image of timeline ticker

TimelineJS, the Story of WIC, and Dogs of the Web

Hi everyone!  My name is Chava Spivak-Birndorf, and I’m a new graduate intern at the Weigle Information Commons.  In the short time I’ve been here so far, I’ve been impressed by everything WIC does to bring innovative uses of technology and digital media to the Penn community.  WIC just turned 10 on April 5th, and I’m excited to join in as we celebrate everything that we love about WIC!

If you’ve visited our website recently, you may have seen our new interactive timeline.  My coworker Lahari showed me TimelineJS, an open-source tool that allows users to create interactive timelines using a Google spreadsheet.  Last year, Lahari used TimelineJS to start working on a timeline of notable events at WIC.  With WIC coming up on double digits, it seemed like the perfect time to finish the timeline and share WIC’s story.

image of WIC timelineDid we leave out any of your favorite events from WIC’s history?

google spreadsheet publish to web

TimelineJS has a simple interface and clear instructions that make it easy to create a timeline without any web design or coding experience.  Just add your text and media to their handy Google spreadsheet template, publish your spreadsheet to the web, and paste the spreadsheet URL into the timeline creator.  Users who want a little more control can use HTML tags in their spreadsheet to customize their timeline’s look.

image of timeline js step three

After finishing WIC’s timeline, I wanted to play around with more of the options in TimelineJS, so I decided to make a mini-timeline covering a very important topic.

image of timeline slide with embedded tweetOne of my favorite things about TimelineJS is how easy it is to add media to your timeline. And it’s not just image files and videos – you can add tweets and sound clips, and even embed Google maps and Storify stories.

I also experimented with using HTML to format text and changing a slide’s background color with hex color codes.  Here you can see a portion of a spreadsheet entry and the slide created from that entry.

spreadsheet and slide example

Check out the Timeline of Dogs Online here.  If you have ideas about important dogs on the web or what kind of timeline you want to make, we’d love to hear them!

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