HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
May 14, 2007, Herald Journal

Interactive world history timeline . . . online

By MARK OLLIG

Are you looking for an educational and easy to use interactive website that contains historical world events?

Do you want to expand your understanding of the world’s chronological timeline?

What about doing some political research during a certain time period?

The website is called “Hyper History Online,” and it covers over 3,000 years of world history. The website describes itself as an “expanding scientific project.”

The “World History Chart” begins with David and Solomon and ends 3000 years later with such notables as Einstein, Picasso, Roosevelt and Churchill. In between are partitions in 100 year increments. The major events, empires, invasions, inventions and achievements are available for you to click on and read.

Famous rulers and leaders, philosophers, scientists and writers are easily reached.

There are thousands of facts available concerning culture, science, and politics.

Over 24 historical world maps are presented.

If you want to search the timelines for famous people, or you just want to browse through history from long ago. . . it’s all here.

One of the features I liked about this website was the color-coded “visual charting” of the world timelines. It was also interactive – meaning I could click anywhere for more information within any timeline. It was easy to navigate.

On the left, a vertical menu panel listed options, people, history, events and maps.

On the right vertical menu panel, the results were displayed as I made each selection on the world history wall chart I was viewing.

I selected “people” which opened up a yearly timeline choice.

Going back to 1000 B.C., I could select any of the 464 general lifelines from history’s most important people.

I selected the Medieval timeline from 1000 to 1500 A.D.

A large image appeared in the center of my computer screen displaying a colorful world history wall chart with over 100 hyper-linked historical names within it. . . incremented in 100-year sections.

Under the years 1250 to 1350 A.D., I clicked on the name of “Dante.”

On the right side of the screen, the autobiography of Dante Alighieri, the Italian poet who lived from 1265 to 1321 was displayed. The biography shows his picture along with a 200-word excerpt about his life. The source is also cited along with its web link.

What made this world history wall chart appealing to me was the ease of use and the interactivity it offered.

The names of the people on the world history wall chart were easy to read and also hyperlinked to more detailed information.

If I clicked “science,” under the “people” link, the selection changed from “historical people,” to people famous for their “science contributions and discoveries.”

Click “politics,” and famous world political leaders are presented during the time period.

When I selected “events,” the world history chart changed from people, to world events under the time period, which is still set on 1000 to 1500 A.D.

The color-coded timelines were a collection of events during this time period from eleven civilizations that existed then. I learned that the Byzantine Empire ended in 1453, when Constantinople fell to the Turks. I recall hearing about this many years ago from my father, who enjoyed reading about this era.

Let’s see, so many choices. . .how about during the late 1400’s? Here I clicked on the link that had the name Leonardo da Vinci. On the right side of the computer screen, which is right of the world history chart itself, appeared a short description of Leonardo; he lived from 1452 to 1519.

I began to spend a lot of time here, clicking and reading about the many famous and not so famous names from history.

This began to remind me of being back home as a youth – reading the World Book Encyclopedias for hours on end.

I must admit, I spent more time on this particular website than I thought I would.

Being able to quickly select subject matter that occurred in the same or different time periods enhanced the learning experience for me.

I wish they had this when I was in school.

When explaining the website, the author says, “A true picture of the world would be incomplete if it equates history with the history of wars and politics and neglects all other aspects of life. The addition of scientific, cultural and religious facts and events are therefore a key to a fundamental knowledge of society.”

The website made good on its boast of presenting history in a way that is “. . .no longer learned, but viewed.”

This history website states “. . . (They) are not trying to replace existing world history charts used.” I read they are only hoping to complement it with an interactive media.

No doubt this is a very popular history website, as over 7,000 people visit it each day.

Interactive charts, timelines and maps. . .this history website is worth visiting.

I hope you can stop in and explore this exciting, interactive and virtual world history wall chart for yourself.

Winston Churchill once said, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

Here is the link. . . if you are reading this in the newspaper, please note the underscores. For those of you reading online, copy and paste the following into your browser:

(http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/History_n2/a.html).