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Week 15: British History Timeline by BBC
12-05-2014, 12:58 AM (This post was last modified: 12-05-2014 01:06 AM by tulasi.)
Post: #1
Week 15: British History Timeline by BBC
The link for the visualization is
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/interactive...ndex.shtml

This visualization is showing the temporal data in the British History timeline from 6000B.C to current year 2014. The visualization starts with a title homepage, which automatically redirects to another page, which has exploring button. The x-axis shows the year. We can drag the horizontal bar in the bottom of the graph to go through different ages. The years are grouped with different colors and names, which are historic names given for those years and revolt happened in that span. Hovering mouse at any point in the visualization shoes the year at that point on x-axis with bold letters.
We can see white points in the visualization, which are the events and if we click on any of those points or any where in the graph, it zooms in to that age period and shows those points shows the text explaining that event. We can also see the name given to that age span on the top left corner. If we click on the event text displayed we will be shown more detailed explanation with related web links.
There are Zoom out and Zoom in buttons in the bottom right corner and if we click on zoom in button it will zoom in to the age on the center of x-axis and shows events happened before and after 25 years to that age.
There is Take a Journey button on the bottom right corner, if we click on that button it will display a box which show four fields like Technology, Slavery. If we click on any field, it opens two boxes one with list of events with years and second box connects the year selected in the first box. Once, we select the year then in the background the Timeline automatically moves to that year and zooms in.
There is Search button in the top right corner. Once we enter a word and clicks search it zooms into graph and opens article containing that word in title.
We can view the articles individually for London, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from the dropdown button presented on the top. Upon selecting any of these the visualization automatically changes.

I felt this visualization unique and different from all visualizations I have seen till now.

Pros:

1. They used space very effectively, the entire visualization was managed in the center of page, which eliminated the need to drag page up and down.
2. In the main page of the visualization they explained interactivity in a good way showing a moving image which shows dragging the horizontal bar and an other image zooming features.
3. They made interaction very easy to users, if we click on any point on the graph it will move right or left depending on which part we clicked.
4. There are Next event and previous events displayed on the graph if there are no events in that particular year and if we click on those we will be redirected directly to that event instead of going through all years in between.
5. The colors they have chosen to represent the groups of years is visually appealing.
6. The images on the background are very nice and helpful for users to understand as they are based on that particular era.
7. Overall, the response time of the change in visualization after clicking at various points in different contexts is really fast with out any delay.

Cons:
1. There are some black dots in the graph, I didn’t understand why they were represented.
2. If we click Take a journey button and then if we click on dropdown button on top we cant see Northern Ireland field it is overlapped by the boxes.
3. There are several white dots (events) in a single year for some years and they didn’t specify in which order they are listed from top to bottom.

Improvements:
I felt the visualization is extremely impressive and there are no specific major improvements that are to be done except working on some cons I listed.

Overall I felt this is very interactive and effective visualization with very good color selection and they represented all the information very efficiently in less space and the idea of choosing the drag option of ages is really impressive.
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12-05-2014, 09:23 AM
Post: #2
RE: Week 15: British History Timeline by BBC
I think the visualization is doing a great job at story telling especially the "Take A journey" feature. The author of the visualization has also provided the "Next Event" button which allows a user to directly move to the next event instead of searching for an event on the timeline which I think was a necessary feature as there are not many events along the entire timeline.
I would have added a background which matches with the information provided instead of maintaining the same background which would made the visualization more effective.
Overall, I think this is a good visualization and succeeds quite well at story telling and the controls are intuitive and very thoughtfully provided by the author.
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12-05-2014, 03:00 PM
Post: #3
RE: Week 15: British History Timeline by BBC
The visualization provided is really nice.
I am impressed by the way different techniques for representing data have been used.
The color coding used is also good and the way it moves into different directions and gives the information about different events is really nice.
Space is utilized properly.
Information required is present very easily. User interactivity is also encoded well.

Overall, I really liked this visualization.
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12-05-2014, 03:25 PM
Post: #4
RE: Week 15: British History Timeline by BBC
I agree with MukteshKhole that "Take A journey" feature is great. It feels like reading a book from chapter to chapter with consistent topics.

However I think the main timeline structure is not so good. It simply put several event that happened in the same year in the same column, and group the columns into several eras. It is reasonable, but this presentation makes checking a specific topic hard. I think change the "next event" button to check the next related event makes more sense. Also, floating my mouse over the blank area will make three events to pop up. It confuses me since the three pop up events are generally not related in any sense.

Another observation is that events are denser towards modern era. So make the timeline a hierarchical structure should help dealing with this imbalance.
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12-05-2014, 03:33 PM
Post: #5
RE: Week 15: British History Timeline by BBC
This is a really good and impressive vis which provides a large number of information. l like this vis very much because it is very artistic and aesthetic. The interaction part of the vis is handy and clean for users to get the information they want. Many techniques are used in this vis to show the viewers large amount of data.
I agree with the critiquer that the color chosen to represent the groups of years is visually appealing and the images on the background are very nice and helpful for users to understand the whole vis. And I also think the black pots in the graph are a little annoying and useless, as mentioned in the critique which could be approved.
Overall I agree this is an awesome vis which are very intuitive and can be easily used to get information efficiently.
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12-05-2014, 04:53 PM
Post: #6
RE: Week 15: British History Timeline by BBC
I think this visualization does a great job. It walks the user through the events as if it were a story. "Take a journey" button is great. It has represented huge amount of information in an aesthetic manner and there is no cluttering.

The visualization has used space very effectively and the colors chosen are also visually appealing. Overall, I feel it effectively represented large amount of information smartly without intimidating the user.
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12-05-2014, 04:59 PM
Post: #7
RE: Week 15: British History Timeline by BBC
It's always good to brush through the history once in a while. I like how each era was represented by a color which somewhat symbolized that era in a certain way. However, the color of the highlighted event and the normal event should have been a little different for each era. It took me a little while to differentiate the two colors, Light pink and off-white for the era 'World War'. I didn't find the black dots. It will be great if someone point that out to me. Overall it was good viz.
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12-05-2014, 07:57 PM
Post: #8
RE: Week 15: British History Timeline by BBC
I liked the critique structure and the visualization as well.

I felt engrossed since there were backgrounds relating to the timeline.
It gives the advantage of eyes over memory.
Although I felt the zoom level didnt have much because it had only two zoom levels and I felt like I had less control to me.
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12-06-2014, 12:06 AM
Post: #9
RE: Week 15: British History Timeline by BBC
Nice critique by Tulsi. The visualization is really great. It has got a nice interaction facility. Everything is working very efficiently.
Color coding used is also proper. Not too confusing colors are used.
Temporal data is displayed in a very efficient manner.
On click zooming facility is provided which is very useful. We can click on particular event and get more details about the event.
Searching is also provided.Take a journey option is quite helpful.
Overall I loved this visualization.
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12-06-2014, 08:52 PM
Post: #10
RE: Week 15: British History Timeline by BBC
First I would like to appreciate Tulasi for a fantastic critique, I completely agree with the post what he has critiqued.

The visualization is completely appealing and perfect, there is no problem with the viz it portrays the actual data in the timeline. Lots of user interactivity is the plus point of this graph.

The iconization of the chart is eye catching, clear and appealing.

The critique's decision to improve the viz is perfect and really appreciated
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