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 Google Maps

Sample MapThe system has the ability to plot people by place on a US map using Google Maps .

How to Use
From any set of search results, clicking the button in the upper right will attempt to plot this list of people on a map by birthplace, for those that have a county or county and city defined.  If someone's birthplace is not found, it looks for their earliest place of residence, often from a census listing.

To move around the map, click and hold the mouse button and drag.  To zoom in or out, click the + or - buttons in the upper left.  In cases where there are many pins in a close area, it helps to zoom in until the pins are more separated.

Clicking any pin on the map will show a person or list of people defined as being born in or near this place, with their dates.  For longer lists of people, the list may be cut off at Map Samplethe end.  For people who have only a county defined, they are listed together at or near the county seat, but the actual birthplace could be elsewhere in the county -- so it is good to be specific where possible.

Individual people
For any person or couple for whom there are places mapped. click the button in the upper right of their page to see their places mapped.  Lines will connect the places in chronological order from birh to death/grave, blue for men, red for women.

Descendants
On the Descendant chart the button in the upper right does the same thing, except displaying the descendants and showing lines from one generation to the next.  Blue lines show male children, pink lines female children.

Pedigrees
On the Pedigree chart the button displays a similar map, starting with one person and showing their ancestors for 6 generations.  Blue lines link to the father, pink lines to the mother.

Locating Places
Map showing some of the descendants of William the Conquerer
Map showing some of the
descendants of William the
Conquerer.  Click map for a
larger view.

For the plotting to work, it is mainly a matter of entering places in the form of "NC, Martin Co, Williamston", being consistent, and having the correct spelling.  For most places, Google will automatically find and plot the correct location based on the city.  In some cases such as places that no longer exist, or smaller crossroads towns, they may not appear.  The System Administrator will periodically check for any places that the system cannot locate, and will attempt to identify the location on the USGS website or by other means.

If any of your places are not formatted as mentioned above, or are not spelled correctly, and thus preventing them from showing on a map, the Administrator may notify you to suggest updating it.

This is currently setup to be automatic only for U.S. places, provided Google is able to locate the place. The UK is somewhat manual, showing the place marker if the location has previously been identified in the system, currently up to about 2,600 cities and towns. Other countries will be added later.  Want to help out in mapping new places?  Let me know, and I'll send instructions!

Formatting Places
Again, to help clean up the formatting and readability, (1) try to include the county and city / town where possible, so that too many people won't be combined together under the general county location, and (2) zoom and or out as needed.

Future Features
If you think of any new ways in which this mapping could be useful, let me know!  There may be many unexplored possibilities.

FYI -- When you view a map and then navigate away, the system may briefly flash a new window.  This is just the system taking new places on the map and saving the coordinates for later use, so that the city and state do not have to be queried each time.

Links
Below are some websites that are helpful for locationing places:
USGS:  http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/
Google Maps:  http://maps.google.com
UK Gazeteer:  http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/Gazetteer
Global Gazeteer:  http://www.fallingrain.com/world/index.html

Updated: 9-6-2012