Genealogical Mapping with Bing Maps and Ancestry

Ancestry’s new Family Tree Maker 2010 released yesterday and it includes integration of Bing™ Maps right in the software. Software plus services? I think so… Bing™ Maps is a great new feature to help you map out significant events and people to the places they are respectively associated with. For example, once you add people to your family tree you can then click the “Places” button in the menu ribbon. You’ll see a list of all places that are associated with the facts you’ve entered into Family Tree Maker. You can click on each location (or person) to display a Bing™ Map centered on the respective place – and, yes, Ancestry included our world famous Bird’s Eye photography.


Additionally, Family Tree Maker 2010 provides unique ways to view your family history. You can now track the migration paths of a person and their family through time, by mapping event locations with Bing™ Maps. This is pretty sweet, actually. I entered a bunch of data about my family – where they were born, married and died. Then, as I click on each person’s name I can see the migration path between all of these locations. I can also view the migration paths for several generations of my family. I selected 4 generations of family and you can see the lines rendered on the Bing™ map highlight all family members birthplaces and death places. The more data you get into the application, the more you’ll see migratory flows of where a family came from and is headed. Maybe, had I had this years ago I would’ve known I’d end up in Seattle and could’ve planned for that!


Not to be overshadowed, the site also has Bing™ Maps integrated right into their user experience. For any location found within a user’s profile you can map it out on their Maps Beta contained behind the login of their genealogy site. The interface is all built with Adobe Flash and provides a means for not just mapping location information for family members; but, also provides a way to move pins around to adjust their locations. There are also built in buttons for displaying cemeteries, court houses and other places of interest.  

So, a fantastic showing for the folks at and their products – kudos, boys and girls! Read more about Family Tree Maker 2010 on the Blog.

I’m telling you – location is EVERYWHERE! It is quickly becoming the most critical aspect of our world; and, with the adoption of so many new location sensing technologies and the investment in all these new data visualization techniques, Bing Maps is set to be a part of your life in one form or another. Get ready for it.


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