This recipe takes a biographical text and uses tools such as Googlizer and Find Dates to provide framework for a chronological timeline.
- Take an existing biographical text of interest or get one from a source such as Project Gutenberg;
- Augment the biographical information using an Aggregate tool such as the TAPoR Googlizer ;
- Generate a rough chronology using the TAPoR Date Finder Tool;
- Sort the results returned by date;
- Examine the results for duplicate information;
- Clean-up text in a text editor.
- Finding a Text
Possible sources for electronic texts are listed on the Electronic Texts Panel of TAPoR. When preparing text for analysis, you should be aware that academic infrastructure included in the text may obstruct reading the text for its original construction. It may be useful to remove notes and other materials added by subsequent authors from the original work. You can use tools such as the TAPoR Extract Text tool to remove added material.
The beauty of this process is in the ability to augment a standalone text with an aggregated collection of supporting textual matter. This aggregation can then be scanned to produce a rich timeline for further editing. A text aggregation tool allows for a shotgun approach to text acquisition and much of what may be trawled is irrelevant. However, there may be small nuggets of useful information acquired that a date finding tool will quickly pinpoint.
The first pass using a Date Finding tool will probably return redundant and possible erroneous information. However, it allows for easy classification and sorting of the results and thus very quickly pares down biographical or other event based narratives to quickly construct a chronological timeline.
Next steps / further information:
- Exercise to Create a Chronological Timeline from a Biographical Text
- Help with Particular Tools
- The SIMILE Group at MIT have some excellent Timeline Tools
- Another useful Timeline Animated Map Tool at The Historical Event Markup and Linking project
- Here's a Cool Tool for constructing graphical chronologies
- A very smooth OSX Timeline Tool: BeeDocs
- A webservice for taking RDF and turning it into a very pretty timeline. Dipity
- Here are some great examples of chronological timelines
- Still Another Good Timeline Tutorial Using Excel
- Background on Text Analysis
- Information about the TAPoR Googlizer Tool
- Information about the TAPoR Find Dates Tool
- This recipe is applied to a sample text in Exercise to Create a Chronological Timeline from a Biographical Text