Nov 1

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

Timeline: Ajax Widget for Visualizing Time-based Data

Peter Brantley wrote in email: "not sure if you have seen this, but it is in the really cool department - an ajax timeline on historical data that uses an xml file as input. a friend at MIT, mackenzie smith, alerted me to it. it is part of MIT's simile project, and evidently one of their grad students [David Huynh] cooked it up."

Peter's right. It is indeed cool, and it looks very easy to use too. What's more, it now supports JSON as well as XML files as a data source.

This whole movement of re-usable AJAX widgets is really taking off. We're getting a richer and richer set, beyond the "usual suspects." Google has made a commitment to offer AJAX widgets for all their search services, and other sites are doing the same. But what I especially like about timeline is that it's not featuring anyone's services -- it's just a generalized data visualization widget.

Let us know about other cool AJAX widgets you've come across (whether as skins for existing web services, or standalone.)

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Comments: 7

  Steve [11.01.06 07:14 AM]

I mashed up Timeline with to create a time-based display of data for a person in the CRM. It turned out really slick, and was demoed in the day-one keynote at Dreamforce,'s annual user convference last month. Timeline is a great example of how a widget can fundamentally change the way web app UI is built. My mashup created a completely new way to view the data in CRM, with little work on my part. Really slick.

  Andrew Odewahn [11.01.06 10:59 AM]

Here's a timeline of O'Reilly's publishing history since 2000:

Click on the title to see the book's cover.

  chao [11.01.06 10:44 PM]

Here's another cool open source timeline widget, that is part of the openrecord dojo open source project:

  Matt Doar [11.02.06 11:01 AM]


Nice work on the O'Reilly history, though I think some of the dates refer to internal O'Reilly dates, not when the book was available?

I'd also like a way to search within the data and to scrolling off into the future. It's a fun tool!


  Yang [01.12.07 02:39 AM]

I'm sorry to bother you ,but i have a problem now.We are developing a project now by JSF+AJAX4JSF,wihle i doult whether it can be operated in MAC's safari browser without any problems,so please help me ASAP,thank you very much...

  FP Images [03.12.07 03:27 PM]

Simile Timeline AJAXy widget is a very good tool to visualize events or produce photo stories.

FeaturePics is using Timeline to show recently uploaded photos. A timeline in images is a new way to inform and entertain.

  timeline fan [02.13.08 10:18 PM]

there're a few new web 2.0 ones that are pretty powerful. i think the best one is It's better than simile and much easier to use

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