Note: this has been updated to allow loading your own GEDCOM files or viewing sample trees. The updated site is at https://learnforeverlearn.com/ancestors/My wife loves to play around on Ancestry.com. Every now and then, I'll help her out with one of the trees. It's interesting, and fun to see those little dynamic leaves pop up when there is a "hint", and you can then see about going further back in time. Genealogy is a huge business. Every one of us has a family tree, and we like seeing where we come from. That's how we got here.
On one of the recent Ancestry shows "Who Do You Think You Are", the hosts got Cindy Crawford all excited because they could trace her lineage to Charlemagne, who lived in the 700's. Of course, based on a number of factors, it would have been far more interesting if she had NOT been related to Charlemagne. What they showed her was one path back to Charlemagne. There are many more ancestors at each level, and we know that, but we are so bad at comprehending exponential growth that this kind of connection can sound impressive. We might read how everyone should be related to Charlemagne, and how the number of our direct ancestors explodes very quickly as you start going back in time, but it is still hard to grasp that.
This has led me to want to come up with a visualization or visualizations that might be able to make this growth more plain (and to play with other features of d3.js).
My first steps in this direction (using d3) are available here:
|Viewing Ten Generations of Your Ancestors|
As for d3, the tree is a modified version of the d3 tree layout, where I've modified the "y" values to work with the time scale. The amount of drudgery that d3 takes care of when mapping scales is priceless - this greatly simplified the mapping from mouse position to year on the vertical scale.