Blog about (Web-) Programming, Graphics and Games.


HistoryMaps: Migration period (Völkerwanderung) 150-500

On the left there is a first version of a HistoryMap. HistoryMaps are a concept to display historic developments, both in place and time. They combine traditional maps, which display places but no different times, and timelines, which show timepoints but no referring places. This first HistoryMap shows movement of tribes and battles during the migration period (Völkerwanderung) 150-500. Below the properties of HistoryMaps and its GUI are described in detail:
  • Shapes and timeline: The content of HistoryMaps is made up of shapes (in this example there are bezier-curved shapes which represent tribes), which may be morphed between time-keyframes. The time is displayed in the upper timeline, a current time is highlighted. You can click or drag with the mouse the timeline to set the current time, the shapes will be morphed according to this time. Thus you can explore historic constellations at different times.
  • Eventpoints: In addition to shapes there are eventpoints displayed, marking historic events (here battles). Eventpoints are drawn together with their corresponding times. If you move the mouse over a point additional information for that event is displayed. If you click an event point, the current time will be set to the corresponding time. Thus you see the global historic context of the event. This marks a virtue of the concept: In usual historic maps events are mostly drawn only with local context.
  • Animation: At startup and when you click the animation-button an animation is running, where current time moves over the timeline. This gives an overview of the history shown.
  • Timecolumns: When you click the timecolumn-button a static display is shown, where the shapes are drawn in columns of different times. Thus you see a picture of the historic content of all times at once. This gives insights on durations of historic developments, one can distinguish short processes that only appear in few columns from longlasting ones that are drawn in more columns.
  • Completeness: HistoryMaps may display the complete history of all places and all times. For this the current programm must be extended with zoom facility. Thus you could zoom in and out places (like GoogleMaps) and you could also zoom within the timeline to set a time frame of interest.