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April 11, 2006

Wrote more people

Gary B. Hoffman, author of Genealogy in the New Times

Brian Schwimmer of U of Manitoba

Gary Boyd Roberts of the New England Historic Genealogical Society
Phone:617-536-5740
He's the one who broke the story on Bush and Kerry being related

David Hey, who wrote The Oxford Guide to Family History

Dear Mr.Hoffman

My name is Matthew Sallin, and I am a graduate student at New York University working on my Masters Thesis, which is a new kind of genealogical application. I found your article, "Genealogy in the New Times" very inspirational for my work, and I would love to get your opinion on my project, which is a new kind of genealogy application.

It's called Family Hedge, and it uses a "Hedge" metaphor rather then a tree metaphor: traditional family trees are vertically oriented, showing a direct line from your ancestors up to you in present day. Such trees are limited in scope because they only consider the direct bloodline that results in you, and siblings and their spouses and children are excluded from this view. Conversely, a family hedge is radially oriented, expanding in all directions. The motto is "Explore the family you know, and discover the family you don't know".

The user explores their family using a tree-like "Hedge" visualization that encourages one to surf though their family data in the same way someone surfs through the web. Family members can create and edit eachother's profiles so that everyone can have a presence, even those who are not with us anymore, those who are too young, and those who do not participate. The ultimate goal of this application is to spread as far as possible, revealing how we are all related to eachother, similar to the six-degrees experiments of a few years ago.

I would like to hear your opinion about it, so please visit my mini-site at
http://www.thefamilyhedge.com

You will need to install Flash, which allows you to see animations on web pages. The download page is here:
www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer

Thank you for your time.

take care,
Matthew Sallin

Below is a rough draft of what the application will eventually look like.

Brian,

My name is Matty Sallin, I'm a grad student at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program. Your website on Kin Diagrams has been enormously helpful in my thesis project, and I wanted to get your opinion on what I am creating. I'm building a new kind of genealogical application called Family Hedge, and it's basically a combination of social software for your family and a data visualization and network theory experiment.

Data viz for family trees has not really changed since the middle ages, except with regards to projects like the Genogram, which are designed for social workers to trace the emotional lives of families. What I'm trying to do is something new:
It's a combination between a social networking application (like Friendster) and a networking experiment using data visualization. It uses a "Hedge" metaphor rather then a tree metaphor: traditional family trees are vertically oriented, showing a direct line from your ancestors up to you in present day. Such trees are limited in scope because they only consider the direct bloodline that results in you, and siblings and their spouses and children are excluded from this view. Conversely, a family hedge is radially oriented, expanding in all directions.

The user explores their family using a tree-like "Hedge" visualization that encourages one to surf though their family data in the same way someone surfs through the web. Family members can create and edit eachother's profiles in a "wiki"type manner so that everyone can have a presence, even those who are not with us anymore, those who are too young, and those who do not participate. The ultimate goal of this application is to spread as far as possible, revealing how we are all related to eachother, similar to the six-degrees experiments of a few years ago.

I would like to hear your opinion about it, so please visit my mini-site at
http://www.mathlete.com/portfolio/familyHedge.php

best,
Matty Sallin


To Whom it May Concern,

My name is Matthew Sallin, and I am a graduate student at New York University working on my Masters Thesis, which is a new kind of genealogical application. I would very much like to make contact with your author David Hey, who has written a number of wonderful books on genealogy.

For my thesis, I'm making a website that is a new kind of genealogical applicatio nand I would love to get your opinion on my program.

It's called Family Hedge, and it uses a "Hedge" metaphor rather then a tree metaphor: traditional family trees are vertically oriented, showing a direct line from your ancestors up to you in present day. Such trees are limited in scope because they only consider the direct bloodline that results in you, and siblings and their spouses and children are excluded from this view. Conversely, a family hedge is radially oriented, expanding in all directions. The motto is "Explore the family you know, and discover the family you don't know".

The user explores their family using a tree-like "Hedge" visualization that encourages one to surf though their family data in the same way someone surfs through the web. Family members can create and edit eachother's profiles so that everyone can have a presence, even those who are not with us anymore, those who are too young, and those who do not participate. The ultimate goal of this application is to spread as far as possible, revealing how we are all related to eachother, similar to the six-degrees experiments of a few years ago.

I would like to hear your opinion about it, so please visit my mini-site at
http://www.mathlete.com/portfolio/familyHedge.php

You will need to install Flash, which allows you to see animations on web pages. The download page is here:
www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer

I hope we get to meet one day!

take care,
Matthew Sallin

Below is a rough draft of what the application will eventually look like.

pastedGraphic.tiff

Posted by msallin at April 11, 2006 04:27 PM

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