So I've been working on a project in Google Maps/Google Earth that is making my genealogy efforts very interesting. I decided that I needed a new, more visual way to view my ancestors and their placement in history, and I thought one of the best ways to do this would be to lay it all out on a map.
To give you a preview it looks something like this:
I've mainly been tracking down all of the burial and cemetery information I have stored away in hundreds of files all across my computer. And after some recent golden finds on FindAGrave.com, I've had tons of incentive to map out all of these cemeteries. I've only just begun.
Then I had a great thought. In RootsMagic 6, I'm able to color code my direct line ancestors in order to help me remember at a glance which side of my family I'm working on. My father's side of the family is red, and my mother's is blue. I realized I could use matching color pins in my map to make this project even more effective in laying out the history of my family.
Then I decided to take it to the next step. I can also map out all of the local historical societies in the areas close to where my ancestors lived. My dream one day is to visit all of these places where my ancestors lived, and I want to make those trips as productive and well-planned as possible. I don't need to wander aimlessly around small towns trying to figure out where I am or where to go. I can plan it all out virtually before I even get in my car to make the trip.
Seeing the city names on a map has already helped me to see how easy it would be to correct and fill in much of my missing information. One feature to look out for in Google Earts is that it displays the county boundaries, while Google Maps does not. However, I find Google Maps easier to use overall.
As my ideas continue to expand for what this map can turn into, I'm also wanting to add custom color-coded place markers. This website has fabulous icons, which you can also customize to your color preferences. In order to use them, I need to have them hosted to the web so they have a URL. However, I'm having trouble getting them to work in Google Maps. But for the sake of posterity, here they are for you to see:
These here would be great for historical societies, archives, any sort of places that keep records that you want to remember.
These here represent cemeteries. They have a few more options there, including one for a Jewish cemetery. And all of these can be customized to whatever color you can define with a hexadecimal color coder.
These here are called Memorial, but I think they look like headstones.
Like I said, I've been having trouble getting them to upload into Google, and once I do they don't display. I plan to keep working at it until I get the results I want. This map is going to be an amazing tool, and I'm looking forward to continually adding to it as my research continues.