Sunday, July 27, 2014

Who is this?

One problem I have when looking at my family tree is that I get lost.  I end up looking at the details of a person and forget how I'm related to them.  I think there's probably a way to make visualizing and exploring family trees clear, orientable and memorable, but we're not there yet (or at least I'm not satisfied yet).

Maybe one way to fix the "how am I related to this person, again?" problem is with a graph that's really easy to display succinctly.  Here are some ideas:

All of the above drawings represent my dad's mom's dad's dad's mom.  The first three are nice because they vary in two dimensions (and seem easy to grasp at a glance).  The last two are nice because they have a uniform height.

1. Without color, the gender of the person on the left is ambiguous (unless you know it's you).
2. Could you extend this to show cousin/sibling relationships?  Maybe something like:
A: My mom's mom's sister's child.
B: My dad's brother's son (here the lines on the left without dots indicate gender)
C: My mom's mom's sibling (gender is ambiguous unless a dot-less left line was included on the leaf dots).

After drawing the MMFMMF one from above, I thought, "How about a series of interlocking Ms and Ws?"
Voila! :)

What do you think?

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