Ideas to increase the usefulness of the Map feature
I find that the Map feature on FamilySearch is nice eye candy to someone browsing through Family History, but not very useful or helpful to the researcher. I am researching ancestors from the Colonial America time period of 1750’s to the post Revolutionary War time period of 1820’s. Records are usually very hard to find and the information on them is very limited. A lot of research goes in to researching the area, the local history, etc. I have added many custom events to the Timeline feature to help me remember thing that happened that might have influenced moves, deaths, marriages, etc. The problem I am having is seeing the migration pattern of the family and extended family in relation to time. I am suggesting the following improvements (if possible) to truly help the researchers gain a clearer picture of family migration pattern.
- Add the ability to set a time range for TimeLine data. For example, if an individual bought a property in 1764 and sold it in 1776, then both of those dates could be included in the data. Not all events on the Timeline will have ranges, but some will
- Add the ability to turn on/off each individual Timeline event for showing on the map or not. Currently, you can only select it by category. Some custom events I want to show up and some I don’t. There are reasons why I may want certain events to show and others not based on the picture I am trying to figure out.
- Upgrade the map to a flow map, where there is a slide bar that the user can slide back and forth through time (based on dates in their timeline), showing where individuals lived (or whatever events are selected) in space and time. With suggestions #1 and #2, this would be an extremely helpful feature - though I’m sure not an easy one. I have looked for software to create what I’m looking for and haven’t really found it. There are things that are close, but not quite.
- Additionally, add the option to show other linked relative’s selected events on the map at the same time (with separate icons), such as siblings, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. In earlier times, families often migrated together or at least to the same area but at different times. Seeing where and when extended family members lived in relation to the individual you are research can help guide possible research. Further, it also has better eye candy value.
- This is a real stretch, I’m sure… but it would be nice to have the ability to edit the actual location of each event icon to some degree. For example, if I can identify from records where the property was, or even a close proximity, that would be better than just an icon on the city or jurisdiction that record was recorded in. I have come across wishing I could move the icon to a specific location several times.