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Tool of the week for journalists – ProPublica’s TimelineSetter

Tool of the week: ProPublica’s TimelineSetter

What is it? A tool for creating beautiful interactive timelines.

How is it of use to journalists? Having spent time developing a timeline tool, US investigative journalism news site ProPublica has made the code available for others to use, enabling journalists to build interactive timelines from a spreadsheet.

ProPublica’s timeline on how one blast affected five soldiers is a clear demonstration as to just how effective the tool can be in online storytelling.

The LA Times and Chicago Tribune are among those who have utilised the open source software since it was made public in April 2011.

TimelineSetter is not for the technology shy, however. Non-coders should not let this introduction to the tool put them off and should instead try watching the two videos embedded below and test out the technology.

Let us know at @journalismnews if you build and publish a timeline using ProPublica’s code.

If you want to create a timeline but avoid coding, try Dipity, a previous Journalism.co.uk tool of the week.

Hat tip: 10,000 Words

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Tool of the week for journalists – TimeKiwi, to create social media timelines

Tool of the week: TimeKiwi

What is it? A new tool to turn tweets, blog posts and Instagram photos into a timeline. Add a Twitter handle, a Tumblr, WordPress and Posterous blog and an Instagram account and TimeKiwi will mash them into a combined timeline.

How is it of use to journalists? For storytelling. The tool allows you to demonstrate how a story has progressed. The tool does not require you to authorise the app so you can add any Twitter handle to see how that person’s tweets have played out over time.

Take this example of a timeline of canon Dr Giles Fraser who resigned from his role as chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral last week over plans to forcibly evict Occupy protesters. Adding his @giles_fraser handle allows you to show his tweets as either a vertical or horizontal timeline.

The free version of TimeKiwi cannot be embedded so it is of limited use in telling a story on your site but you can still share links to created timelines. A “business” version is in the pipeline which promises an embed feature and custom views which could be of particular interest to journalists who can then show mapped out tweets and blog posts within a news story.

This TimeKiwi takes in the @journalismnews Twitter account and the Journalism.co.uk WordPress blog.

 


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AndyDickinson.net: A timeline of online media landmarks

December 1st, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

A Dipity timeline tracking significant developments in online journalism.

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