JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Using Google or Yahoo maps to display genealogical facts #general

Martin Fischer

Dear SIGers,

Using U.S. census data, old St. Louis city directories, Google maps and a beta site
called Map Builder, I have created a special new page on my personal family history
Web site showing where my ancestors and related families lived in St. Louis at
different times in the past >from 1867 to 1930. This page >from my site (listed
below) has links to a series of maps that offer a different way of looking at the
genealogy of several related families, all of whom settled in St. Louis, Missouri,
USA, as early as the 1860s.

I am sharing this with our fellow JewishGen SIGers merely to offer an example of
something new that you might want to consider adding to your own personal genealogy
Web sites. I have no personal or financial interest in Google, Yahoo or Map
Builder, all of which are free to use to create such maps.

The Map Builder site is "beta," so it is still under development and has some bugs.
But I used it because I do not know html or java and it is fairly user-friendly
for a non-programmer.

In the process of compiling the information for this project, I have made some
interesting discoveries, such as the geographic clustering of some of these related
families in small areas of the city and relocation of these clusters over time.

Because most of my St. Louis ancestors lived in what were predominantly Jewish
neighborhoods, looking through this series of maps chronologically shows roughly
how the major area of Jewish settlement in St. Louis shifted geographically over
time, moving westard through north St. Louis and eventually beginning to populate
the nearby suburbs of University City and Clayton by 1930.

Clicking on one of the "my maps" links on this page will open a separate window
showing a map with locations listed to the right of the map. Clicking on either
the locator symbols on the map, or on the items in the location list, will display
information balloons containing facts about my ancestors, such as where they lived
and with whom, and how they were employed.

Like other Google maps, these can be magnified or shifted using the toolbar
in the upper left of each map.

Here is the link:

Such maps certainly won't replace family trees, pedigree charts and family group
sheets, but I think they can be useful supplements to the traditional forms of
displaying genealogical information.

Martin Fischer
Oak Park, Illinois, USA
The Fischer and Levin family history Web site is at:

MODERATOR NOTE: We reiterate the poster's statement: that Map builder is still
under development and may have bugs. Posting of this is information is not an
endorsement by JewishGen.

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