Descendant Fanchart

Another post on fan charts. The previous was about the common fanchart, and how we made it better. This time it is about a new addition to the family of chart views in Gramps: the Descendant Fan Chart.

What is it?

Obviously it is a fan chart showing the descendants. Let’s look at an example:

These are the descendants of Victoria Mary Louise. Quite a crowded view, but you are looking at 9 generations in a single overview. Some differences with the normal fan chart pop out immediately. It starts with the central person in the center. Inside of this the parents are indicated with a color (here brown). This allows fast switching to the parents.

Outside of the central person is her partner, here Edward. If there are several families, each would take a segment. Next come the children of the couple, their partners, their children, …

Different sized boxes?

Different people have differently sized boxes. The algorithm that determines this is based on the number descendants a person/family has. This can be changed to equal sized boxes, but that normally is not very informative. See the following examples of the descendants of the Greek God Uranus.










As is visible here, the equal sized boxes to the right make the fan chart much less useful. Some other characteristics are evident on these examples. When the family has only one known parent, a transparent box is drawn for the partner (which is white in the example). Next you notice black boxes. These are boxes showing duplicates. For example, Zeus is present here as son of Cronus, and has several partners. One is Leto, which is also present as his uncles daughter. This second occurence of Zeus is in black (the duplicate color is an option you can change).

What else?

Otherwise this fanchart does just the same as the normal fanchart: drag and drop to change center person, rotate, move, filter, expand/collapse nodes by clicking, …. Some extra options have been added to allow using this view as a way to quickly enter information:

  • The context menu on a person has an add menu to add a new partner. This will open the family editor with the person preset as one of the parents
  • The context menu on a partner (family) has an add menu to add a child to the family. In the case there are several partner, a reorder button is also present like in the relationship view to change the order of the families.
  • If the view has focus (so you clicked somewhere in the view) then pressing e over a person will open the edit person dialog. pressing f will open the family editor. Combined with the normal fanchart this allows to use the fan charts to enter a complete family tree in a timely manner.

Is this it?

I sure hope this is it, I have other things to do. Some things can be changed, but better wait how the views behave once users start to stress them. The above chart of Victoria starts to stress my dual core laptop, so doing some profiling to see where the bottlenecks are to make it work a bit faster would be interesting. But then, why are we buying better computers, no? Time for me to find some time to work on the plumbing layer of Gramps.

As a close, a time period coloring of a part of my own tree, limited to 5 generations from the oldest Malengier in 1718.


  • David

    Wow, that’s a great idea and simply beautiful! I’m looking forward to using it! Will it be possible to export the view as a report? It would be great to be able to print this.

  • Benny

    David, there is a print button in the toolbar that prints the chart as you see it to printer, pdf, ps or svg.
    The last picture in this article is a screenshot from within firefox of the svg file. You can notice that the font is somewhat nicer than in the pdf output in the first images.

    The svg can be loaded in inkscape, and there saved as a png.

  • Bastien

    Your improvements of the fanchart are awesome !
    This is the tool I usually use as my workplace.
    How hard would it be to have a couple centred fanchart, the top part with a couple and their ascendant fanchart, and the bottom with a descendant fanchart for this couple.
    I’m a fan of the duplicate color feature too ! Mainly for ascendant inbreeding spotting !
    Many thanks.

  • Perl

    Awesome, really!

    And, what about “all-in-one” chart, is there some improvements in the version 4?

  • Bokkie

    This is what I am looking for!
    It would also be great if this could go both ways: not just descendants, but also ancestors.
    I have an app on my phone specifically for that, and was looking for a program on my pc. Gramps does deliver!

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