Various sources are reporting that Ancestry.com is testing a new feature for member trees called “Story View.” According to Jordan Novet of GigaOM, Ancestry.com uses software from Narrative Science which takes facts from the documents and photographs attached to a person in a public member tree and uses a computer algorithm to construct a narrative describing their life. Novet wrote that Ancestry.com is rolling out the feature slowly, currently making it available to 10% of users.
Randy Seaver is one of those with access to the feature and reviewed it in his blog last Friday. (See “First Look at Ancestry.com’s Story View.”) He clicked a green button on a person page to generate a Story View of that person (shown to the right).
The top of the page consists of the principal photograph of the person and a paragraph constructed by computer that gives a short biography of the person.
Underneath this Ancestry.com constructs a timeline using the images associated with that person. Next to each image is a date and description, which can be edited and reordered.
The resulting story can be shared with the general public. To see Seaver’s, click here.