Geni is an online family tree "visualisation" site that I've been sitting on for a couple of weeks (originally via Ajaxian):

I say it's a "visualisation" site because trees are displayed in a web page using Flash, and you can resize, move and drag the display around in any way you like (although it's a bit slow now, but they're still in beta). It's easy to add people and then go in and enter additional information like birth date, birth location, birth order, etc. You can also invite people, who then have access to the work you've done and can build on it.

It's this collaborative feature that I find most compelling: I entered my immediate family (Olivia and the kids, Mum and Dad) and uploaded some photos, all of which took about 1/2 an hour. I invited Mum who added 25 more relatives; she invited Dad who added another 40 or so; and now my family tree is up to 74 members (with another 40 or so in related families)!

In addition to the "tree" view, there's a more familiar "list" view which also helpfully adds the relation to the list:

I don't like that there's no facility to export the results. I don't plan on giving the site all my details, and I wonder if there's a paid service in the works. I don't like it that when you enter someone's e-mail address, Geni sends them an e-mail automatically inviting them.

However, I'm impressed with this site because it was easy to add people, easy to share the task of adding, and I found both the "tree" and "list" views easy and intuitive. Well done Geni!

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2 Responses to "Geni"

Steve said... Thursday, March 22, 2007 7:18:00 PM

Genealogy, I am doing!
We have read posts related to genealogy on your blog and have just launched family based social network- Kincafe. We would like you to particpate in beta release of Kincafe and provide feedback to

Thomas said... Thursday, March 29, 2007 2:13:00 PM

Hi Steve, thanks for the heads-up. I'll take a look at kincafe when I get a chance (although you should know I'm a Geni fan already, and entering the same stuff twice would be a show-stopper for me).

Cheers, Thomas

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