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timelines? (Read 26630 times)
beru
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timelines?
Apr 25th, 2009, 1:40pm
 
hello,

I would like to make a timeline view of events with start time/date and duration. I created some events containing time information but do not get it to work in the chart view.

How do I go about this? any hints appreciated.
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: timelines?
Reply #1 - Apr 25th, 2009, 3:18pm
 
Are you thinking of building a timeline in Map View?

Or exporting to a timeline program like Bee's or Simile Timeline?
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Re: timelines?
Reply #2 - Apr 25th, 2009, 3:29pm
 
I actually have BeeDocs Timeline, can I export to it from TBX?

But I actually would like to visualize somehow in TBX start and duration, is this possible?

I figure (from some other posting) that x,y-coordinates of notes on the map can be programatically controlled, so I wonder: could this feature be used to make nice timelines?

Thanks in advance!
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« Last Edit: Apr 26th, 2009, 7:32am by beru »  
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: timelines?
Reply #3 - Apr 26th, 2009, 8:59am
 
Yes; you can set $Xpos and $Ypos to position each note, and $Height and  $Width to place them in the map.  So, all sorts of timeslines are feasible.

What I'd suggest is this:

a) Make a "sketch" document in Tinderbox with some typical data for the project you have in mind.  

b) Lay out the timeline you'd like to have by hand in this document's sketch view. (It doesn't have to be 100% accurate; it's a sketch)

c) Post it here, with a screenshot.  Or send it to me and I'll post it for you (bernstein@eastgate.com).  

That way, we'll know where we want to go. This also separates graphic design from the underlying logic, which is always a good practice.
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: timelines?
Reply #4 - Apr 26th, 2009, 12:35pm
 
Here's Beate Rude's timeline sketch:



Do you have an idea for a timeline?  An addition?  A different approach?  Let's expand the discussion and see where it leads.
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« Last Edit: Apr 26th, 2009, 1:17pm by Mark Bernstein »  
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Re: timelines?
Reply #5 - Apr 26th, 2009, 1:24pm
 
Here's my rendition of the timeline sketch in Tinderbox:



(Bigger version at http://markbernstein.org/elements/Timeline/TimelineSketchHuge.jpg; Tinderbox file at http://markbernstein.org/elements/Timeline/timeline1.dmg[/url].)

This is just a hastily hand-built Tinderbox map.  The time line is a long, thin adornment.  The time markers are transparent adornments.  Events all have a common Prototype, from which they inherit things like shape and color.  The font is Futura Condensed Medium; if you don't happen to have this, things will look a bit different.

One can (and should!) imagine very different ways this might look; I'd urge people to experiment and to share their results.

Note that we are not yet placing the events automatically; we're just positioning them by hand.  We'll turn to automatic placement next, I think.
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« Last Edit: Apr 26th, 2009, 1:25pm by Mark Bernstein »  
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beru
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Re: timelines?
Reply #6 - Apr 26th, 2009, 1:42pm
 
that really looks good and thank you! It shows the start and length of events relative to each other and to a time scale.

but I definitely do think that automatic placement is important.
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Re: timelines?
Reply #7 - Apr 26th, 2009, 2:26pm
 
Oh -- I'm not saying automatic placement is unimportant!  But it's helpful to take things in small steps.

I've added two attributes to events.  Start is a date; for this demo, I'm going to say that the timeline starts on July 1, 2009.  Duration is a number, the number of days through which the event continues.  You could, of course, do these in other ways.

First, we set the $Width of the notes automatically from the duration.  I've already plopped the scale numbers onto the timeline so they "look good"; it turns out that the "1" is at Xpos=1 and the "3" is at Xpos=6.  So, 2 days are 5 Xpos units; one Xpos unit is 0.4 days.  That gives us:

    $Width=$Duration/0.4;

Now, we place the elements on the X axis:

   Xpos=days(date("June 30, 2009"),$Start)/0.4

Now, this is fine -- except what if we have an event that has a date of "never" or one that's in the wrong year?  It will be moved way, way off the map!  Just for convenience, we'll add a rule for catching the strays

   if ($Xpos<-25|$Xpos>25) {$Xpos=-25;}

So, we can run all that together in a rule for the Prototype event, and here we are.



File: http://markbernstein.org/elements/Timeline/timeline2.dmg
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: timelines?
Reply #8 - Apr 26th, 2009, 3:07pm
 
Here's another kind of timeline, also in Tinderbox:
Here, we have a container with some people.  Each person (Prototype "Person") has a number for $Born, $Died, and the name of the city or town in which they principally lived.

An agent gathers all the people and arranges them in this timeline-like presentation:


1) The agent sorts the notes by year of birth.
2) The Ypos of each alias is set from the outline-order.  So, the earliest-born people are at the top, but people born in the same year have different Ypos positions.
3) Xpos is set to ($Born-1845)/5.
4) Width is set to ($Died-Born)/5.

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« Last Edit: Apr 26th, 2009, 3:09pm by Mark Bernstein »  
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Re: timelines?
Reply #9 - Apr 26th, 2009, 3:09pm
 
in reply to "Reply #7 - Today at 2:26pm"

this is most helpful, I will try this approach a bit (and probably come with more questions).
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« Last Edit: Apr 26th, 2009, 3:10pm by beru »  
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Re: timelines?
Reply #10 - Apr 26th, 2009, 3:15pm
 
in reply to "Reply #8 - Today at 3:07pm"

this is probably useful for events of similar start and duration (differences in start date/time << duration).
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« Last Edit: Apr 26th, 2009, 3:16pm by beru »  
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Re: timelines?
Reply #11 - Apr 26th, 2009, 6:19pm
 
@beru, re BeeDocs timeline, see BeeDoc's page on text import. I've made a quick demo TBX to show how you'd generate their specimen data via Tinderbox export, it's here. Export the note 'Export Me!' and you should get a tab-delimited text file called 'data.txt' ready to pull into BeeDocs.

[There may be some format issues with exporting dates with a year pre-1000, but ignore that for the purposes of the above demo].
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« Last Edit: Apr 27th, 2009, 4:22am by Mark Anderson »  

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Re: timelines?
Reply #12 - Apr 27th, 2009, 2:22am
 
@Mark
that is very interesting. However, I tried several times with 2 browsers but cannot access the file at the link given. Is the link correct?

Thanks.
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Re: timelines?
Reply #13 - Apr 27th, 2009, 4:22am
 
apologies, there was a typo in the URL.  I've fixed the original one above, but here too is the actual URL:
http://www.acrobatfaq.com/tbdemos/tab-delim-export.tbx
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Re: timelines?
Reply #14 - Apr 27th, 2009, 5:02am
 
@Mark
that works pretty well, thanks!
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