Since I started doing infographics at the Missourian, one of my least favorite projects to work on has been timelines. When you’re chronicling something that has spanned a long period of time or has a lot of points to include, the design can get so long and unattractive.
That’s why I LOVE the format the Guardian used for their timeline of the Arab Spring. The forward and backward motion of the timeline feel, to me, like a fun trip on a roller coaster, and I think it visualizes time very effectively in a small window. There are a lot of points to put on a timeline for the Arab Spring, and it can be overwhelming, but I think this project does a great job of not making it feel too overwhelming by not trying to shove everything into the same space at the same time and letting you move at your own pace. I also like that the markers for each event kind of pop out when you roll over them and highlight the country you’re reading about so you know exactly where you are on the timeline. Overall, this project just does a great job of getting a TON of information into a very compact space.
The Australian Broadcasting Company did a similar timeline on climate history.
Only problem with this format – it’s done in Flash, so it’s not compatible with mobile Apple devices. I got pretty sad when I found this out since Flash is on it’s way out.