Timeline Storyteller: The Design & Deployment of an Interactive Authoring Tool for Expressive Timeline Narratives

The interface of Timeline Storyteller, where the timeline canvas spans the entire browser window. Interface components include: (A) toggles for alternative timeline representations, scales, and layouts; (B) a movable event legend; (C) widgets for loading data, annotating the canvas with captions and images, filtering and highlighting events, and exporting content; (D) scene recording and playback controls along with a scene list; and (E) tutorial and help widgets. This example displays a scene from a story about the performance record of professional golfers at the US Open golf tournament throughout their careers (see the interactive story at https://aka.ms/timelinestoryteller-golf-story). Golfer images: Wikimedia (CC).

The interface of Timeline Storyteller, where the timeline canvas spans the entire browser window. Interface components include: (A) toggles for alternative timeline representations, scales, and layouts; (B) a movable event legend; (C) widgets for loading data, annotating the canvas with captions and images, filtering and highlighting events, and exporting content; (D) scene recording and playback controls along with a scene list; and (E) tutorial and help widgets. This example displays a scene from a story about the performance record of professional golfers at the US Open golf tournament throughout their careers (see the interactive story at https://aka.ms/timelinestoryteller-golf-story). Golfer images: Wikimedia (CC).

Timeline Storyteller (timelinestoryteller.com) is an open-sourced interactive application for authoring expressive visualization-based narratives about event sequences. Its design reflects a recently proposed timeline design space, which itself is grounded in an extensive survey. In this paper, we highlight its capabilities and reflect upon its usage and adoption.

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Timeline Storyteller

March 16, 2017

Timeline Storyteller is an expressive browser-based visual storytelling environment for presenting timelines. You can use Timeline Storyteller to present different aspects of your data using a palette of timeline representations, scales, and layouts, as well as controls for filtering, highlighting, and annotation. You can export images of a timeline or assemble and record a story about your data and present it within the application.

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