I just got back from the South Davis Regional Family History Fair. I have new material to share with you and several articles to write. I thought I would share with you the exciting news about the latest feature revealed that is coming out in Legacy 7. (Which should be released next month by the way.)
Geoff Rasmussen was our excellent presenter and showed us many of the features I wrote about back in late July and early August 2007 Sneak Peak of Legacy 7, and Sneak Peak of Legacy 7 - Part Two. At that time there was no hint of this latest development going prime in version 7. Geoff had hinted recently on the Legacy Mailing List about a surprise coming out and everyone was just dying to know what it was. I guess he accidentally let the cat out of the bag at the St. George Conference and some people that attended told me about it. They were told not to tell anyone so I had to keep painfully mum. When I saw Geoff at the conference today it was the first thing I asked him about and I got my first peak, which he later demonstrated in his presentation to us.
What is it? MAPS. They are incorporating Microsoft Virtual Earth into the program. This is a trend of Legacy to take great add-on programs and develop the concepts into their full program. Which is nice for those of us that hate to buy add-on programs on top of the cost of the program itself. When you buy version 7 and in some earlier versions you now have utilities similar to GenSmarts, PAFInsight, Passage Express, Legacy Charting Companion, and now features like Map My Family Tree, and Family Atlas. These features are great to have but it makes Legacy such a resource hog on your computer that I can't run it on my older laptop. (Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?) Geoff told me that all the new features in Legacy 7 use the same amount of resources that version 6 does, which is happy news to many Legacy users.
So how does the Maps feature work? Well, if you are connected to the internet and you go into the Master location list you will see the changes. First on the upper left hand side is the list of localities in your database but the table is shorter it goes about 1/2 the page. On the upper right hand side will be a list of people that use that locality you have highlighted on the left. One nice plus to the list is that you can click on a name and edit from there. Below both of these tables you will have Microsoft Virtual earth appear showing a little push pin on the map for where that locality is found. You can view the maps in multiple formats: 2D, 3D, Road, Aerial, Hybrid and Birdseye, plus zoom in and out to your heart's content.
You can also look at the maps and have it show all the localities used for an individual. If you hover over the push pins with your mouse it will list the events that happened in an individual's life in that locality, i.e. mission, marriage, child's birth, etc. This is a fantastic visual resource to help you determine where to locate important records for an individual.
Apparently there are still many more features to be built into the Maps at a later time. They are working on making it animated. Where you could take a virtual tour and have little animated icons appear that relate to the events in a person's time frame. Examples given were showing migration with little covered wagons in the 1850's or an airplane in 1990's. Icons to show a hospital at birth and church for a wedding location and a tombstone pop-up for his death.
The maps use the current place names for localities and doesn't recognize historical names. There is a little "?" mark in the locality list that will show the localities not presently located. You can then click on the "?" marks and resolve them by pointing the historical places into the current locations on the map.
It's been quit a while waiting for Legacy 7 to finally come out but with the new additions of SourceWriter, Legacy Charting, the ability to sync with "new FamilySearch" and now Maps this release is worth the wait.
See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day.