I had a thought the other day, though I am not a programmer, but the location data exists with significant life events of our ancestors; however, there is yet to be a very quick and digestible way to appreciate that information. How incredible would it be when planning a trip or in a place with a few hours to kill an individual could pull out his phone and through the Family Tree App get a list of places with distances from current location or planned location or a map of sites associated with one's ancestors for current/planned location? I think of Google maps that has a link into hotel and restaurant databases and is able to produce recommendations for you. Instead of hotels and restaurants it would pull up burial sites, birth places, marriage places. It could even scan stories and pull out places in memories associated with that person. How real do those people become when we can stand in the places they have stood and see the things they saw?
Some other quick thoughts exploring this possibility in my mind. Similar to games that send you push notifications, like Pokemon Go, when you are in an area where there are sites related to your family tree, the app could notify you and suggest close relatives or significant sites where events took place. This could be sorted by preference on proximity to your generation, follow a particular line (e.g. patriarchal or matriarchal), proximity to you or planned location. Restaurant apps provide another element that would be beneficial, to include operating hours and contact numbers if certain places warrant such information. For instance the sites also might include Church History sites, and it could pull from relevant documentation pertaining to pioneer ancestors or that which is captured in Family Search.
I thought of this, because of my personal frustration currently living in Europe, with lots of European ancestry and not having a simple way to do a query and find the locations that are nearest us or near locations we will be making a holiday. I personally think this could be a new wave of Family History efforts and more fully bring the Spirit of Elijah into a tangible and actionable effort to unite families. I think the interest could be very high in something like this and the technology and programming exists, it just needs to be linked with the data on Familyseach.org or Ancestry.com.
Parting thought, this would only reference significant life events for deceased ancestors. This is in keeping with the privacy of living persons. Just a thought that I think could revolutionize the way youth and other people the world over can catch the spirit of things!
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FamilySearch is great for developers, in that it's relatively easy for a developer to get a third-party app approved to use FamilySearch data. The church's development resources are limited, but this sounds like a great project for an interested developer.
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.
@brigmoore, thanks for the thoughtful post. Ideas like this have been considered in FamilySearch and it is good to see that you are thinking about great ways to use our mobile phones with FamilySearch data. Please keep those ideas coming. Your post has been passed on to the product manager of the mobile apps in FamilySearch. You can also send feedback and ideas more directly to the mobile FamilySearch team by clicking "Help | Give App Feedback" in the Android or iOS Family Tree apps. We welcome your ideas, keep them coming. Thank you.
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