Rongqian Ma; Week 6-7: Exploring Timeline JS for the Stories of Book of Hours

Week 6-7: Exploring Timeline JS for the story of Book of Hours. I spent the past two weeks designing and creating a timeline of book of hours evolution using Timeline JS visualization site, which incorporates as much of the available information of the dataset as possible, including the date information, locations, digital images, and some textual descriptions. Timeline JS tool is an effective storytelling platform that combines multimedia resources and information. I initially started exploring this tool during the process of visualizing the date information of the dataset; I wanted to find a form of visualization that can examine the relationships between different categories of the dataset, especially those among the temporal, geographical, and content information of the manuscripts. I was able to create the timeline that demonstrates the evolution of book of hours manuscripts from the 14th to the 16th centuries, and develop a multimedia narrative of the book of hours. The biggest challenge of creating the timeline is to generate reasonable and meaningful period intervals. Because all the date information in the original dataset is presented heavily in texts and descriptions (e.g., circa 1460, mid-15th century, 1450-1460), manipulating and reformatting the date information and changing it to an easily computed form is important. Following this task, the major work to do so as to decide on the intervals is to summarize the characteristics of each representative period and present them in the timeline. Creation of the timeline also entails reviewing relevant literature of book of hours, choosing the pictorial representations, and illustrating the characteristics of book of hours for each time period based on other categories of information (e.g., geolocations, decorations). Despite the advantages of Timeline JS as an effective tool, it appears more like a platform for “display of findings and results,” not an approach for “visual analysis.” [Based on discussions with my mentor, she is going to help with the textual descriptions of the book of hours in general and each section, which I really appreciate!]  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *