Graceful Timelines

We’ve all seen the unreadable timelines created by some analysis software. The hard lines, the veering connections. The mis-sized and aliased fonts. These might be sufficient for experts, but in the fullness of time, other more polished options will arise. Now you can make those veering connections into swooping connections.

The cartoon site XKCD.com did a few timelines for very complicated movie plots (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars trilogy, etc), modeling them after the famous “Napoleon’s Russian Campaign” chart. Sample:

Napoleon in Middle Earth

Anybody who has tried to write a mega-selling spy novel knows that the hardest part about plotting is getting all the interactions and conflicts on one page. Now we have a super online tool to help us do just that.

Introducing cs448b Data Visualizationhttps://graphics.stanford.edu/wikis/cs448b-09-fall/FP-OgievetskyVadim.

See the project description. Here is a sample poster.

The interface for the online tool (which is available here):

Plotting out the latest Mossad exploit? Wanting to show hookups in a crime family? This might be the tool for you. Project creator Vadim Ogievetsky says,

My main goal is to implement an efficient and effective layout algorithm that, with the users help, would generate results similar to the hand crafted images shown above. The layout algorithm will use combinations of genetic algorithms and simulated annealing to achieve the goal.

via FP-OgievetskyVadim – cs448b – Data Visualization.

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