Earlier this week I was asked to test drive the beta version of a new web-based timelining tool. I’m already impressed.
Mnemograph allows users to author, collaborate on, and share timeline documents. Timelines can be private or public. They may be embedded on blogs and wikis and other sites.
After registration, Mnemograph suggests you give your first timeline a name. You then begin adding events, titles, descriptions, dates, images, icons for creating visual clusters, feeds and links.
An interesting feature allows users to open two timelines at a time by positioning them on either the north (upper) or the south (lower) sides of the screen. The site notes:
Visualizing two timelines at once can present some interesting and unexpected relationships between events. For example, one timeline could show your photographs from Flickr, and another could show a family diary. The combination of the two on a single screen leads to a richer experience.
I can imagine a student showing a grandparent’s (or famous person’s) life against the backdrop of a period in American or world history.
Mnemograph offers a handy Zoom Level feature, allowing both big picture views of 600 years or small picture views in units as small as three hours, or views anywhere in between. The tool also allows timeline creaters to add RSS and Flickr feeds to their chronicles. Settings include timezones. Users can create using a variety of fonts, font sizes, and colors and can maintain a library of uploaded images.
Mnemograph joins xtimeline (which currently has a large archive of model timelines) as a useful classroom tool, allowing learners to explore histories of all types.