My Map View: World & Regional Maps

The first map you will see in My Map View is a world map.  In the Map My Family section of the screen (left side), you can expand the Maps node to see a list of the Regional maps that pertain to the family you have on the world map, and under Country maps will be a list of the country where your family has been identified.

Remember the locations your family has been found in is not a “master, all-knowing list” of everyplace in the world where your family members can or could be found in records.  The locations displayed on the maps come from the family tree that you imported into GenDetective; these are the locations you have placed your family.

Compare the two maps below.  The first map contains a list of the regions and countries where I have found my direct relatives.  The second map, All Relatives, contains a list of all regions and countries where I have identified family members.  Notice that the scale and colors have changed between the two maps.  Always check the scale that is being used as it will change based on what is currently located in the map; the scale is not fixed.

Direct Relatives All Relatives

Instead of looking at a world map, click on any of the Regional Maps to see a detailed map of the region you selected.  I clicked on the Regional Map of Europe and the following map appeared.  By comparing to the world maps above, you can see this is more focused map of Europe.

My Family In Europe

Click on any country in the World map or a Regional map to see additional details about the selected country.  Note, the list below the map has also changed to contain links to the countries contained in the regional map.

In our next post we will explore the information found in a country map.



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My Maps: Getting Started

The initial view in My Map View you will see when using GenDetective v3 will look similar to the following:

Initial Map In My Maps View

As with each view in GenDetective, My Map View is divided into multiple sections.  Each section can be resized smaller and larger to dedicate as much space as possible to each section.  The areas are:

  1. Map My Family: This section on the left side of the screen controls the contents of the map (middle section).  You have the option to:
    1. Select the relatives to include in the map; options range from very broad (everyone) to very specific (2nd great grandparents).
    2. Option buttons: you can map people (the number of people at a location) or events (the number of times you have recorded the people at a location).
    3. Maps: the maps section provides a list of the regions (World is always present), continents, and individual countries that occur in the map.
  2. Map Area: The middle section of the screen displays the map, and below the map a list of links related to the contents of the map (in a World map, a list of countries)
    1. Map: the dominant section in the middle, displays the selected map, color coded based on the number of people or events that you have elected to display on your map.  Each country or state displayed in the map can be clicked on to “drill into” additional maps.
    2. Scale: below the map is the scale for the colors in the map.  The scale changes with each map you click on.
    3. List: below the scale is the list of links that correspond to the selected map.  As you click on different maps, the contents displayed in the list will change.
  3. Family Members: This section found on the right side of the screen lists the family members associated with the contents of the map displayed in the middle.
    1. List of people: This section will list the people who correspond to the contents of the map.
    2. Filter links: The links in this section provide a way to filter or limit the people who are displayed in the Family members list.

In the coming weeks each post will explore the functionality in My Map View.




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What Is My Map View?

My Map View is one of the core features of GenDetective v3.  First is the cool, look at my family on a map, wow factor!  Followed quickly by, what now?

My Map View

Genealogy and geography are intertwined.  Geography, along with the years our family were in a location, dictates (controls) the resources we can use to learn more about our family.  Obvious differences in record collections can be quickly spotted, even at a national level:

  1. The United States every 10 years, 1790-1940 (only fragments remain from 1890), plus many territorial and colonial censuses
  2. Great Britain every 10 years, 1841-1911
  3. Canada every 10 years, 1871-1921, plus many provincial & territorial censuses from 1825-1870
  4. The Australians destroyed most of their census records after compiling statistics for privacy protection
  5. The Irish census records have been destroyed:
    • 1821, 1831, 1841, 1851 mostly destroyed in 1922 due to fire
    • 1861 & 1871 were destroyed shortly after the census was enumerated
    • 1881 & 1891 during WW1

Looking at the this list, without considering other countries, demonstrates how geography and time span control the availability of records for genealogical research.  As we further hone in on the locales of our ancestors, state and local records come into play and more variability emerges.  Newspapers, local tax records, state enumerations (New Jersey had state censuses on the 5’s, but Pennsylvania did not), burned county records intrude, as well as regional variability.  Geography is very quickly determining the records available to explore, before we have begun our research!

With geography comes maps and My Map View.  In the next series of posts we will explore My Map View and how to effectively use GenDetective maps in your research.

Map Discussion Initial Map
My Maps: Getting Started

Initial Map In My Maps View

My Maps: World and Regional Maps

My Map View

My Maps: That’s Not Where My Family Was At!

My Family Locations Report

My Maps: What Places Did GenDetective Pick For My Family?

