28    Aug 20076 comments

Family Tree Builder 2.0 released!

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Family Tree Builder 2.0

Version 2.0 of Family Tree Builder has been released this week!

This is a major update of our popular free genealogy program. Perfect for creating a family tree, adding photos and optionally publishing to the Web for sharing with family members.
If you don't already have it, you should. Download it here, it's 100% free.

What's new?
Version 2.0 adds Smart Matching™ technology - which intelligently connects individuals from different family trees. This technology can extend your family tree and show you how it connects to other users' family trees - allowing you to grow your family tree with additional ancestors and family members, reunite with long lost family relatives and improve your genealogy research. This is thanks to the power of collaboration between users, assisted with the right technology to make it happen.

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Smart Matches in Family Tree Builder 2.0

Smart Matching™ technology was pioneered by Pearl Street Software, a leading genealogy company that MyHeritage has recently merged with. One of the many fruits of this merger has been the addition of Smart Matching™ technology to all MyHeritage products, including Family Tree Builder, and significant improvements of Smart Matching™ added by MyHeritage to a level available no where else on the Internet.

How does Smart Matching™ work? After installing Family Tree Builder 2.0, which is free as always, any time you add or edit a person in your family tree, Family Tree Builder will connect this individual or any of its relatives to approx. 180 million people in other family trees published by other users to MyHeritage. This will happen in real-time without slowing you down. If there is a match you will be notified on-screen and will be able to see your tree and the matching tree side-by-side to spot the similarities and differences. Family Tree Builder 2.0 provides tools to put you in touch with the submitter of any matching family tree and allow both of you to learn from each other. To get the best results, publish your entire family tree from Family Tree Builder to MyHeritage.com, and then in about 10 minutes all the individuals in your tree will be compared to all other family trees on MyHeritage, providing you the best possible Smart Matches™.

More new features
Family Tree Builder 2.0 adds other important improvements. There is a new friendly photo import feature that can scan your disk for photos, or even look in your Outlook or Outlook Express for photo attachments. Photos found can be added by you into your family tree in a few clicks. There is a wider selection of charts and reports, including a new Close Family Chart that includes all descendents of your ancestors. We've also added an extensive User's Guide in case you want to learn about the product features in detail (and have the patience to dive into a 250-page manual :-) .

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Powerful photo management in Family Tree Builder 2.0 (click to enlarge)

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Unique face detection technology in Family Tree Builder 2.0 (click to enlarge)

If you have already installed Family Tree Builder previously, you can upgrade to the new version by selecting 'Check for Updates' in its Tools menu. Family Tree Builder 2.0 is, as always, completely free.

You are welcome to send us your feedback, suggestions, bug reports and wish lists.

This is an exciting upgrade for us and I hope you will love it.


27    Aug 200710 comments

MyHeritage launches new initiative to connect the world’s family trees!

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MyHeritage is pleased to announce an ambitious new project to connect all individuals on the planet via family ties. We call it the Smart Matching Initiative, and it's based on our Smart Matching™ technology. It's free, and its goal is to benefit our users.

What is it good for?
Smart Matching™ can help you grow your family tree, find other people related to you and improve your genealogy research.We all know that we are all connected through blood and marriage relations, and Smart Matching™ helps us see that we are closer than we think. We believe that this project will improve ties between individuals and families all other world and are very excited to provide this contribution to society. Now, if you happen to be a cynic who does not buy into these grand ideals, then at minimum, Smart Matching™ will help you discover how you are related to famous or rich people...

How does it work?
Smart Matching™ technology rapidly compares each family tree to hundreds of thousands of other family trees on MyHeritage and determines, using heuristic comparisons backed by genealogical and phonetic research, if there is a correlation between individuals in both trees. Connected family trees eventually form a mesh showing how almost every individual on the planet is related by blood or marriage to almost anyone else.
This technology was pioneered by Pearl Street Software, a genealogy company that MyHeritage has recently merged with. Since the merger, MyHeritage has been further advancing this technology to new peaks in its R&D labs, and has successfully applied it to almost 180 million names in some 150,000 family trees posted on MyHeritage.com by its 17 million registered members. With your help and with the huge numbers of new family trees posted to MyHeritage every day, we hope to map and connect the family trees of the majority of the human population on the planet in the next few years.

Is it really smart?
Smart Matching™ compares dozens of factors, including names, dates and relationships; it handles spelling and phonetic variations, nicknames, ethnic differences, variations in dates, different languages and character sets, and more. As an example, given sufficient additional evidence, it can connect an Alexander in your tree to an Alexandre in a French tree, to an Alex or even Sasha (a common nickname for Alexander) in other trees, and you can configure its settings to manage the balance between the number of matches, and their accuracy. It is powerful enough to do this blindingly fast on many millions of names.

How can I access my Smart Matches?
Smart Matching™ is supported on MyHeritage.com and on Family Tree Builder.
It runs in real time as you add more names to your family tree, and it also runs offline on entire trees from time to time. Results are available on the Smart Matching page in every family site on MyHeritage, and in Family Tree Builder.

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PHOTO: Smart Matches displayed on MyHeritage.com (click to enlarge)

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PHOTO: Smart Matches displayed side-by-side by Family Tree Builder (click to enlarge)

Click here to get your own Smart Matches.

27    Aug 20073 comments

MyHeritage merges with Pearl Street Software!

