How Timeglider Works

Timeglider is a data-driven interactive timeline application. You can "grab" the timeline and drag it left and right, and zoom in and out — much as you would with a mapping app — to view centuries at a time or just hours. You can create create event spans so that you can see durations and how they overlap. Being web-based, Timeglider lets you collaborate and share easily.

You can create timelines about the last year of your family, the last century of world events, or about pre-historical (bce/bc) times. You can zoom in to see ten minutes, or zoom out to see billions of years.

Creating Events

Click on "new event"— or double-click anywhere on the timeline "stage" and the date at which the cursor is horizontally aligned is chosen. You can fine-tune the date using an intuitive date chooser. Then type a title and description, choose an icon, and enter a link to a web page/resource if you want.

Timeglider allows you to show the time span of events, indicated by a band of color. Simply enter the start date and an end date!

Zooming, Size and Importance

Timelines that zoom are tricky: If they are dense with events, they stack up and get cluttered. Timeglider's "special sauce" is the way we relate the size of an event to its importance — relative to the zoom level that it's at. This is easily managed by assigning an importance level (from 1 to 100) to each event. As one zooms in, the less important events emerge by growing into view.

Changing the importance/size of an event is easy: Click on the icon, and a slider appears that lets you enlarge or shrink the event. Here we can see that, even though Paul Revere's Ride was important, it's better to have it take up less room as one zooms out.

Sharing and Embedding

Once you build a timeline, you might want to share it. Once you choose to make a timeline accessible to the public, a URL will be created at which to share your timeline, and you can use that URL inside of an embed code, too, for placing on blogs and other web pages. The public cannot simply browse to a "published" timeline: Having a highly unique URL, your timeline can be shared with only the people you want to.

How visitors see your timeline

When your friends or family or the public views a timeline you've created, of course, they can't edit it. They'll first be met with an introduction you've written, and placed at a date (called the "focus date") that you've chosen as a starting point. Double-clicking any event brings up a simple information box (pictured at right).