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September 6, 2012 / carlispina

Create a Timeline with Dipity

Timelines have a multitude of uses. Organizations can use them to represent their history. Educators can have students create them as part of their history classes. Libraries can use them to display items, events or even books in chronological order. For those cases where a timeline would be useful, Dipity is an interesting tool for creating online timelines on any topic imaginable.

One of the most impressive features of Dipity is the wide range of items that can be incorporated into the timeline. While you can simply add your own events, Dipity also supports searching for and adding items from other services. For example, you can search for items from Twitter, Flickr, YouTube or Google News, with the results automatically being added to the timeline in chronological order. Similarly, timelines can incorporate images, videos, music files or blog posts. Once all of the events are added to the timeline, you can finish it by selecting a theme, specifying both scale and focal point, tagging the timeline to make it more findable and deciding whether to allow comments on individual events or the entire timeline. Finished timelines can then be kept private or can be shared publicly or with specific individuals. The sharing settings can be used to share viewing, editing or contributing privileges, which allows a nice level of control over each timeline. Finalized timelines also offer tons of possibilities, from the ability to share them on a range of social networks to embedding options that include timeline, flipbook, map and list views as well as customizable sizes and colors to fit any website. While the free accounts are more than sufficient for basic timelines, premium accounts are also available for those who want additional features or expect more pageviews or need additional space.

Dipity is a quick and versatile tool for creating timelines, in both the traditional sense of the term, and for creating variations on this type of data visualization. I found Dipity had a few issues related to speed and stability, but overall, it is well worth a try if you are looking for a way to create timelines that you can then embed into websites.

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