I understand the structure of binary trees and how to traverse them. However, I am struggling to realize their actual uses, purposes in programs and programming. When I think about 'real life' examples of hierarchical data they almost certainly have more than 2 children. For example, in a family tree, a mother may often have more than two children.
Are 'binary trees' really only useful to store linearly related data due to the faster processing times over arrays and lists? Alternatively, do they serve a specific purpose in storing hierarchical data? If so, what examples are there of the application of binary trees. What data is such that a node has at most 2 children?