In my last post I introduced you to the My Maps view and how you can look at various maps of your family at an international or national level. What’s next? You can look at an individual state, which shows us the county level boundaries for the state.
For business reasons, I might be traveling to a state, and when traveling, I can always find someone to research. But where do I begin? I start with a map of my family in the state that I am traveling to. Looking at the map to the left, I immediately see that it isn’t very helpful. It looks like I could spend weeks researching in the state of Indiana. Since I want to focus my research on my direct relatives (which isn’t that where we usually want to focus our research) I can change the map to only focus on my direct relatives in Indiana. Wow, what a huge difference this change makes in the map! It is now immediately obvious what area of the state I need to visit to research my family. I’m headed to Southern Indiana, near the Mississippi and Ohio rivers!
But who am I looking for? Who am I going to research on my first trip to the state of Indiana? To find the answer, I click on Vanderburgh county and get a list of the direct people who lived there. If I want to expand my list, I can look at close relatives, which includes the great aunts and uncles and 1st cousins to get a slightly bigger list of names to look for in the local genealogy library.
Unfortunately, at this time GenDetective 2 only has the county level maps for the United States. I am trying to find county level maps for other countries, but have not found any to date. If you know of any public domain shape maps (.shp+.dbf files) that are in the public domain or published by local government that have no “strings attached” on using them, email me the website and I will check into using them.