Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tech Tuesday: Rootsmapper.com ~ Ya, this is pretty cool!

Magda, author of the blog, hungarianfamilyrecord.org, recently shared the website RootsMapper.com on Facebook. I checked out the website and it's pretty awesome.

What is RootsMapper and what is its purpose? The website states the following:
"The goal of RootsMapper to is to allow you to visualize the origins of your ancestors and see how they migrated. We utilize the Google Maps API to plot and link up your family tree data that is pulled directly from FamilySearch.org in real-time."
You will need a FamilySearch account to use RootsMapper. Here's the start page.

RootsMapper Start Page

To use RootsMapper, press the blue "Login to FamilySearch" button at the top left side of the page. You will be redirected to the FamilySearch login page.


RootsMapper FamilySearch Login Page

After you've signed in to FamilySearch, the magic happens.

With myself set as the Root Person, RootsMapper mapped seven generations of my ancestors' origins and migration patterns. You can set the number of generations from one to seven.

The pink lines represent maternal ancestors and the blue lines represent paternal ancestors. The pin color represents the gender of the ancestor – blue for males and pink for females. The numbers on the pins represent what generation they belong to.

Here is my map showing seven generations. I cropped the map to show where my pins landed so it would be bigger and easier to see on my blog.

RootsMapper 7-Generation Results

Isn't this just so cool?

As you can see, my paternal ancestors (represented by those blue lines) were born in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Some of these ancestors immigrated
to the United States.


My maternal ancestors (represented by the pink lines) were from several different parts of the world. Those pink lines heading out into the Atlantic Ocean are actually landing on Islands - The Archipelago of the Azores and the Island of Madeira. Some of those ancestors from Portugal immigrated to Brazil. My maternal grandfather and his family, including my mother, were born in Brazil and immigrated to the United States in 1952. Other maternal ancestors were from Mexico. And still others were from the United States.

You may have noticed that a lot of the pins on this map are overlapping each other. Not a problem! Just click on them, and they separate. You can see what that looks like in the screenshot below. Each of those pins represents an ancestor.

RootsMapper 7-Generation Expanded Pin Results

With the pins separated, you can click on each one to see the information for that specific ancestor. This can be helpful because I noticed that some of my ancestors were missing information. That could be a clue that I need to do more research, or that I simply need to add the missing information to FamilySearch.org.

Also, you can change the root person on your map by clicking on the ancestor's ID number in blue below their name.

RootsMapper 7-Generation Expanded Pin Results with Ancestor Information Box

On some of these ancestor information boxes, you will see a green "Expand Parents" box at the bottom right. If you click that, the map will show that ancestor's parents.

RootsMapper 7-Generation Expand Parents Box

This is what happened when I clicked the "Expand Parents" button for Aaron Parsons, who was born in Massachusetts in 1737. The red arrows are pointing to the 8th generation pins that weren't there before.

RootsMapper 7-Generation Expand Parents Box Results

When I clicked on the blue #8 pin, the ancestor information box for Aaron Parsons' father appeared. He was born in Massachusetts in 1712.

RootsMapper 7-Generation Expand Parents Box Results 2

One more thing…you can also zoom in on the map to get a more detailed view of your ancestors' places of origin and migration patterns.

RootsMapper Country Zoomed View

An important note – If you want an accurate map, it is very important to make sure the information contained in FamilySearch.org is correct.

So, what do you think? Pretty awesome right?

The website also has a helpful FAQ button on the bottom right side of the page. Have fun exploring RootsMapper.com!


Update:

Since publishing this blog post, RootsMapper.com has released version 1.0.3, which, according to their blog, includes these new features:

  • You can now set the generation run to 8 instead of 7.
  • There is no longer a green "Expand Parents" button. Instead there are pin icons.
  • You can now view an ancestor in FamilySearch.org by clicking on the FamilySearch tree icon next to the ancestor's name.


Thanks for reading!

© 2013 Copyright by Jana Last

24 comments:

  1. That was super cool. There are a few glitches. When the mapper doesn't recognize a very specific location in Ontario, Canada, it goes to the Center of Ontario. When the mapper doesn't know where in the United States someone is from, the pinpoint goes to the center of the continent. Pretty funny for 1788. I don't mean to pick on the tool. It's really impressive and a lot of fun. I just thought I'd toss out a few quirks that I found funny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Devon,

      It is a cool mapping tool. I hadn't noticed those specific glitches when I did my maps. But, hopefully these things will get fixed over time. I think it's a pretty new website.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. This looks so cool, Jana! I can't wait to play with it. Thanks for your great explanation of how it works!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Shelley,

      Thank you for your kind comments! I hope you enjoy exploring this fun website. And thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. Yours is VERRRRY interesting because your ancestors came from very different parts of the world and some in more recent time. I'm afraid my map will be verrrry boring because I can trace one great-grandmother to Ireland, specific spot unknown, and one line to Germany. Most of my lines have been here in the US forever and I can't take them back any further. I do like how your European cluster looks like a chrysanthemum. Some of those screen shots would be fun to frame for a genealogy display.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Wendy,

      LOL! A chrysanthemum! You are too funny! Even if you can't presently trace your ancestors to other countries, it may be interesting to zoom in on the map and see your ancestors' migration patterns within the United States. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  4. Jana, this is a wonderful tip! What an easy way to visualize where ancestors came from, where they went to, and where they ended up. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Marian,

      I'd say I'm primarily a visual learner and this mapping website is just really fun. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. I absolutely love this, Jana. One more item to do and share with my grandkids, eh?! This is a fabulous example of using RootsMapper.

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    Replies
    1. HI Celia,

      I think this tool could be a great one to use with the youth. It seems like a fun way to share family history. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. I love RootsMapper. It definitely helps with plotting migration patterns. And your family tree is so diverse! And the family cluster in Europe looks kind of flowery and pretty! Thanks for sharing this!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Brian,

      Thanks for your kind comments! RootsMapper really is a fun family history tool. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  7. What fun, Jana! This is a completely new and interesting tool to me. I'd never heard of it before. Thanks for writing such a great post with so much detail. I'll check it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nancy,

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy exploring RootsMapper. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. Wow! You really went traveling here ! Love this presentation on road mapper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Magda,

      Yep, my ancestors were from all over the place, weren't they? =)

      Thank you for sharing RootsMapper.com on Facebook! It's a really fun family history tool. And thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  9. This was an excellent post, and colorful,educational and interesting too. I don't have an account, but wondered if you knew what the limit of names you can upload is. Thought it was 2,000, and I have way over that number. Mine won't look like yours, since my lines are all in the US, and that's what makes yours so interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Barbara,

      Thank you! I have way over 2,000 names in my database also. And I was able to upload my file to FamilySearch.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  10. that looks pretty interesting . I will have to check it out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is a fun family history tool! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  11. This is a great tool. I found your blog post through the Pinterest group GeneaBloggers on their Tuesday's Tip board. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Robin,

      Yes, RootsMapper is a fun tool. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your comment!

      Delete
  12. Love it! I will definitely have to try this. I agree with Wendy, it does look like a chrysanthemum, befitting because families do bloom!!! I use FamilySearch.org, but only for research. I guess I will have to look into putting my family tree on there as well as ancestry. Thanks for the great information and help Jana!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome Debbie! I'm so glad you enjoyed my post. I hope you will try RootsMapper. It really is a great family history tool. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete

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