Histography

This post is deliberately left to the weekend because, if you’re anything like me, this will be another connected addiction.

I like a good visualization as much as the next person.  I enjoy history and just exploring the human condition.

The web resource Histography has both covered.

Check out the list of topics…

In fact, the list goes on with a scroll.  Histography pulls its information from the Wikipedia.  Think of Histography as a graphical front end to explore Wikipedia content.

History, as we know it, or were taught it, certainly extends for years and years.  To get to the topics of interest, you might want to pick a certain “age”.

or, there’s a slider at the bottom to allow you zoom in or out on the historical timeline.  Either way is very effective.

What’s impressive though, is how the timeline is represented on the screen.

I zeroed in on wars and here’s the representation.

Each of the dots represents an article from the Wikipedia related to the broad topic of “war”.  Some appear in blow up bubbles as you’ll see here.  To begin exploring, it’s just a matter of mousing over the dots.  If you pause on a dot, a bubble with content image pops up and, if you click, more information about the content, as well as a direct link to the Wikipedia content appears.

It’s a little beyond the traditional comfort zone for exploring.  For topics like this, linear is the natural way for me to think of exploring content.  In this case, linear is actually kind of difficult; random exploration seems to work better.

The site balked at using Firefox and recommended using Chrome or Safari as the browser for exploration.  If you have one of those loaded, give it a shot and see if you don’t spend the rest of your day reliving high school history classes.

7 thoughts on “Histography

  1. Doug, this is a very interesting site. I wonder if this visual representation would help students as they explore the discipline of thinking in the Social Studies/History curriculum on “patterns and trends.” I almost see some of these visuals as being a provocation for inquiry questions linked to this discipline of thinking. I wonder if anyone’s ever tried this before and how it works. Thanks for the link!

    Aviva

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  2. My comment is now becoming more stream of consciousness “comments,” but as I look more at this, I wonder if “patterns and trends” is really the right discipline of thinking. I think that the look of the dots may have inspired my first comment. Now I’m thinking that the information could link to developing questions related to at least one of the disciplines of thinking (not sure which one, or maybe multiple ones). This could actually be a digital provocation to help generate some initial questions, and then students could examine these and other resources for the answers (and new or updated questions). Now I’m thinking more …🙂

    Aviva

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  3. Interesting! Funny, last night I was thinking about my grandmother who lived to 100. I wondered if there was something that would generate a timeline of different historical events that occurred during her 100 years. (or anyone’s life span really). I could do that research and timeline myself, but I have editing duties to keep up with🙂

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