Update on Geni’s Road Map

Posted March 8, 2007 by Geni | 34 Comments

We are working to allow exporting to GEDCOM files and other family tree data.  This is on our road map along with tree merging. Neither of these will be rolled out immediately as there are many considerations that must be incorporated in these features.  For instance, tree merging requires us to give you the tools necessary to resolve conflicts and eliminate redundancies in trees; also greater privacy will accompany large trees.

The Geni Family is working as fast as it can to keep up with growing traffic and layer on new and exciting features. Thank you for all the great ideas and for your enthusiasm–we’re very excited about all the new features we’ve got planned.


  • http://www.tnl.net Tristan Louis

    When will internationalization of the interface be on the roadmap? A susbtantial part of my family does not speak english so French localization would be my top request in term of new feature and I assume that Spanish is another one you should consider seriously :)

  • http://www.hakon.haugnes.name hakon

    As the tree grows, it is clear that some people in the tree from different branches got married. Please add a way to connect people (marriage) between branches.
    And a way to backup the tree – the effort to add birthdates, etc. will be enormous, there MUST be an export method to give people comfort that the effort can be saved. You gain by setting your users “free”, the result is that people dare to make the effort to make the data perfect – and that locks us in :)

  • J Wu

    Another finetuning comment:
    A matter of semantics: Former/Late
    Late = denotes deceased
    former = can be still alive; separated; but not officially divorced.
    My suggestion: Late = deceased; i.e., Late husband (rather than Former husband)

  • http://profile.typekey.com/ahoneybun/ numbat

    For the Wish List.
    Fundamentaly there is a problem in the drop down country lists for Birth and Death places because there is no provision for historical country names.
    For example:
    Zimbabwe was Rhodesia
    Malawi was Nyasaland
    and so on.
    Perhaps a check box with “Other” and then we can type in the Country name.

  • Rob

    I think that internationalization is down on the totem pole, as well it should be. There are far more other high-value features to be implemented that affect the core set of users (English-speaking) before proceeding w/ internationalization of the product. Obviously, internationalization should be on the agenda and will be a good commodity for the site, however it needs to be triaged appropriately.

  • Rob

    It has already been mentioned within the blog several times that the ability to merge trees is on the agenda.

  • Philip Lavoie

    When you put birth order as an option, allow a number greater then 14.
    I come from a long line of very Irish Catholic families. 14 is a small family. My great grandmother had 17 children.

  • Jack

    How can we enter adoption, especially when person is included as born to another couple on the extended tree?

  • maffiou

    I think the effort involved, compared to that of other features is minimal… You could rely on the comunity for the translation (a bit like moneytrackin.com does) I wouldn’t mind helping if that means I get more of my familly involved…

  • Gregory

    You need a Suggestions Box type thing so we can easily add suggestions, and you can easily parse and group them. As it is now, I go the the blog.geni.com and I am bewildered as to what to do next. At the top of the page there should be a Post a Comment box – and have a drop down window or radio buttons to indicate what type suggestion we are making, ie, product improvement, kudos, etc. And a title box, so if we are asking about Name Length, or Country Customization or whatever, it’s easy to recognize. ALSO, how do I get back to Home from the blog.geni.com page? ALSO, we should be able to make these posts and indicate if we want them to be private or public.

  • Gregory

    Instead of each of us posting to reinforce a previously-suggested idea.. you should list the ideas asap as they come in, and allow us to vote on which ones we think are priorities. THAT way, you’d get a sense of what the community is saying/suggesting/wanting. Even on this blog, these blog posts.. it would be excellent to have a way to ‘check box’ or ‘vote’ on the postings with a simply click.

  • Gregory

    Join Trees?
    What happens if I spend an hour entering family info, and invite my cousin to come to geni and only then find out that my cousin has spent three hours inputting date herself? How can we link our trees? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have a Record Number for each person on the tree, so it could then be a simple matter for my cousin and I to share info, and I could then ‘force’ a record number (system generated) into a Link to Record Number field. Bam! Now we are linked at the appropriate point. After all, I don’t know all the entries she would input from her husband’s side of the tree, so all we need is one common “Link Point”.

  • http://bjimba.blogspot.com Jim Russell

    I’m more concerned with GEDCOM *import* than GEDCOM export at the start. I’ve built up my family tree over years, using all sorts of programs, and I don’t want to start again from scratch here. This would be a great place to invite the rest of my family to update our tree, but only if I can load in all my current data and THEN let them have at it.
    Until you have GEDCOM import, I don’t expect to be doing much here. Is this on the roadmap at all?

  • Olivier DUPONT

    thank you for your efforts. I agree with hakon, backup is a must have. BUT if you’re planning a export to Gedcom this can be a kind of backup…in case we can Import from this Gedcom later on ;-)
    Congratulation anyway, nice job !
    PS I do accept to be part of your french translator team

  • Doug Lay

    It would be a nice feature if we could print a series of windows to put the pages together for a paper printout of the full tree. Personally, it is a little difficult to keep things straight without being able to see the entire tree even if it were on a series of taped together pages that fold up like a roadmap. Another nice feature you could sell, would be a printed poster of a tree.

  • Mark T.

    I wish it was possible to link an Adobe Acrobat “pdf” file to each member of the tree. All my research documents are in this format and it would be a great way to verify my input.

  • http://www.tnl.net Tristan Louis

    I’d be willing to help out on the internationalization of the interface too. The # of fields requiring internationalization is actually not that high. The reason I was putting it high on my list is that most of my family does not speak english, which can be limiting in building my part of the tree :)
    However, exports of gedcom files will go a long way towards helping as I can then import the gedcom files into other sites that are in a foreign language.
    The other question would be on the possibility to create GEDCOM files with only dead people so those could be shared more freely. And then enabling access based on request…
    Last but not least will be the challenge of tree merging and privacy. I’m sure the Geni team is hard at work on those issues…
    Anyways, great job to the Geni team. I love it and have already managed to build out a pretty significant tree in only a few days.

  • J Wu

    school degrees: please add B.Mus. or Mus.B for Bachelor of Music. Thanks.

  • Andre

    If I cannot backup(export), it’s not an option to me I’m afraid. It doesn’t matter which format, a simple TXT file would be more than enough while you go ahead with your road map.
    Please, I’m just waiting that to spread Geni to all my family and friends ! Count with me to a portuguese-br translation/double check/help.

  • http://afl.mollyzine.com Phillip Molly Malone

    Great system. Not sure if this is part of the Merge Tree concept, but just merge person would be good. My mum recreated a lot of the same people that I already had added. Most could be deleted as the entries there where already bigger then the ones added, but on one occasion she added much more data about someone that had accepted an invite. It would be good to merge the records so that information could go on.
    Also on a similar note, perhaps some sort of smarts to say “Your adding X, there is an X here, is this the same person?”. If the answer is yes, the records merge (any disagreements would be shown so this person could pick the ones that they feel are correct (which brings up possible need for versioning)).
    Keep up the good work.

  • pegasus

    I tried to invite a cousin to join the tree, but the attempt was refused because she had already started a small Geni tree of her own, using the same email address. How can I get past this?
    Once she joins, is it possible to append her tree to her name in my tree? Or does she have to enter all of the names again by hand?

  • Matt Turner

    As a new member who has been researching his family tree for a few years, I have a couple of possible suggestions for future iterations of the product line/lines.
    1. Users being able to perform a search on deceased persons and being returned a way to contact the owner of the trees that those deceased individuals show up on. A message could be sent to the user to provide a way for the users’ to connect. This could be done with a form that would allow users to maintain confidentiality while allowing users to find long-lost relations.
    2. If the users’ find that they are related through a deceased relative, there could be a way to link the two trees without merging them. Possibly by placing a hyperlink on the common relation.
    - It may be interesting to be able to intentionally merge family trees or create amalgams that exist separately w/ access by living members on either of the merged family trees.
    3. GENi could make this part of an extended service that it could offer for free on a limited basis or annual charge $10/US per year.
    I do have a few other ideas and would be interested in any type of testing you may be doing. Thanks…
    Matt Turner

  • dkaleita

    Is it really true that your father’s first wife is considered to be your stepmother, even if she died before your father remarried- and years before you were born?

