08 Jul, 2020
The advancement of technologies has increasingly gained space in different markets and today, numerous applications exist to facilitate and change the way we consume. The new digital tools go from ordering food by smartphone to visiting a museum on the other side of the world through the screen of the device.
This current and continuous advance ends up causing not only several historical and artistic institutions to consider interaction as the main element of their exhibitions, but many other areas of the economy.
When we mention technologies, we automatically think of the present and the future, but what about the past? Can technologies be tools to help preserve the past? Resuming the time spent through technologies is a new way of studying and organizing history. But how can history be organized? After all, what can be considered history?
Understand the relationship between time and history
Time is something that is present in the daily life of a society and that is part of the past, the present and will certainly be part of the future. Therefore, thinking about time is also thinking about history.
However, such discussions about these two themes, time and history, are considered problematic and inexhaustible, because in order for us to understand the meaning and the relationships between time and history we need to initially understand what these two areas mean.
Before we even reflect on the attempts to approximate the terms, it is necessary to start with this science that studies human actions and events over time, summarizing itself in history.
For many, history is considered a delimited time space. This idea is critically analyzed by certain people, but it cannot be carried out in any way, because an investigation of the facts and a rationalization about such events is necessary.
Time, on the other hand, for some historians is both the element of articulation of the historiographical narrative and the civilizational and personal experience. For each civilization and culture, there is a notion of time, cyclical or linear, attached to the present or thought for the future. It is important to note that such designations about time are consistent with Western perspectives of society.
Time is a term with many meanings, and sometimes it is used as a synonym for past, cycles, duration, ages, phases, moments or even history. The innumerable ways of understanding the concept of time can hinder theoretical discussions on the subject.
In addition to the different ways of understanding time, there is also the subjectivity of the concept. Therefore, in a way, when relating it to history, we are bringing this concept closer to our more concrete reality, associating time with events and human history.
Organizing information over time can help you understand the full story. So, next, we'll talk about timelines, a method of visualizing data that makes it possible to present the story chronologically and dynamically.
The use of timelines in the presentation of history
Learning about history can sometimes be quite a challenge. After all, history can be organized and told in different ways, by period, by year, by events. Some facts become historical because they are the first to happen, others because of the impact they cause.
We have always studied, in History classes, that facts are traced and distributed over time, from the oldest to the newest, being able to understand what is yet to come.
As already mentioned, the timeline is a method of organizing and visualizing data, whether historical or not, chronologically. In practice, you can make a division from Prehistory to the present day, highlighting the main events and the year in which they occurred.
In the timeline method, it can be more complicated to see the continuity of events, giving the false impression that the changes occurred from one day to the next, since the events, or events, are placed in points along the line.
However, in this structure, events can be dynamically organized over time and with the right tool the experience can even be interactive.
Digital tools that organize history in time
Countless platforms already tell stories in timelines, such as: history books, social networks, websites, among others.
Tools such as timelines help to narrate events and facts that emerge in history, enabling the study of the past and the future through the relationship between time and history.
With that in mind, we have separated some of these digital tools capable of organizing history over time:
It is a tool to create timelines in the cloud, with a free version for students and several very economical subscription plans.
TimeGlider is very intuitive, so that any student with a minimum of computer literacy can use it without any problems. The platform suggests that the student or user signs up to use it.
TimeGlider was built in 2002, and launched as a Flash-based application in 2003. Therefore, in view of current internet standards, the platform is considered to be a true historical platform.
Companies like Geico, Nike, NASA, FINRA and various military branches have used the TimeGlider tool in their own internal applications.
The platform offers a basic and simple service, creating timelines on which certain information points can be highlighted, both with video and text.
Giving samples of hundreds of timelines already created and shared by users and that will be perfect to be used or even institute something new.
Timetoast's timelines were made public in April 2008 and have since been mentioned in articles by PC Magazine, Lifehacker, The New York Times, Mashable, Adobe, 37 Signals and many others. Timetoast was founded by Daniel Todd.
It was developed by the Knight Lab at Northwestern University, United States. The timeline can be filled out from a Google spreadsheet or a JSON file (suitable for the more experienced).
Timeline JS is intuitive and supports media material from various sources such as Twitter, Flickr, Wikipedia, Maps, YouTube, among others. This tool was designed to be easy to use and easily incorporated into the results on another web page. The Timeline JS portal has several tips and tutorials for creating the timeline, including a video of approximately 3 minutes.
Like the others, Rememble also completes the registration process by inserting in your timeline, whatever you want to include in it, being: texts, videos, photos, notes, audio tracks and even tweets.
But the most innovative thing is that you can create group timelines and generate communities for new projects.
Wanting to do something that would help people to be happier, the group used elements of Flow Theory (the psychology of happiness) combined with the idea of using the confusing desert of everyday digital traits that we left behind while using communication technology.
The end result: reinventing the simple diary in a way that helps us understand the world and our journey through it, putting in order the valuable digital evidence of the stories of our life, the Rememble platform was born.
Timelinefy is a tool that offers a new way of telling stories, which enables a more complete learning of events, since it allows organizing historical facts in time.
The company behind the tool aims to allow people to learn and present information to each other, organizing them in timelines, in a dynamic and chronological way.
With the tool it is possible to present historical events, or even a historical period and describe it in several layers and present the interrelationships between these various events that happened in a given period.
This interaction with the content takes place in macro and micro-events, allowing an assimilation from audios, videos and images.
You've just learned how digital tools can be fundamental in organizing history over time!
From that text, you were able to understand a little better the relationships of time and history and to rethink these elements so that you can provide new knowledge. With the support of some of these tools mentioned by us you will be able to create your own timelines!