The first draft of a huge data visualisation, taking 500 major events from throughout history and displaying them on concurrent timelines, so that their connections and position in relation to other events, discoveries and inventions can be put into context.

This diagram has ended up far larger and more complex than originally planned; a simplified and more focussed version will be created soon.

Events are listed in nine categories: Prehistory; History; Building; Entertainment; Invention; Science; Space; Sport and Transport. Reigns of monarchs and dynasties are shown, as well as major conflicts.

A main timeline is shown on the left, with a combination of the categories’ most major events, then four category-specific timelines are shown for further detail to the right, linked to the main timeline by what could be considered the most influential event of their category. By tracing across the diagram horizontally, it is possible to see which events took place around the same time.

Related events are connected by dotted white lines, allowing the roots of major discoveries and events to be traced back to their roots.

Interesting findings:
- the compass was developed before the Earth’s magnetic fields were identified
- the hairdryer and the submachine gun were invented in the same year
- at the same time as the first Olympic Games in 776BC, Chinese astronomers were producing the first recording of a solar eclipse and Halley’s Comet
- stonehenge is older than the Bible, and was built while woolly mammoths were still alive
- the world’s population has risen from 1bn to over 7bn in just over 200 years

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openbracket_design's picture

Sorry, I have only just seen your post, thanks very much for your kind comments! I researched it through any historical timelines I could find online. As I said above, it is only a first draft and I think it needs more of a qualifying criteria for which events are shown.

I appreciate that the horizontal lines are confusing, these are left over from a previous idea that I still wanted to try. One day I will get back to developing this idea, maybe with all separate timelines instead of a combined one on the left.

kimalbrecht's picture

Very interesting map. I really like it! How did you research this? I'm still a bit confused with the transparent colored connections as well as the x Axis. But really nice!