[LINK] RFI: Setting up a Family Website

Daniel Rose drose at nla.gov.au
Tue Feb 26 14:52:26 EST 2008

Roger Clarke wrote:
> I've done a fairly substantial web-site in boring old HTML.
> It's all very well for people who know a bit about HTML.
> But how are *normal* people supposed to put family trees up on the Web.
> I've been asked the question.
> So I'd greatly appreciate advice for people who want to put up 
> representations of quite complex and very specific kinds of 
> data-structures, and who have considerable skills and tenacity (because 
> family researchers have both), but whose web-publishing expertise is 
> limited.

My Mum uses genes reunited.co.uk but apparently ancestry.com is better but costs triple the price.

The former site is pretty crappy, rising to poor in some areas.  Generally one does import and export from a desktop program using a transfer file format ('gedcom').

In general the idea is to select a single person then elect to only show the tree near them.  You can have the whole tree appear with a google maps-type control set, but there's a lot of scrolling involved and many looong parallel lines.  Mind you, mum has ~1200 people so it's a challenge to represent graphically.

I think the idea of a "shot" of the full tree is dangerous.  Mum's is not large at all for those in the field, and some, particularly the Mormon ones, will stretch well into the tens of thousands.

Ancestry.com I've never seen, but probably has fewer ads.  The challenge for visual representation remains the same.

To put it up online all by yourself? I have never tried, but google indicates that GRAMPS is good, http://gramps-project.org/

It will import/export in gedcom format, and will also export into a single file for use with "web family tree", http://www.simonward.com/cgi-bin/page.pl?family/tree

Which is GPL and has source, and is probably one step too far for the people under discussion, and is not as visually appealing as all the web 2.0 stuff.

Some gedcom to html converters exist:


And that's as far as I got helping Mum the other day.

Daniel Rose
National Library of Australia

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