How to navigate a timeline


Welcome to the first timeline at Cuculcan

Well not actually the first timeline, because this is the second incarnation of Cuculcan, which lived before as a Flash-based timeline creation and editing tool. This first, new timeline is just a teaser of what will be available as Cuculcan goes forward. This is really just a mockup of a timeline in that it is not being programmatically generated from a database (that work is yet to be done).

What this timeline of the life of Jane Austen does do, however, is give you an inkling of the power of Cuculcan. You can change the timescale by dragging the handles at the ends of the slider. You can move the timeline by either dragging the timeline itself or dragging the gray bar between the two slider handles. Double-click the gray bar to return the timeline scale to its original width.

Click an image to see it in a larger window. Click the title of an event to see a longer description and access links to reference material. Click the pushpin associated with an event to view a Google map.

The timeline controls are in the top-left corner. The first button will show or hide the map associated with the timeline; the second button displays additional tick marks; the level menu will show/hide events depending on their importance; and the arrow buttons will navigate from event to event. When you reach the last event, the next arrow will take you to the first event.

You can also use the left-right arrows on your keyboard to advance from event-to-event, although this feature works best when the timeline is opened in a separate window. When an event is selected, the up arrow on your keyboard will display the media associated with the event; the down arrow will display the description and links associated with the event. Press ESC to hide the windows.

The matchup controls in the top-right corner will toggle full-screen mode and the second button will hide the background image. If you’re viewing a matchup—two or more timelines—the matchup controls will have two additional features. The pull-down menu will allow you to show/hide a timeline. You can also re-order the timelinesby dragging the two-headed arrow up or down.

expanded-matchup-controlsNote: When in full-screen mode, any links you click will exit full-screen mode. All links open in a separate tab or window.

What about the fourth button?

The fourth button (in the expanded matchup controls) is the synchronize button, which will make two or more timelines all use the same timescale. This allows you to compare what may seem like disparate timelines and reveal the synchronicity behind seemingly unconnected events. I’m working on another timeline about the Georgian era and you’ll later be able to see that timeline along side the Austen timeline.

map-controlsMap controls?

If you click the map icon in the timeline controls, you’ll see a Google map with markers corresponding to events. The first icon will exit the map. You can navigate the markers with the left-right arrows or using the arrow controls in the map controls. Click a marker to see more information.

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