I’d like to propose a session in which we look critically at one of the most familiar data visualizations: the timeline. Traditional timelines are static, but in recent years projects such as SIMILE Timeline, Chronos, and Verite have created dynamic representations of temporal data. Digital timelines also afford an ordering structure to present collections of digitized assets, such as the Presidential Timeline of the Twentieth Century.
In this session, we can explore the possibilites of enhancing access to cultural heritage materials through timelines while examining their pedagogical function as visualizations. How do we break out of the traditional linear representation of temporal data (or should we)? What visual language is necessary to represent the complexity of multiple streams and categories of information? Can we crowdsource timelines? What about using linked data to create semantic timelines? Do the techniques used in data journalism transfer to the cultural heritage community?