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The academic paper titled GeneaQuilts: A System for Exploring Large Genealogies [aviz.fr] presents a novel data visualization technique for representing large genealogies of up to several thousand individuals. The scalable visualization technique takes the form of a diagonally-filled matrix, where rows are individuals and columns are nuclear families.

Genealogies are represented in the form of a layered, diagonally-filled matrix, which eliminates crossings and accommodates very large datasets in the order of thousands of individuals. By depicting individuals as rows and families as columns, with parents always at a higher layer (generation) than their children, the visualization exhibits marriage and parent/children relationships, as well as other interesting relationships such as cross-generational and consanguine marriages.

The system includes an overview, a timeline, search and filtering components, and a new interaction technique called Bring & Slide that allows fluid navigation in very large genealogies. In front of each name is an icon that indicates the person's gender. Black dots indicate relationships within families. Dots above a family icon point to the parents and dots below point to the children. Round dots point to females while square dots refer to males.

The technique has been evaluated with 3 anthropologists and 4 historians. The results of this user testing and more detailed information can be found in the original paper (PDF), which was presented at the Infovis 2010 conference.

Thnkx Petra!


I love that the paper cites "R. Munroe, xkcd#657"

Sat 20 Nov 2010 at 2:20 AM

This is brilliant!

Sat 20 Nov 2010 at 4:28 AM

I had to look up the specific xkcd comic (which sounds insulting for xkcd - maybe not a 'comic' but a 'visual insight') and I can see why it was referenced http://xkcd.com/657/

Wed 08 Dec 2010 at 12:51 AM
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