25 January 2010

Southern California: Mad mapper Ron Arons, Feb. 1

Genealogy's mad mapper Ron Arons will present his popular mapping program at the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley (JGSCV), on Monday, February 1.

"Mapping Madness" begins at 7pm, at Temple Adat Elohim, Thousand Oaks. Note that this is a different day of week and time.

Learn how to use Internet-based on-line mapping techniques including maps, tracking and detecting showing how to find anyone, anywhere, anyhow. Technology is the genealogist's friend, and Ron is a great teacher of imparting new ways to utilize important resources.

He'll review the basics of Google and Microsoft's internet-based mapping facilities, maps.google.com, bing.com and maps.live.com, and then introduce more advanced functionality. Ron will also discuss less traditional facilities provided my whitepages.com, Microsoft's MapCruncher, IBM's Many Eyes.

Things change constantly on the Internet and Ron is up-to-the-minute with new resources and will discuss them during his presentation.

Ron wrote a very helpful article on maps for genealogists in Roots-Key (Fall-Winter Vol. 29, Issue 3-4) of the JGS of Los Angeles. It is reprinted in the most recent issue of the JGSVC (February 2010, Vol. 5, Issue 5, pages 4-6).

The Internet has plenty of records to keep even the most advanced researcher busy for many years to come. But the Net offers so much more, including historical maps and a variety of online mapping tools that will enrich a genealogist’s knowledge of his / her ancestors and current relatives. Historical maps allow one to see where a person lived and what the conditions in the neighborhood were like. By simple extrapolation, one can estimate what the physical setting and environment of that other person’s life was like.

Maps can be used to track migration patterns of family members or show where any / all of your relatives live currently or where they had lived anytime in the past. Beyond the maps themselves, mapping tools can be tied to photographs and even combined with them as we’ll see with Microsoft’s MapCruncher facility. Other interesting online mapping tools / sites include IBM’s Many Eyes website, Muckety.com, and a variety of tools from behemoth Google.

[NOTE: Ron's article has many tips and resources for those interested in learning how maps can help researchers. Tracing the Tribe recommends reading it, particularly for those readers who cannot hear Ron in person. To read the complete article, click here and use the bottom links to go to Newsletters. ]

A JGSCV founding member and a nationally known genealogy speaker, Ron began researching his roots some 12 years ago. He wrote a 2008 book, "The Jews of Sing Sing," and appeared on the PBS series, "The Jewish Americans."

Ron holds a BS (Engineering) from Princeton and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

The meeting is free and open to the public. For directions and more information, click here.

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