12 May 2011

More genealogy help from Wolfram|Alpha

A computational knowledge engine may not sound promising for genealogy, but a recent blog posting at Wolfram|Alpha points out ways their website can help us. There's more than when I last blogged about it.


You can map family relations, like this one for the aunt of the sister's husband. It does have difficulty with more complex relationships like double cousins and step relatives. It also calculates a blood relationship fraction, not the same as the shared DNA which would be nice to have.

Calendar Calculations

You can determine the day of the week for any date. Did you know the 12th of May 1945 was a Saturday (congratulations to those who share a birthday.) Also compute time difference between dates, and other calendar calculations.

Interpreting Ambiguous Words

If you have a word in a document in which you can only make out some of the letters try Wolfram|Alpha's capability to find words that fit the pattern, even when the first letter, or letters, are unreadable.

Also helpful for recreational word puzzles.

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