Sunday, July 29, 2007

CSI software used to create a family tree

From DearMYRTLE’s “Wackiest use of software” files

For those of you who have an extra $1,500 lying around to purchase software, Ol' Myrt ran across something that is most certainly unique:

Use the same software crime scene investigators use to track addresses of victims to predict the next place the perp will attack

~ to ~

create a family tree.

And in case you are asking, the answer is NO – this version doesn’t directly import a GEDCOM file, but it could easily be rigged to do so.

The Spring 2007 Issue of Arc News reports that ESRI GIS & Mapping Software can be used to make an editable, sharable, printable family tree:

“One of the main drawbacks of a typical hard-copy drawing was the density of information and the inflexibility of updating and adding new family members. With GIS, this issue was resolved. The ArcGIS advanced editing capabilities, with the possibility of selecting, moving, adding, copying, and pasting, made data updating a flexible and enjoyable task.

Sayed started by designing a geodatabase that contained the people as a polygon feature class where each feature represented one leaf or section of a branch or the trunk, that is, one family person. The feature class included English name; Arabic name; date of birth; file number; origin (family branch); gender: male or female; marital status: single, married, divorced, or widowed; profession; position; living status; mobile number; e-mail; cause of death (if the person is deceased); picture (raster); and general comments. The geodatabase also included the following tables: address, spouse, and children.” See: GIS Preserves Family Ties (complete with how-to screen shots),


  • ArcGIS Desktop version “ArcGIS Desktop is software that allows you to discover patterns, relationships, and trends in your data that are not readily apparent in databases, spreadsheets, or statistical packages.”
  • GIS for Law Enforcement
Despite the versatility offered by the ArcGIS software, I doubt this class on drawing family trees will be discussed at the 2007 ESRI Homeland Security GIS Summit in Denver this November.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

(c) 2007 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

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