Is there a computer program that allows you to see a whole family tree, on screen, and expand, compact and shift, vertically and horizontally, just as you can in Google Earth?
I've wondered about this before, so I had another look and found ZoomPast, a (newish?) project from Imperial College, London. I've only had a brief play with it so far, but may be the sort of thing you're looking for. There are some introductory videos on the site that show how the amount of detail presented varies "fractally" with zoom level. You can upload a Gedcom file or build a tree manually. It seems to be purely a visualisation package, and online only, so there's no research, analysis or offline working as far as I can see, and it doesn't link to trees on other sites so won't keep in sync. My 440 person Gedcom test file uploaded and processed in under a minute.
An example from my tree, with people I've mentioned in other questions, looks like this: As you zoom in and out, the family boxes expand to show individuals in more detail, and if you zoom fully in to a single person it shows a timeline of their life.
It seems quite an effective display tool. I'll probably use it to show family members different bits of the tree, flying in and out is fast and looks pretty cool.
It's also potentially useful for highlighting gaps in a tree, as they can show as voids in the display even when zoomed out a long way. For example, in the image above, near top centre, you can see that John Hill has parents in the grouping box, but his wife Hannah does not. Likewise you can see that William, to their right, has both parents in the tree but only one set of grandparents. (Another missing set are the parents of Elizabeth Crawley, as it happens).
It is not quite fractal, but with Kith & Kin you can zoom in and out and move around the tree area. See Tutorial - Using the Tree Area
The disadvantage with the Tree Area is that you have to place the put the families in the area yourself rather than it dynamically drawing it as you zoom in and out, which can lead to some very messy looking trees.
Although you can use Layers to reduce the clutter, e.g. show only your direct ancestors and families or other groups of families