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TNG 11 Feature Highlight: Fan Charts

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Darrin Lythgoe

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fanchart2Today I’m putting the spotlight on a feature that’s new in TNG 11, the fan chart. First of all, many thanks go to Ben Wagner, a TNG user who contributed most of the code. Great job, Ben!

To find a fan chart on any TNG 11 site, just search for any individual, then click the Ancestors tab near the top of the page. Finally, click the Fan Chart option on the menu bar just below the tabs.

I love the fan chart because it gives you a great visual sense of a person’s ancestry while making more efficient use of the space than a standard pedigree chart. In other words, there are no empty holes like you get with a large pedigree chart, even when you’re viewing a large number of generations. It’s great for showing off your tree at family reunions.

The primary individual (in the sample image here it’s my grandfather Leo Lythgoe) is at the center in the bottom, with each ring around that person representing a new generation (parents, grandparents, etc.). It’s even color coded for the eight largest families. To see more for a particular individual (like birth, marriage and death dates and places), just hold your mouse pointer over any name shown. Doing that will display a small pop-up window containing the information. Of course you can also jump right to the page of any individual listed there by clicking on their name.

I should also mention that the chart makes good use of the new HTML5 “canvas” element, which lets you draw arcs and show text on an angle. Because of that, you’ll notice that the chart is not an image, it’s just HTML, and that helps keep the bandwidth down.

As with the other TNG ancestry charts, you can choose a different number of generations by adjusting the number just above the chart on the left. And if you love the fan chart an extra large amount, you can go to Admin/Setup/Chart Settings/Pedigree Chart and set the Initial Display so that the fan chart is the first chart you see whenever you click the Ancestors tab for any person on your site.

And now that you’re done reading this, click the image above to jump to the actual page and see the fan chart in action.

So what else would you like to see on this blog? Please comment!


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