RootsMagic 4 Unwrapped – Mapping

RootsMagic has long had the ability to display an online map for places in your database (it was even a recent “tip of the month” in the RootsMagic newsletter).  We have expanded that capability in RootsMagic 4.

When you open the mapping feature in RootsMagic 4, you will have a list of (1) all the places in your database.  Click on a place in the list and RootsMagic will display a map of the place for you.  You can use all the Virtual Earth tools (zoom, aerial, birds-eye, etc).  You can even print your map or copy it to the clipboard to paste into other programs.

Map Place

If you select the Aerial option, you can view the satellite image of your map.  You can view the satellite image either with or without the labels for towns, streets, etc.

Map Aerial

The new RootsMagic 4 mapping makes it easy to see where the events in a person’s life happened.  Just switch (1) from “Places” to “People” and RootsMagic will display a list of the people in your database.  Click on anyone in the list and RootsMagic will display a map showing that person’s events.

Map People

You can move your mouse over any marker to see what events in that person’s life occurred there.  And of course you can see these markers on either the map or aerial view.

Stay tuned as we continue to map out the new features in RootsMagic 4 (my wife told me that was a dumb line, but I decided to run with it anyways).

30 thoughts to “RootsMagic 4 Unwrapped – Mapping”

  1. Excellent, it just gets better and better, and I can see this leading to a whole new rich multimedia output.

    Even I am getting impatient now (~:

  2. I was out for about an hour there with nothing but these new features buzzing about in my head.

    I am now hoping that the streets, cemetery’s buildings etc., that have always been a topic on how to record them as places, can be geocoded either by having them noted as part of the place or by having the cemetery (etc) recorded in the description field.

    RM4 is sure going to be a world beater if this keep up and will really raise the game in genealogy software.

  3. Will it be possible to map migration routes in this new feature? Noting when and where each event in an individual’s life took place?

    Can’t wait for the new software!

  4. Ok… for many years now I’ve thought that Bruce was arch angel of genealogy but I’m begining to think he is actually a devil! He has been teasing us for two months now with all these new fantastic and wonderful features. Its turning into a painful chinese water torture! And worst of all, I think he is beginning to enjoy his torture treatment way too much!! Please, please, PLEASE do not put us thru another two months of drip by drip, blog by blog of new tantalizing features. I want my RM4 and I want it NOW!! 🙂

  5. I hope there’s a hidden key to mapping cemeteries.
    We are all working to obtain that in our work for family so they will find the one we are buried in after we are gone.

  6. Bruce makes a new brand of treasure hunting in this by hiding clues in the pictures.
    Have a heart RELEASE VERSION 4 and you can start teasing about version 5.

  7. Hi, a bit off-topic, but hey:

    Regarding sentences and reports, will there be an option in RM4 to include ages for events, automatically caluculated from dates associated with an event?

    If so, will it be possible to exclude reporting a date, so as to avoid repetition, e.g. surrounding Census data: place, relationships, status and occupation and other, when a Census was taken?

    Keep up the excellent work! Very much looking forward to upgrade.

  8. After seeing my original comment (#10) in “real time”, I probably should have added a word of explanation.
    I have been drawing neighborhood maps since before age 10. I even knit (another hobby) a map of the United States.

  9. Hello again,

    Further to my post above, is the limit on the number of characters in each Place or Description “fields” going to be increased from that in RootsMagic 3?

    Just a thought/hope!


  10. I’ve been a long-time PAF user and wanted to covert to RM, but I have a problem. I primarily work on genealogy because of my desire to provide LDS ordinance work for my ancestors. Previous versions of RM do not differentiate, as PAF does, between LDS ordinances that have been submitted or cleared (bepsc) and ordinances that have been completed (BEPSC). This is a very important feature for me, The differentiation between the non-caps and the caps in PAF is significant and I have been told that this differentiation will be coming with RM4. Is that true? If so, sign me up for RM4!

  11. If I buy Ver. 3 now and next month Ver. 4 comes out will I receive some kind of credit or should I just wait for Ver. 4??

  12. I am as impatient as the next person to get my hands on RM4 but happy to wait. Bruce himself said “I keep getting busy programming” and I for one believe he is already responding to some of the comments on this blog like the extra (extra) tab which has now appeared.

    If waiting another couple of months brings about a more complete program then I can wait.

    Each of these new or enhanced features, excellent as they are, will doubtless throw up another frenzie of wishes and these are already being reflected in this blog. Let Bruce’s busy little fingers do their work and I am sure we will not be disappointed.

    Just so long as I have it for Christmas 🙂

  13. Richard,

    Anybody who buys RootsMagic 3 today will receive a FREE RootsMagic 4 download when it is available.

    The policy is that anybody who bought version 3 within 90 days of version 4 will receive the upgrade for free. Just be sure to put a valid email address in your order so that we can notify you when the happy day arrives.

