Blog Post

Search for Timeline and Event Visualization Tools

Most textual digital collections, e.g. novels, romances and verses, follow some chronological plot of events. Each event can be tagged separately, for example "arrival scene" or "dinner scene". However, the raw xml formatting does not allow us to see these events visually.

On the other hand, the chronological historical timelines are very common and they usually display events by periods. For example, Timetoast tool. Literary events are more contexual and simple chronological timeline does not seem to be appropriate. In addition, the textual content is not searchable or interactive in such a fixed timeline. At present, I do not know any visualization software that would enable event annotation and its visualization. I would appreciate any suggestions or ideas!



Hi Olga! Have you checked out Timeline.js? It's a really intuitive tool that might help you showcase narrative structures, somehow.. It is also open-source which means that you can also tinker with it yourself, if you know your way around coding. They have a GitHub page for the code! :) I'm preparing two tools posts here in the Digital Collections group -- one with simpler and one with more advanced tools, and Timeline.js definitely goes on that list. I'm curious to check out Timetoast that you mention as well!


Thanks, Kalle! I will check it out at our Inidana University workshop on Scalar (1/20) that will also introduce Timeline.js, StoryMap and Tiki-Toki for time-line visualization.


Hi Olga, TimeMapper might be a good one to add.  Its an open-source project of Open Knowledge Foundation Labs. TimeMapper lets you create elegant and embeddable timemaps quickly and easily from a simple spreadsheet.  I'll check out TimeToast!!


Nancy, thank you for your suggestion! I will check it out.