Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
This company’s mission is simple: It wants to inject a little creativity into the family-tree making business.
The team behind it is Webalon, a London-based digital developer that wants to shake-up the online family tree business with PeoplePlotr, a Web app that lets users create “beautiful, interactive family trees” that can be shared across the Web.
We’ve had a quick play with it, and it’s fairly straight forward to get to grips with. Once you sign-up, you click to create a new plot. My one gripe here is that to add images to spruce up the family tree, you can only use Flickr or URLs of hosted images, when it would make more sense to allow users to upload their own image or select from a range of templates.
Once you’ve created your new plot, there are default avatars which you can click on and complete relevant content relating to them, and add new family members. Again, you must have a Flickr account with images of all your family members uploaded to populate the avatars, or otherwise provide URLs to images hosted elsewhere.
I can understand that this would mean more storage capacity required by PeoplePlotr, but it will also hinder the many people who only have images of loved-ones in digital format on their hard-drive. That said, it won’t take too long to set-up a Flickr account…
Users not only have control of the layout, they can also choose the colour scheme, change the size and opacity of components, and add explanatory text bubbles. Users can also attach multiple images, videos and audio from the likes of YouTube and Vimeo to each person, which PeoplePlotr transforms into an interactive media gallery.
PeoplePlotr is a nice, smooth, easy-to-use app. And once you’re done, you could end up with something that looks roughly like this:
It’s also worth noting that whilst PeoplePlotr is vying for the family tree market, it actually could be used in many more instances. Any organization that needs to plot people – from government officials to any corporate hierarchical management structure, could potentially use this.
“Unlike most family tree software, which forces you to use a standard layout, PeoplePlotr lets you design your own unique layout for your tree,” says PeoplePlotr founder Alex Kearns. “This makes the process of creating family trees and people plots a lot more fun and creative – you are not simply filling in boring forms. Plus, the end result is something very personal to you. Two people could create vastly different-looking trees.”
PeoplePlotr follows a freemium model, with the gratis version allowing users to create a tree of up to thirty people, with more permitted for premium account holders (costing up to $20/month). The latter also allows the trees to be embedded in blogs or websites, which could actually be a very useful feature.
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