Migration Paths of Families

This is a web-based geovisualization framework that animates migration paths of 9 families in the U.S. over a 300 year period. Family tree data derived from genealogical sample from the U.S. North include 9 families, 4481 individuals and approximately 11,000 geocoded moves. The system consists of a background map and a widget to control the family tree animation. An animation for each of the 9 families can be played and paused at different map extents. Nodes are placed according to their geographic location. As a person moves a trajectory line is drawn to illustrate the path that the individual followed throughout his life. The color of the node and the trajectory line is red if the individual is alive at the current time of the animation. If the individual dies the color of both the node and the trajectory turns into blue.

The distribution of the number of moves vary over time and a peak is observed mid-19th century. As a result of the temporal distribution of moves, when the animation is played at a constant speed, much fewer moves occur at most times whereas a lot of moves occur in a short period of time. To address the problem, animation speed can be set to be variable which slows down and speeds up the animation proportional to the amount of moves occurring within the current time frame. To visualize the distribution of moves over time, a histogram can also be accessed within the widget.


Click the link below to try the application: