Monday, August 10, 2009

Map Reading 102

Reading a map is not easy. Ask all the frustrated drivers who have to stop and ask for directions, or turn to their digital navigation system! They still need to pass Map Reading 101. In her very informative article, "Map Reading 102," Judy Rosella Edwards lets us in on some lesser known map reading strategies.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mapping the World and Its Data

Maps are excellent tools, fun and interesting, but can be intimidating, especially for those new to genealogy. Today's technology has made maps more accessible and the task of working with maps considerably easier; and yes, even fun. In his article, "Mapping the World and Its Data," Larry Naukam gives us a primer on super-imposing old maps onto Google Earth for a then-and-now comparison all for free.. If you haven't yet discovered Google Earth, it is satellite imagery that lets you zoom in to view virtually any place on the planet. Superimposing an old map onto Google Earth allows you to walk the land, so to speak and gain new insights into your family history.

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Google is more than a search engine

Many of us are familiar with Google as a search engine, but it is much more than that, as noted in Gena Philibert's most recent article, "Using Google in Your Genealogy, Part 1." In addition to reviewing how to get the most out of the Google search engine, the article also reviews the Google Map feature, including Panoramio, which combines maps with user-submitted pictures of places found at different locations. Other benefits of using Google in your research will appear in Part 2.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007 announces beta release of Genealogy Maps

Plot your family history using Google Maps. In a press release today, the Beta release of their new Genealogy Maps. These new tools take location information already present in GEDCOM or online family trees, and provide a unique graphical view of a family history: Ancestor Map shows all known locations of an individual's ancestors, showing many generations at one glance; Family Map displays where the parents and children of an individual were born, allowing the family historian to step-by-step through the family's past just by following the links to each family member; Descendants Map provides a single view, showing how an ancestor's offspring spread throughout the world.

"We aren't trying to be the leading research site, or provide the largest database of names to search," explained Vandana Rao of TribalPages, "What we do is help you present your family history to the world. These new Genealogy Maps are a great new way to do that. Seeing where your ancestors came from and where their families ended up is a very powerful experience."

TribalPages is one of the last online services offering completely free online family trees, with no trial periods or gimmicks. "We're happy to provide these Maps to our free family trees, " says Rao, "We feel that the more usable and powerful our platform is, the more likely our free customers will choose to pay for the additional photo storage and premium features our paid sites provide."

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Maps aid and enhance research

Maps are great aids to genealogy research, and can help you understand more about your ancestor's environment. In his article, "Maps and Genealogy," Alan Smith gives a brief rationale for using maps and suggests a number of map resources. Of particular interest is the online University of Texas Libraries map collection web site which provides access to map in Texas and elsewhere, as well as providing links to other online map resources.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Unsung Heroes of Map-Making

Surveying and map making was an important part of westward expansion. In her article, "Which Way Is North?" Judy Rosella Edwards observes, "Genealogists use maps all the time and we trust they are accurate." Her article recounts the early surveying and map-making efforts of Charles Manners and his cohort Joseph Ledlie, who "fixed" the First Guide Meridian and 6th Principal Meridian "so maps would be accurate." She reports, "It is the longest baseline in the United States and . . . was the demarcation line separating slave and free, North and South, during the American Civil War." The article is an opportunity for us to reflect on contributions of those responsible for these maps, large and small that we often take for granted.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Brown University Cataloguing Rare Maps

Here's an article from the Boston Globe about a new project at Brown Univ. to catalogue a collection of rare maps. "Officials say the push to catalog the artifacts -- some brittle with age, and many dating back 100 years or more -- will make them more accessible to the public and help those interested in urban studies, genealogy and other research areas."


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