This session was delivered by Ian McDermott, Yale’s Visual Literacy Instruction Fellow. Ian began by showing a number of examples of interactive timelines you can find on the Internet. They included:
- the SIMILE project out of MIT which has created an open source timeline. Pam Patterson from ITG showed an example of SIMILE in action at Yale for the Ancient Jewish Diaspora Archive.
- the Timeline of Art History on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website. Their timeline allows you browse thematically or by era or region.
- a timeline from the Digital History initiative at the University of Houston.
He also demonstrated a feature that Google has made available to plot Google search results on a timeline. You can use this by typing something like the following in a Google search: John Steinbeck view:timeline
Ian then switched gears to go in depth on the Andy Warhol Timeline, a project he worked on as the Research Coordinator at the Andy Warhol Museum before coming to Yale. The timeline is available on the Internet but is also available in the Museum to interact with on a touch screen.
The visual representation of the events of Warhol’s life is a complex mixture of a traditional chronological timeline across the bottom of the screen, categories and highlights in dropdown menus on the left of the screen, and an interconnected web of images in round bubbles (or nodes) moving in the middle of the screen for each of the entries in the timeline. Clicking any one of these elements reorients the nodes based on their relation to what you clicked on. Double-clicking one of the nodes delivers a page with the full information about that entry. Ian pointed out that the timeline was designed with a mind to move away from web “pages” toward a notion of web “spaces”.
Ken Panko from ITG closed things by demonstrating the Modernism Lab, a project by English Professor Pericles Lewis and his graduate students. There is a timeline component to that project and the framework is something that ITG could put into service for other faculty at Yale.