Sunday, December 24, 2023

Trying Ancestry's Pro Tools Suite: Map View

I'm continuing my test drive of Ancestry's Pro Tools Suite.  This post is focusing on the Map View tool.  You can find this tool in a number of places: in the Tree menu, or from the LifeStory tab of a Profile page .  I believe if you are not subscribed to the add-on you will still see the option but with a locked icon to the right of it.  As of this writing the Maps feature is still showing as in BETA testing.  

Map View from Tree View Menu

If you have the add-on subscription to the Tools clicking on map will bring up the map for the current tree.  From what I have noticed, the Direct Line Ancestors and Any Events seem to be on by default when you open the Map tool each time.  I wish the filters would hold until cleared in this tool which is something I also think would help the filters in the other tools as well.  You may notice that there are issues with non standardized place names especially if you see any locations marked that are not locations where anyone in your tree has ever had a life event.  I saw several of these in mine.  Some where because I had failed to put a country name and the software was trying to figure out what I meant.  Also, some of the military files just had USA and created a cluster of those in the middle of the US.

Using filters, I modified the map to show anyone in my tree with any events from 1700-1775 so I could see anyone who was in the US before the Revolutionary War.  I do not have any direct ancestors who arrived after 1775.

Filter For Map Tool
Time (range or exact year)

    Lived In
    Any Event

Family Line:
    Direct Line Ancestors
    Paternal Line
    Maternal Line

Direct Line is selected by Default. You can turn off Direct Line and focus further by specifying Paternal or Maternal Ancestors . It will show both sides if you do not specifically select one of them.

You can also choose filtering by MyTreeTags™ and can use your custom tags as well as the standard ones offered by Ancestry.

To find the map tool from a profile you will need to look under the LifeStory tab of  your person of interest.

Once you select the LifeStory tab and click on the map you can zoom in and see events on the map. You can toggle the Location content(preview) off on the map by selecting the Location Content tab and unchecking that option. That way you only see the location events in the side panel and not on both the panel and the map.  The circle of events at a specific location can be expanded as shown in the screenshot below which also has the Location Content enabled.

I wondered if this too would be changing the View DNA matches by location map, but didn't see any obvious change there.  I also checked from the Match pages for the Ancestor Birth Locations and found nothing to imply that there would be a change there either.

The map view was the tool that I had been looking forward to using the most.  While it does have some cool features I am somewhat  disappointed with the zoom feature and it was more than a bit hard to tell how to find the filters once you had clicked on a zoomed in location.  It's still in BETA so it's not overly user friendly.  I'm sure there will be changes which will hopefully improve how this works. 

I don't feel like it is something I HAVE to have.  It would be a nice addition to what they currently offer but only in bringing it more up to what it should have had in the first place.  That's purely my opinion and it may be more valuable to others who don't have access to software outside of the site that will do the same thing and more.  

1 comment:

  1. Based on what you and others have written, as it stands now, the Maps feature isn't worth the considerable amount of money...I do the same thing myself on a historical map - they're easy enough to find on several different sites and look much nicer.