Timeline Project FAQ

June 25, 2009, 1:54 am

So I thought I needed some kind of FAQ to introduce new users to my collaborative Timeline Project. This is something I will build upon over time:

  • What was the motivation for the site?
  • Where do I signup to contribute?
  • Why the Wikipedia link?
  • What are the tags for?
  • What was the motivation for the site?

    While digging around in my attic some time late last year, I discovered a fold out Timeline of World War Two that had been a birthday present some years ago. It inspired me to investigate if this sort of information, in this format, was available on the Internet. I discovered that although there is a wealth of websites describing lists of events in great detail (Wikipedia being the most impressive), this particular presentation of the information (a scrolling timeline of events) was either not available or buried so deep in Google that I didn't uncover it.

    What I did discover was an amazing programming tool which marries a scrolling dynamic Timeline (almost exactly what I had envisaged) with a Google map. The addition of geographic information to my original concept of a Timeline sealed my fate. Mapping historical events in time and space has become my new obsession.

    Where do I sign up to contribute?

    You can now sign up for an account and start entering data.

    Why the Wikipedia link?

    Because of the limited space available for each map point, I wanted to provide the ability to link to a more expansive explanation for the data point. Wikipedia provides, in my opinion, the best collection of articles, maps and documents to describe the data that will be added to the Timeline system. I have mandated the inclusion of a Wikipedia link to ensure that users will always have an easily accessible link to more information if they require it.

    What are the tags for?

    Probably the most initially confusing aspect of the Creation/Editing User Interface is the addition of tags to new data points. Tags are a set of annotations associated with a data point that allow users of the site to sort the data in useful ways. Tags also include the countries (or states) involved in any data point in the system. Here is the current list of applicable tags and their descriptions:

    • Land - Any combat that involves land based forces (infantry, cavalry, artillary, armour etc...) should include this tag.
    • Naval - Any combat that involves naval units should include this tag.
    • Aerial - Any combat that involves planes should include this tag.
    • Airborne - Any combat that involves airborn troops (paratroopers), should include this tag.
    • Domestic - Any event that is purely concerned with the internal infrastructure of a particular country should include this tag.
    • Diplomacy - Any event that involves some kind of negotiation between two or more nations should include this tag.
    • International - Any event of significance to many nations should include this tag.

    You will notice that you can apply more than one tag to a data point and you should include any and all tags that are applicable to the data you are adding to the system. The first tag is a special tag that is used to color the entry on the map. You should use the most significant tag first.

More questions/answers coming ...

I still have a list of features that I would like to implement and the project is still very much in BETA. I would appreciate any suggestions or corrections you might have. You can email me at .

Permalink - Tags: Development,World War Two,Napoleonic Wars,American Civil War