What standardized locations did my places map to?

My Maps: People versus Events?

Map People or Events?

My Maps: Country Maps

Map of My Family in the United States

My Maps: State Maps for The United States

California Family Map

My Maps: State Maps for Other Countries

Map of My Ancestors in Germany

My Maps: US County Maps

Family Members With An Event in El Cajon, Ca



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GenDetective v3.2 Update Released

RumbleSoft is pleased to announce the release of GenDetective v3.2.  This update includes fixes to the following issues:

  • Issue with mapping locations in Canada
  • Problem with maps from multiple countries where drill down to people did not work including: Canada, Switzerland & Turkey.
  • Fix the “My State Wide Research Packet” which would sporadically through an error
  • Correct a GEDCOM processing error for files created by FindMyPast

The update can be downloaded in 3 ways:

  1. By clicking the link here: GenDetective 3.2 Update
  2. Running GenDetective, when it checks once a week for updates, it will prompt you to download and install the update.
  3. Visiting the updates page on our website:

GenDetective is a genealogy visualization and research planning utility.

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My Tree View: Family Members & Reports

The last area of My Tree View is found in the upper right hand corner: Family Members and Reports.  Looking in the upper right corner of  the My Tree View screenshot below, you will see a list of relatives, identified by relationship, to the person that is currently selected.  Clicking on any of these individuals, regardless of relationship, will shift the individuals shown in the navigation view to the ancestors of the selected person.  Use this list of family members to navigate through your tree.  Note, that the home person will always be listed, providing a quick way to “refocus” your view.

My Tree View

Beside the the Family tab is the Reports tab which looks like the following picture.

Reports of Interest

Each of the reports listed in the Reports of Interest tab is a report that can be created for any person using My Family View.  Each report in this list is discussed in detail beginning with the article What Is My Family View?

Clicking on any of these reports and pressing the Create Report button (or double clicking on a report) will trigger the creation of the report for the person highlighted in the navigation view!  Creating a report causes the view to switch from My Tree View to My Family View, with the desired report displayed.  To return to My Tree View, simply click on the button in the toolbar, or change the view with the Current View drop down.

Report of Interest Created from My Tree View

Combining traditional genealogy programs with the power of GenDetective results in My Tree View which is a powerful way to gain insight into additional research opportunities!

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My Tree View: My Research Progress Details

A powerful feature of GenDetective is the ability to configure your own personal research goals.

My Tree View

Using personal research goals provides a way for us to identify research opportunities in our family and that information is front and center as we examine each ancestor in My Tree View!  For the selected person, the one whose timeline is displayed below the navigational view, look at the lower right hand corner.  This section displays the progress for each of the areas in My Research Progress.

My Research Progress Details in My Tree View

To the left is a closeup of the My Research Progress that changes each time an ancestor is clicked on in the navigation view.  The display of your research progress in each research area is familiar, and found in all of the other views in GenDetective.  Each research area is a link, when you click on provides additional information about your research progress.

Research progress for each statistic is identified by one of three images:

Research Progress Images


  • A green check: research identified
  • A red X: research not located
  • A blue circle: partial research identified

At the bottom of each chart, is a link that returns you to the research progress summary.  The chart below shows the details of each of the research areas.

Research Area Example
Vital Statistics
Death Statistics
Census Research
Occupational Research
Military Research
Religious Research
Immigration Research
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My Tree View: Navigation & Traditional Views

The central feature of My Tree View can be broken into two areas, both on the left side of the screen which fills most of the screen.

My Tree View – Navigation & Timeline

  • Generational Blocks: this section displays the ancestors in your tree, connected to each other by lines, child to each of his parents.  This traditional view contains 4 generations and attached to the right side of the 4th generation is an arrow, when pressed, scrolls one more generation into the past.  On the right side of the screen is a scroll bar that adjusts the view in the center of the screen displaying the ancestors not currently visible.  Each person’s display includes:
    1. Name
    2. Birth Date – Death Date
    3. Foot Print: includes your progress walking the path of this ancestor and in meeting your personal research goals
  • Timeline: a timeline is displayed for any person in the generational block view that is “clicked”.  Each time the generations scroll, the timeline is adjusted to match the person who is displayed in generation 1. To view the timeline for any other person click on the rectangle containing the ancestors name.

You can see that by adding a detailed timeline and incorporating your research progress for each person we’ve increased the information you see for each person in My Tree view.  Our next post will discuss the right side of the screen which significantly increases the information available.

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