timelines - it use Wikidata as source but have plans on a API

 

by C S G2G6 Pilot (274k points)
edited by C S

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