An Open Knowledge Foundation Labs Project

It's as easy as 1-2-3!

1. Create a Spreadsheet

Add your dates and places to a Google Spreadsheet.

2. Connect and Customize

Connect your spreadsheet with TimeMapper and customize the results.

3. Publish, Embed and Share

Publish your TimeMap at your own personal url, then share or embed on your site.


Let's Get Started …

1. Create your Spreadsheet
(if you don't have one already!)

Get started by copying this template. For more details or help with problems check out the FAQ below.

Impatient to try this out but don't have a spreadsheet yet?
Click here to use a pre-prepared example »

2. Connect and Customize

ALERT: you are not signed in so your timemap will be created 'anonymously'.

If want to 'own' your timemap you should sign in (or sign-up) now »
(Sign-up takes a few seconds with your twitter account »)

Find out more on anonymous vs logged in - read FAQ below »

(If nothing happens check you are not blocking popups ...)

Important: you must "publish" your Google Spreadsheet: go to File Menu in your spreadsheet, then 'Publish to the Web', then click 'Start Publishing'. See the FAQ below for more details.
Choose the visualization type of your data - TimeMap (Timeline and Map combined), Timeline or Map.

More Options

How to handle ambiguous dates like "05/08/2012" in source data (could be read as 5th August or 8th of May).
If you do not have any dates formatted like this then you can ignore this!
Where on the timeline should the user start.

3. Let's Publish It!


FAQ

Can I make a timemap anonymously?

Yes! You do not need an account to create a timemap - they can be created anonymously and will have all the same features and shareability of normal timemaps. However, there are some benefits of creating an account and creating your timemap whilst logged in:

  • You'll get a nice URL for your timemap at /your-username/a-name-you-choose-for-your-timemap
  • All of your timemaps will be nicely listed at /your-username
  • As you'll be identified as the owner you'll be able to re-configure (or delete) your timemap later

If you do want an account, signup is very easy – it takes just 15 seconds, is very secure, and uses your Twitter account (no need to think up a new username and password!).

"Publish" Your Spreadsheet

Go to File Menu in your spreadsheet, then 'Publish to the Web', then click 'Start Publishing'. This tutorial walks you through.

What URL do I use to connect my spreadsheet?

Use the URL you get by clicking your spreadsheet's Share button and copying the Link to share box.

Note that although you must also Publish to the web, TimeMapper does not use the URL found in the publication pop-up.

What structure must the spreadsheet have?

TimeMapper recognizes certain columns with specific names. The best overview of these columns is the template, which has rows of instructions and examples.

Not all fields are required. The only required fields are Title and Start fields, and even Start can be omitted if you just want a map. Note that you can add any number of other columns beyond those that TimeMapper uses.

How do I format dates?

The preferred date format is ISO 8601 (YYYY-MM-DD), but TimeMapper recognizes most types of date.

If a date's month and day are ambiguous (e.g. is 08-03-1798 UK notation for 8 March, or is it US notation for 3 August?), by default, the first number will be interpreted as the month. You can change this by clicking the edit button in the top right corner of your TimeMap's display and selecting between US- and non-US-style dates.

What kinds of geodata are supported?

The Location column accepts two types of geodata: latitude-longitude coordinates or GeoJSON objects.

Coordinates must be in the format lat, long (e.g. 37.5, -122). The spreadsheet template includes a formula which automatically looks up coordinates corresponding to human-readable place names in the Place column. This formula is explained in a School of Data blog post.

Advanced users who want to go beyond simple coordinates can use GeoJSON feature objects. For an example, see this blog post on adding GeoJSON country boundaries to spreadsheets.