Pearl Street Software merges with MyHeritage

We have a very exciting announcement to share with you! Pearl Street Software, maker of GenCircles and Family Tree Legends, has merged with MyHeritage.com. In the first of many positive developments that will come from this merger, MyHeritage has made Family Tree Legends and GenCircles 100% free!

Family Tree Legends is highly acclaimed, user friendly software for creating family trees, and GenCircles is a leading family tree sharing site.

The development team from Pearl Street Software has joined the much larger MyHeritage team so we can bring you amazing new tools to aid your search. MyHeritage brings vast resources that will enable technologies like Smart Matching to greatly improve, to the benefit of everyone!

What will happen to GenCircles and Family Tree Legends?
GenCircles, the Family Tree Legends software program, and the Family Tree Legends Records Collection are now free. That's right - in one announcement, we have made the highest-rated genealogy software program, the massively popular GenCircles site, and over 400 million records in the Family Tree Legends Records Collection completely free! This is a significant day for genealogists everywhere!

GenCircles.com and FamilyTreeLegends.com will remain separate sites for now, but we are joining the back end databases of GenCircles.com and MyHeritage.com to create a better experience for all users.

The joined teams of MyHeritage and Pearl Street Software are committed more than ever to providing the best genealogy products and services, and keeping them free!

27    Aug 20070 comments

The Wonders of the Immersive Family Tree

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PHOTO: The Immersive Family Tree on MyHeritage (click to view in full size)

MyHeritage.com now features online entry of family trees, without the need to download any software. This allows you and your family members to collaborate online on creating and extending your family tree. At the core of this collaboration is the Immersive Family Tree.

We created the Immersive Family Tree around visual data entry, the same innovation we've made in the Family Tree Builder software a few years ago that was extremely well received by the users. The tree shows descendents at the bottom and ancestors at the top and provides boxes for adding parents and children where they are missing. Adding a new person to the tree in the right location can be done in a few clicks. Clicking a person navigates in the tree smoothly so you never lose orientation of where you are.

We designed the tree in slick 3D, but there is a slider on the right that can change the perspective to 2D or anywhere in between 3D and 2D, so every user can pick their favorite perspective.

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PHOTO: Immersive Tree in 2D with data entry (click to view in full size)

The Immersive Tree has a person list on the left which is quite an engineering feat. You can start typing any person in your family tree and quickly find them. It can scale to thousands of names and is still very fast. This is the best way to locate a person in your family tree, useful if the tree grows large.

The person list

Click any person to get more info:

More info

There are more actions at your disposal in this panel, which are handy if you need to edit information, add more spouses, add siblings, and more.

Click any photo to see it in larger size, along with face tags, courtesy of our face detection and face recognition technologies:

Face tags

The Immersive Family Tree supports many languages. It is even possible to build a family tree in multiple languages so that your family members from different nationalities could view the tree in the language most appropriate for them. For example, the same tree from the previous examples is shown below, but not only is the user interface language changed, but also the names are now in Hebrew... No other Website can do that.

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PHOTO: Same tree in Hebrew (click to view in full size)

In the above picture the user has also changed the "skin", out of several different user interfaces supported by the Immersive Family Tree.

What's next? Many new features are coming up on a daily basis. Meanwhile, please use our support message boards to send us your suggestions and requests!

27    Aug 20071 comment

Enter the metrics…

As of this minute, MyHeritage has...

17,181,904 registered members (yes, that's right, more than 17 million)
147,705 family trees
178,815,922 people in family trees
106,023,182 uploaded photos
508,482 active users of our Family Tree Builder software
182,788 blog articles around the world link to MyHeritage.com, says Technorati.com
0 (Zero) dollars spent on marketing. All this love comes directly from our users, we do not buy publicity.

We're very proud of these figures, all gained since our site went live in January 2006.
But as they are growing so fast, please stay tuned and we'll update them on our blog from time to time...

27    Aug 20074 comments

New MyHeritage.com launched!

We are very happy and excited to announce the long-awaited launch of the new MyHeritage.com Website!

The new site has many new features and benefits for our users!

The first change you'll notice, is that we've replaced the home page with a new, cleaner version.

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PHOTO: New home page

Our Immersive Family Tree has evolved to allow entering entire family trees online without downloading any software. This is done in an intuitive and easy-to-use interface that makes it fun to build a family tree! Now the whole family can collaborate on extending the tree... Any family tree journey starts with just a small step... Create a new tree, add yourself, and see how far it will go...

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PHOTO: Create family trees easily on the MyHeritage Immersive Family Tree

The entire MyHeritage.com Website is now available in fifteen languages, which include English, Hebrew, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil), Norwegian, Swedish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Turkish! If you are a native speaker of some of these languages you may still notice a glitch here and there -- it's a difficult undertaking to translate a site with 100,000 words to fifteen languages, so if you spot problems or would like to volunteer to help us improve the translations, please add a comment below and we will contact you.

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PHOTO: MyHeritage.com in Chinese

More fun coming up... We've added an original Look-alike Meter feature - it uses our face recognition technology to check if a baby looks more like mom or dad... Use this cool animated widget to settle every family's debate once and for all! After creating a Look-alike Meter you can save the results on MyHeritage or on any social network and you can evolve the Meter into an online family tree on MyHeritage. If you're too young to have your own child, don't worry, you can use the Look-alike Meter to see which of your parents you resemble more!

MyHeritage Look-alike Meter

There's much more new stuff, and we'll cover it in additional entries on this blog.


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