  14. Really nice to have integrated a mapping tool into RM4. And nice to see in the map different places a person has lived. Will it also be possible to list all persons that has lived in a particular place?

    There was a long discussion in July/August last year in Rootsmagic Wish list about place names.

    I had a suggestion of organizing all place names into a tree structure. Link:

    I see that this will not be included in RM4. Maybe Bruce will not consider it at all, or the suggestion came to late to be included. But anyway Bruce, I hope you can take time to read trough this wish-topic again, to see my arguments for it.

    I really hope that a tree structure for place names will appear in a future version of RM. I see in comments to this section and to the previous (Places and Geocoding) many wishes that will be fullfilled with my suggestion of a tree structure. A tree structure can have several levels and also include the “place detail” that will appear in RM4. In a tree structure each item of the place name will be treated equally including whole countries and states down to for that sake a farm or a cemetary or a street name.

    In principle I am a little sceptical to link to much to a place finder. Anyway a great improvement that it now will include all countries, and not only US. But will it include all necessary detailed names in all countries?. At least it looks like you can create a missing name, and lookup the most near by name from the place finder.

    Keep ut the great work.

    Jon Oddvar Sellereite

  15. John, I am not quite sure what you meant with your answer. The web adress you refer to is Microsoft Virtual Earth, a similar mapping service to Google Earth. It is only a mapping service for showing maps according to a tranfered place name, and has nothing to do with the place list itself. Bruce is already using this service in existing Placefinder, but what Bruce has done in RM4 is that he is using a web-component, that allow web-pages to be directly shown within RM4.

    If you meant, whether I was able to find all place names or not, then I see that Bruce refer to a “Place search” with 3.5 mill. names and a “Gazetteer” in his previous post (Places and Geocoding). Among 3.5 mill. names I will suppose there might be a risk that some names might be missing when going worldwide. Maybe Bruce could clarify a little bit more, the difference between the “place search” and the “Gazetteer”. To me it looks like the “place search” is a offline tool that searches trough a database on your harddisk with 3.5 mill. names, and that the “Gazetteer” is a online tool that search on internett trough even more names. Am I correct Bruce?

    When I talk about a tree structure, I mainly talk about the “Master place list”, and the way the users places are presented and stored. The closest I can get to this on the screenshots, is the place list shown to the left to the maps, shown above. Here the places are shown as a list and not as a tree structure. If you look at this list, “England” is repeated many times. In a tree structure “England” would have been mentioned only once, and then as it’s own place name. In the same list some names are shown without a country, which actually means inconsistence. This would have been prevented in a tree structure.

    As written in the wish list, a tree structure will give RM complete control of each item of the place name. Something that will give better possibilities for short place names and formating of place names in reports. Also refered to in my wish list article.

    I hope Bruce will consider this in a future version, since it will give the optimal use of place names.

    Jon Oddvar Sellereite

  16. Jon, I believe RM will be using Virtual Earth, Bruce says so above and look at the screen shots for confirmation.

    The thread you refer to was started by me with the opening “I wish ALL genealogy programs would make a move towards encouraging proper placename input and help bring about some standard for the future and I would like to see RM take the lead”

    I believe RM has now taken that lead and if others follow suit then in years to come these freehand badly constructed and meaningless place lists will become a thing of the past. Every place should as far as possible point to the most exact location possible and this is a very welcome move in that direction in my opinion.

  17. Jon & John
    Would a partial solution be to have a ‘reverse field’ option for place names as is currently provided by the RM3 List-Places report? This pleasingly produces a tree-like report of place names … so, Bruce, if you could adapt the same code into the option for place name display we might all be very happy? I have used the Reports – List – Places many times to help structure and ‘standardise’ my localities.


  18. Sorry for the newbie question, but when is v4 due to be available for purchase? I see various comments like “a few months” or “a few weeks”. I even read the comment telling me that anyone buying v3 would get v4 (for free) if it was released within 90 days… No offense, but I’m not particularly interested in v3 at this point, especially if v4 isn’t going to be released until Jan 2009 and I have to pay an upgrade…

  19. While we can’t specify an exact date, we can guarantee that anybody buying version 3 now will get a free upgrade to version 4.

  20. Many locations over the years were in different counties, states at different times in history. It would be super nice to be able to type the name of a location in along with the date, and have the software pop up with the correct name of the location at that point in history. I wouldn’t really mind typing the info in for a location, and have it remembered…

    Just a wish, Bruce, that would likely add to the many sleepless nights you have already spent on this project.

    Regards, Rich

  21. I’m wondering how the mapping feature will handle places that no longer exist – such at Straight, Elk County, PA – existing prior 1930 but which is now at the bottom of a lake.

  22. Please stop teasing us!!! When, Oh When can we get our hands on this great upgrade. You are tormenting us. Also would love to be able to pre-order it so that I can be sure of getting my hands on it as soon as it is released.

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