The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

« Previous Post | Technology Home | Next Post »

Family trees of the future: links relatives through photos

January 11, 2010 |  6:00 am

MyHeritageLogoBig As a candidate for one of the best family-friendly social media websites available, is a modern way for users to connect with other relatives.

Whereas typical social-networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn generally connect friends and co-workers, provides an attractive reason to be able to say the words “grandparents” and “social media” in the same sentence.

At the most basic level, the Tel-Aviv based family tree site enables users to build a family tree and upload family photos to the site.

This is where it gets interesting: Instead of having to directly tag each photo individually to each family member, has the ability to recognize faces and tag them to the respective individual.

The more photos that are uploaded, the better the site becomes at tagging the photos automatically (it does this by employing the same facial-recognition technology used at the Super Bowl to compare faces in the crowd with those of suspected terrorists).

It can also pull photos that are saved on a user's Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, Webshots and MySpace accounts directly into the site, allowing users to skip a step by needing to upload pictures from their  computers.

The site also connects unknown users if it finds facial similarities, enabling users to discover distant relatives. What I particularly liked about the site was that it was easy to use. I was surprised at how simple it was to upload my pictures from my albums on Facebook, and setting up the family tree was a walk in the park.

-- Zohreen Adamjee