I read a quote today: “Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future.” -Gail Lumet Buckley.
I think it’s very true. I went to a family reunion a few years ago, and met some 5th (or so) cousins from Oregon. They were shocked to meet me because they had a grandson that looked just like me. Isn’t funny how genetics play out?
If I had the means and know-how, I would build a website that allowed people to post old family photos with names, dates and geographic information. Each photo would be indexed with these tags, and would be fully searchable. Many times, families only had one nice portrait of their family, and no one knows who inherited it. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to find a scan of that photo on the internet and be able to download a high-resolution copy of it? Just an idea that is floating around in my head. It would also be nice to have a feature that linked photos together in sets or groups once it was determined they were from the same family.
There is a website, www.myheritage.com that is attempting to begin a face recognition project concerning genealogy. Users can create a website for their family and upload family trees and photos. In theory, their software can “learn” each face in these photos and will be able to find other families who might be related simply by the characteristics found in faces. Sort of creepy, but I think this might actually be a great way to potentially identify “unknowns” in old family photos. I’m anxious to see how it works. This could either be a huge success or flop terribly. The thing is, thousands of people would have to submit thousands more photos for it all to even have a chance to work. I guess we’ll see how it all turns out. They’re not quite ready for it to get off the ground, but I’ve requested an invitation to be one of the first to try out the site.