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Timelines from Google spreadsheets

April 10, 2012

Recently I came across a free timeline tool that takes its data from a Google Spreadsheet. After you build the initial timeline, adding to it is a simple matter of editing the spreadsheet. This elegant tool was created and built by Vérité.co as project of the Knight News Innovation Lab at Northwestern U.

The time lines are pretty slick; they allow you to incorporate videos, sounds, maps, images … even tweets! There are two main options for deploying the tool

  1. Easy embed – use their template to create a Google Spreadsheet, copy-paste their code into a web page, edit in the location of your data, and publish the page.
  2. Add to your site – download the code and include the files on your site. This looks like a more complicated option, but it might be better for folks who are nervous about relying on external code.
I found the tool very easy to work with. The image below shows my first effort – not bad for a beginner. The hardest part is creating the HTML file, but once you have it you could easily publish it in a course management system, like Sakai or Blackboard.
This blog has covered similar tools and strategies before. Take a look:

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