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  • Adam Behringer

    Seattle, Washington USA

    Adam is the founder of BEEDOCS, an artisan software company that makes great timeline software for Mac OS X.

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Web Timeline - British History Timeline

Friday, March 28, 2008

A few weeks ago someone showed me this interactive timeline of British History from the BBC:

British History Timeline

I've been thinking about timelines for the web and would be interested in what you think about this timeline. Do you think it is intuitive to navigate? Does it present the information clearly? Would the information you are presenting work well in a format like this?

I'll be posting other interactive timelines in future posts, so you will have an opportunity to answer these questions for some more examples soon.

Also, I have another request. Would those of you who are interested in posting timelines on your web sites please put a link to your website in the comments? When designing web export, it would be helpful to see where these timelines are going to be posted. Thanks!



Anonymous AnonymousMarch 28, 2008 9:53 AM

Dear Adam,

I absolutely love Bee Doc's Timeline software! Thanks very much for having a great product that is focused on performing a single task (timelines) with elegance and ease.

Yes, I really like the BBC timeline's ability to scroll left and right, or to zoom in for detail. That is much like the kind of timeline I would want to create for online use.

I'm a history of science professor, and one of my course websites is here:

On my website each week is devoted to a different place and time. I would like to post a timeline for each week, plus an overall timeline for all of the weeks together. So it would be great to have timelines that are subsidiary -- that is, when I update an event in the week timeline, it would be automatically carried over to the semester timeline.

The BBC timeline's ability to have two views -- a zoomed in view plus an overall view -- would also be extremely useful for my other chief instructional use of timelines, that is, in Keynote. It is tedious to prepare two or more different timelines when I want to structure a Keynote presentation by progressively moving through a timeline, with an overall and a zoomed view at each major transitional point.

Thanks again for your splendid work.


Blogger UnknownMarch 28, 2008 11:38 AM

Adam: I really like the "Take a journey" feature that allows you to walk a viewer through a specific list of events. I wish that the arrows on the macroview jumped to events, rather than just scrolling screen by screen.

You might also take cues from Google Finance, as I like their ability to present timeline events as context to charts.


Blogger JorgeMarch 30, 2008 2:37 PM

I'd love to have a drupal module to do that in my website.

Blogger UnknownMarch 31, 2008 2:34 AM

I am dying for a decent online timeline. I like the BBC timeline for the most part. I would prefer not to hover to see info or pictures though. BeeDocs in beautiful in that respect. I love the tour feature. I want it dynamic also... being able to pick keywords or multiple keywords to narrow the data. Or having 2 tracks of data. Say you want to look at "wars" on one track and "US presidents" on another (lined up top and bottom so you can compare). I tried doing that on BeeDoc and it handled it fairly well until I had 3 or 4 tracks and many entries in one and only a few in others. The tracks seemed to give all heights the same instead of adjusting individually according to the amount of data categorically. I would also like collapsible categories too. I find that I will enter the life span of a person and want to put all events related to him in a category, but only look at it if I am interested in the details of his life.
I am not keen on having to click on entry (has focus) to know if it has a hyperlink.

I LOVE BEEDOCS. YOU ARE MAKING A QUALITY PRODUCT. The attention to detail is brilliant. Thank you for continuously raising the bar and releasing updates as you perfect them instead of waiting for months for the "next version"

This turned into a general post, but I think it is all relevant to what would be designed into an interactive web based use of BeeDocs.

Sean Bressie
Sonoma County Historical Society

Blogger UnknownMarch 31, 2008 6:13 AM

BBC History - I love the ability to scroll and zoom and the thought of viewing this through the web with a fixed window area.

I am about to upgrade to OSX 10.5 as the demo for 10.4 is great but I see that visualy you have taken it so far forward for Leopard.

Blogger norway81March 31, 2008 9:28 AM

I very love timeline software. but when I change picture for background then auto exit program. I think this is a bug. please check. :) . I used leopard.

Blogger norway81March 31, 2008 9:29 AM

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger tristangreatrex@hotmail.comApril 02, 2008 3:03 AM


I have just upgraded to Leopard and the new version of Timeline is superb, it looks beautiful - Thank You.


Blogger Michael FlowerApril 03, 2008 11:06 AM

In one of my courses I ask students to explore politicoscientific controversies (e.g., the history of the debate about the reality of global warming), and one aspect of that portrayal is construction of a timeline. If BeeDoc's timeline can move in the direction of the BBC example, I would like it even more than I like (and use) it at present.

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