  • Phil

    This is a great product. I was just thinking a couple of months ago that something like this should exist, and — boom — now it does!
    A few things:
    * I’ve had a couple of problems uploading photos.
    * It would be really great to have an online forum or bulletin board to try to “find” other people. Many of those also come with private mail, so people could look for potential family members without sharing e-mail addresses.
    * A site-based messaging system would be good here too, with a way to message people in my tree.
    * Bigger free-form areas for discussion/collaborative about individual ancestors would be helpful.
    * Printing out nice post-sized versions would be a great tie-in.
    All-in-all, I’m totally addicted. Thanks for putting it up!

  • Bryce

    I agree that GEDCOM import is more important to me than GEDCOM export, at least to start. I have hundreds of names that I could put in from a GEDCOM file that would be really slick. Having to put them in manually would take weeks. Any plans to have a GEDCOM import??

  • Avi Wasser

    It would be great to be able to use the data entered in the tree to create lists of dates. Birthdays, anniversaries, etc. in the family. Email alerts as to what is coming up would be wonderful for those of us trying to keep track of all the important dates in a growing family.

  • Bryce

    It would be nice if there was a way to leave a message for many members on your tree at once, rather than having to leave a message in each person’s guest book one at a time.

  • Brent

    I think I found a problem regarding marriages. I was going through some documents and discovered that one of my relatives got married, then divorced, and remarried the same person. Now, in my case the marriage was to the same person, and no one was in between. The thing I do foresee is that someone could have a couple that got married (say marriage 1), then married someone else (marriage 2), and then remarried the original person (marriage 3).
    I also think that the system should automatically order the siblings according to their birthdays. I can go in and add the order if a sibling doesn’t have a birthdate, but the system should automatically order the others.

  • Geni in a bottle

    Small suggestion: when you’re at a profile, and you click on a photo, I don’t want the photo album–I want the blown-up photo.
    Right now, I have to click twice to see anyone’s profile photo in large. That’s inconvenient.
    If you want to view the photo album, you already have the “Add or View Photos”

  • Geni in a bottle

    Another very small suggestion:
    when you click on a name or a photo in the tree, the profile page that comes up should be in a NEW window.
    right now, when I navigate to a profile, and then hit the Back button, I lose my place in the tree. That’s annoying.
    All you need is to make profile a popup.

  • Enrico Vecchi

    When I try to insert the e-mail address
    on Bruno Ricci in My Tree, Geni responds whit the answer:
    “Unable to save ‘br1@br1.net’. Email address has already been taken”
    Is it possible to correct this behaviour?
    Enrico Vecchi

  • Zkarim

    Its looking good so far. Thanks Geni.
    Here are a couple of suggestions:
    1. Trees are getting large so have an Expand and Collapse button on each name card so viewers can collapse branches of trees they do not want to view.
    2. Have a way to remove a partner link. Right now if you add a partner/wife/husband, there is no way to remove that connection (at least in the drop down box). If that person is in the extended family, you cannot even delete the person because there are two links for the name (the x disappears).
    3. Have a blog that shows what is being worked on and approximate timeline for release. This way you eliminate a lot of repeat questions related to timing/features.

  • Pooran

    Awesome site :) I added almost all my family tree.. as far as I can remember.
    Few issues I faced
    1. If a person is already added in other part of the tree, and the same person is also there as a brother or sister, there will be duplicate entries. Can you provide linking between these 2 entries
    2. Color coding for wife and sister, brother and husband should be different
    3. Color coding for deceased should be lighter version of the color coding selected.
    Overall a wonderful application :)
    Way to go :)

  • gabriela

    Hi! We love this web but there are some issues that we thinkg would be great to add:
    - spanish/portuguese support. I have family that don’t speak english but would love to add stuff to our family tree.
    - a section in the profile for medical information. It would be so helpful to have medical information about our family here so we can share it with our children.