Program description and download

General description

Some people ask me how it works and which technologies are used:
  1. The visitor creates the Genealogy information file (gedcom file) in gedcom standard. standard. It is a plain text file that can be viewed by a regular word processor.
  2. The upload page uses INPUT TYPE="file" The upload page uses INPUT TYPE="file" HTML tag to upload data onto the server, which is Apache running under the Linux (Debian).
  3. The administrative interface is performed in PHP.
  4. The JavaServlet runs under Tomcat parse gedcom file and output XML file goes directly to the visitor's browser. You can see the data in XML data by View Source command.
  5. The XML is transformed into viewable format by XSLT, which also gets uploaded into the visitor's browser. Unlike an XML file with data, which is re-generated whenever you decide to change the "key" person, an XSLT file is static.
  6. In the legacy mode the XSLT transformation is done on the server using Apache Xalan/Xerces libraries.
  7. Sizes, colors, location of nodes, etc. are defined through CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
  8. Interactivity, i.e. opening - closing branches, is handled on the client's side using JavaScript, which is sometimes called DHTML. After opening the page, you can explore the whole Family Map off-line.

Downloads and contributions

You do not have to download and install the Family Map Viewer, because the service is freely available at web site. If you see some disadvantage or bugs in the program, it is probably best to report it to the author at to correct the running version.

The author also greatly appreciates any further internationalization by adding more languages. If somebody is unhappy with the current skin, the contributions of additional skins will be greatly appreciated.

In case you are willing to contribute a new skin or language set, you still do not need to download and install the software. You can simply save the XML file and related XSL, CSS and js files on your computer and perform development using XSLT engine of your browser. After you are done, mail new XSL/CSS to me and I will drop it into the server.

Finally, if you would really like to run your own Family Map Viewer on your domain, or make serious contributions to the Java code, here is the source:

Installation notes

  1. Unzip into the document root of your Apache server
  2. Deploy familyMap.jar into Tomcat server.
  3. Under application directory create the subdirectory named data and assign permission 777 to it. The directory data should be on the same level as WEB-INF directory.
  4. Adjust path to the data directory within php elements, located at familyMap/php directory. In my system, it is /usr/java/tomcat/webapps/ROOT/data. The element names are upload.php and delete.php
  5. Adjust URL to the servlet in view.php element. In my system, it is /servlet/familyMap.
  6. On my server, html pages are considered to be PHP templates. If you restrict PHP only to pages with .php extenshion, you will have to rename files in the familyMap/html directory, as a well as adjust links.