Digital Timeline Tools

Everyone has a story to tell. For many of us doing work in the humanities and social sciences, presenting our research as a timeline can bring it new depth and a wider audience. Today, I’ll be talking about two unique digital storytelling options that you can use to add dimension to your research project.

Timeglider

An image of Timeglider's sample timeline on the Wright Brothers

Timeglider is an interactive timeline application. It allows you to move in and out time, letting you see time in large or small spans. It also allows events to overlap, so you can show the relationship of things in time. Timeglider also gives some great aesthetic options, including what they call their “special sauce” — the way they relate the size of an event to its importance. This option emphasizes certain events in the timeline to the user, and can make getting important ideas across simpler.

Started in 2002 as a flash-based app, Timeglader is one of the older timeline options on the web. After a major redesign in 2010, Timeglider is now written in HTML5 and JavaScript. Timeglider is free for students for a basic package, and plans for non-students can choose to pay either $5/month or $50/year.

Overall, Timeglider is an interesting timeline application with numerous options. Give it a try!

myHistro

A screenshot from a myHistro project on the Byzantine Empire.

myHistro uses text, video and pictures on maps and timelines to tell stories. Some of the power of myHistro comes from the sheer amount of information you can provide in one presentation. Presentations can include introductory text, an interactive timeline, a Google Maps-powered annotated map, and a comment section, among other attributes. The social aspect, in particular, makes myHistro powerful. You can open your work up to a large audience, or simply ask students and scholars to make comments on your work for an assignment. Another interesting aspect of myHistro is the sheer amount of projects people have come up with for it. There is everything from histories of the French Revolution to the biography of Justin Bieber, with everything in between!

myHistro is free, and you can sign up using your email or social network information.

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