Time Line and EditGrid
EDIT- What I should have said was check out the SIMILE Time Line project and their Exhibit project on US Presidents. They both show some interesting interactive ways to check out data. If you’re interested in my at least semi-geeky pursuit of an easy way to generate the XML for the timeline read on at your own risk. Real geeks will probably just be annoyed at my ignornace.
It is by far the best time line option I’ve seen.Â I encourage you to check it out even if you have no intention of trying to create your own versions.Â The Presidential Exhibit example is also awesome and well worth checking out.Â It works in google maps and the Time Line feature as well as a variety of optional searches based on lots of data.
- lower level overview view (I know that sounds awkward) is a good idea
- you can embed images and links in the pop up windows (like google earth/maps) so the time line can become a pretty effective index for a historical website that helps teach concepts while you navigate
- difficulty for teachers/students to create their own content
- css knowledge is needed for more advanced formatting
I played around and made a time line or two and realized very few teachers/students would want mess with formatting the xml data to drive the time line.
I started out seeing if I could create the xml based on a convoluted formula in a googledocs spreadsheet. Feel free to laugh at my attempt here– (although it is worth noting that all the data, other than the name of the President, is retrieved via the googlelookup function). So that didn’t work out too well . . . and I started looking around a little more and found that EditGrid will export to XML (some people were using it to create KMZ files for Google Earth which is neat in and of itself).Â The XML is then taken and converted using XSL to the type of XML you’d need for (in this case) the time line.
After all that I haven’t really achieved anything other than becoming frustrated with my own ignorance.Â But- I think the idea is sound and has some possibilities.Â It’d probably be easier to just write something server side that would transform data entered on web page into the right XML directly but I’m even farther away from figuring out how to do that.
Maybe I’ll figure something out, maybe someone else will and I’ll find out about it.Â What’s interesting is that we are getting closer to being able to push data around and view it how it is most useful to us.Â Although it is frustrating to be on the cusp, it’s also exciting.