I have felt a strong, (very strong) desire to create genealogy charts that would inspire both young and old and were affordable for those who don't have the wherewithal to purchase a chart
What it does
Our website will pull down not only ancestral data from Family Search but all of the pictures not just primary pictures but secondary pictures, most charts will produce in about 10 seconds, pictures charts take longer to download. after the chart is created the user has the option to preview and purchase their genealogy chart. within 60 seconds of purchasing the printer will have printed their chart.
How I built it
This is very complex and as herd from one of the SEOs from myHeritage "pure genus" Our entire process was developed in Java on 4 servers, server 1 the web server does all the processing. Server 2 contains the data base. Server 3 is the communications server that talks with the web server the storage 4. server on AWS and the (5th) Adobe server sitting next to the printers talks with Server 3 and server 4.
Challenges I ran into
I don't know if anyone can really appreciate the challenges of this project. When I first started this project 5 years ago, I cashed in my retirement, sold my boat, my truck, my blood and could have lost my house just to get the basic website up and running, all developed by myself and only myself. It wasn't until 2 years ago we made our first major innovations where after my full time job ended, I had an idea to automate the process. Thousands of people wanted charts at rootstech and we couldn't keep up. It was then after Thanksgiving 2014 I didnt know Adobe Java script I worked night and day learning java script, these scripts took so long to write that I finally put then in production 5 minutes before rootstech opened in 2015. Talk about a miracle. Getting the booth ready and setup 30 laptops didn't help. I got very little sleep. we printed over 3000 charts that year on a slow printer. Last year we decided based on the previous years experience lessons learned to up the anti. We had to make the website more robust and dynamic to keep up with capacity. We ended up printing over 5,000 charts rootstech 2016, yet heres the back story no one knows about. You want Challenges, keep in mind I started early in the year but working another full time job to help pay for development/booths etc.. I contacted the Genus book of world records to develop the worlds largest genealogy chart., while I was working on that I enlisted help from some other developers to program the new website. In short the worlds largest chart was taking too long, and new website development was not progressing. I had to re-write all the adobe scripts with the new innovations, yet web-programming was not completed until the final week of rootstech. I still had to print the 30x100 foot backdrop that alone took over 70 hrs to print/laminate. It came down the the last day I told the Salt Palace I would be there 6am the morning of rootstech opening to hang the chart, Printing was slow, as 2 am roll around my body started to collapse and setting the alarm faded in my hands, something awoke me. The clock said 7am, horror came over me my last print crashed on the printer. I gathered up my backdrop said a prayer and drove to rootstech to have the banner rise minutes before rootstech opening. Now I didnt have all the scripts written, no sleep, servers down, and it was all resting my on shoulders, to add to pressure, I just spent over 120,000 upgrading website, faster printers, 40 more laptops.. etc to handle an anticipated volume of rootstech users. That night I was up till 2am sitting on the computer in the middle of the Salt Palace floor working on scripts. The work we accomplished literally was a miracle and innovative. This year I opened a Java book in August, studied night/day/weekends designed a whole new line of genealogy charts, pictures. I cant tell you the hours on a personal level that went into development.
Summary of Challenges:
- Other then the hardships listed above.
- Chart size and limited bandwidth moving pdfs up and down server lines.
- Not knowing Adobe script.
- After Adobe created a 40 meg file from a 400k pdf automating printing to handle volume.
- Writing code to produce all of the fan charts, pedigrees, pictures. etc.
- Financing everything. ( I personally financed everything and then some).
- Finding a solution that would print charts fast enough to keep up with volume in a reasonable amount of time.
- move all our servers to AWS to handle loads on the bigger charts.
- Not giving up.........
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
- Providing inspiring charts for users
- Designing the New picture fan chart.
- Not giving up designing/creating the Family Search Memory chart that pulls down all pictures from FS for a given user.
- Learning Java.
What I learned
- pray a lot.
- pray some more..
- I learned Java, Adobe Java script.
- New ways to automate.
- Family Search APIs
- There are Thousands of people who want genealogy charts.
What's next for Innovative Genealogy Charts
Continue designing new Genealogy charts, Providing electronic versions for genealogist around the world, add back in the ability to upload gedcom files. integrate with other vendors to print their charts, Make our website more user friendly. Do more with engraving genealogy charts.
please use the website www.genealogywallcharts.com to test all processes, the link below says its invalid and would not save the form.