Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Twile Converts Family Tree Data into Visual Timelines - Post 2: Photo and Document Upload

I wrote Twile Converts Family Tree Data into Visual Timelines - Post 1: GEDCOM Upload  yesterday, covering the GEDCOM upload and basic navigation around the site.  The site is attractive and seems to have excellent potential to provide visual timelines for family tree data.

After I uploaded my first GEDCOM file, I realized that it did not include many of my second and third cousins because of how I selected persons to include in the GEDCOM.  I replaced my initial GEDCOM with another GEDCOM file which included 10 generations of descendants of my 16 great-great-grandparents.  The new GEDCOM file has only 600 persons in it.  I included Notes, Sources and Media.  

In this post, I want to show how I included Profile photographs and Event documents to Twile.  

1)  When I logged into Twile today, this timeline, from 1817 to the present, showed up on my screen:

This initial view provides ALL events in the database between the first event and the last.  The screen above is from about 1900.  The timeline icon is at the bottom and shows the relative position between the first event (1817) and the last (2014).

2)  In order to add a photograph of a person for the family tree and person events, I went to the "Family Tree" link in the upper right corner of the screen above.  That opened the tree, and you can see that I've already added several photographs for persons in the tree.

3)  I want to add a photograph for my grandfather, Lyle Carringer (1891-1976).  I ran my mouse over his profile, clicked on "Profile" and saw his information:

In order to add a photograph, I clicked on the "Add a photo" area on the screen above, and my file folder system opened, I selected an appropriate photograph for Lyle, and clicked "Upload" and it was added to the profile:

I wanted to make sure that the photo was added, so I clicked on the "Your Timeline" button at the top of the screen above, and saw:

4)  I wondered what I could add to an Event, so I clicked on the 1920 U.S. Census event on the screen above, and was able to add a story Description (I copied and pasted it from my RootsMagic program):

After I clicked on the red "Save" button, the Story showed up on a separate page:

I, or some other reader, could click on one of the buttons at the top of the screen for "Love It," "Share," "Add Photos" and "Edit."

Hmmm, I can add a Photo.  I will try to add a document image of the 1920 U.S. Census record for the Lyle Carringer family.

5)  I clicked on the "Add Photos" button and selected the census document image from my file folder system.  I clicked on "Upload" and the document image was added, as shown below:

Now can I see, and read the details of, the document image?  I could by increasing my monitor Zoom:

6)  I was done, so I "X"ed out of the screen above, and out of the "Description" screen, and was back to the Timeline for my grandfather:

The 1920 U.s. Census document image replaced the thumbnail photo for that event.

7)  Now I have a quandary.  I could go person by person adding photographs, descriptions and document images into the Twile profiles.  That would take a very long time (weeks just to do, say, my 30 ancestors in this file).  I have a photograph for most of those 30, and many Events for each of them, and document images for almost all of the Events.  I also have some of those items for the other 570 persons in this uploaded database.  The descriptions are all in the Event Notes and the document images are all Media items tagged to the Events in my RootsMagic program.

I don't know if Twile has plans to incorporate photographs, descriptions and document images from the GEDCOM file or not.  If they do, when can these features be incorporated?  If not, I strongly suggest that Twile add the capability.  I'm not going to add any more documents to Twile profiles until I find out so I don't waste any time doing tasks that Twile plans to do automatically in a GEDCOM upload.  

8)  It is apparent to me that Twile is not your typical family tree program that a user can use for typical genealogy purposes (documentation, cousin bait, charts, reports).  It is a tree that can be used to invite your family members to view and contribute information (data, photos, stories, etc.) to so that other family members can see.  I will investigate the invitation feature in another post.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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Geolover said...

The Twile program could not add photographs and other images from your GEDCOM file. GEDCOM files are text only.

Randy Seaver said...

I agree, Geolover - it could not add the image directly from the GEDCOM file. But the GEDCOM file has the link to the document and photo images and it could use those.

Geolover said...

Indeed, Randy, but ~links to them~ is not what you hoped for in the blog post.

Paul Brooks said...

Hi Randy - thanks for covering these aspects of Twile. Accessing the photos/documents within a GEDCOM file is a real challenge. As Geolover rightly said, the media isn't actually included in the file - only links to them. And unfortunately, those links are only accessible by you personally, which means our system couldn't directly access them.

All of that said, we have some ideas that we're working through to solve that problem. Watch this space!

Paul Brooks said...

Oh, and you also found a bug for us - when you uploaded your document photo, Lyle's thumbnail image disappeared from the milestone on the timeline. It shouldn't have done - and we've now fixed this problem. Thanks!