All Histropedia timelines are published under an open licence, which means they can be reused and remixed for any purpose, both within Histropedia and elsewhere on the web.
Tools like Histropedia provide an incentive for donating text, data and images to Wikimedia projects, as it can instantly be visualised in exciting ways without incurring any cost. It also shows how data becomes more valuable when it’s open, as it can be combined and compared with other data in a way that is not possible when kept in isolation.
It’s our hope that Histropedia can play a role in getting more educational institutions to engage with Wikimedia content and other open resources, as well as inspire others to build innovative applications on top of the wealth of free knowledge that’s available.
In this workshop, we will learn how to use Histropedia by completing a sequence of practical exercises to find, combine and improve content:
- Find existing timelines in the directory – there are currently over 300,000 timelines to be explored, from 16th century Italian painters, to the Battles of World War I and Novels by Charles Dickens.
- Build custom timelines one event at a time – There are around 1.5 million ‘ready to use’ events in the database that can be added to a timeline by simply searching and clicking on the result.
- Merge timelines together – Histropedia is designed to let you ‘play lego’ with history by merging any number of timelines and individual events together, allowing you to create a custom view of history with a few clicks of the mouse.
- Improve Histropedia for everyone by publishing corrections/improvements to the directory and adding new content from Wikipedia and Wikidata.
- Export data, or create a poster image from a timeline you’ve made in Histropedia.
We will finish by blowing minds with demo of a more advanced tool for generating Histropedia timelines automatically from live Wikidata queries (in any language!) – you need to know how to write SPARQL queries to create timelines like this at the moment, but it’s a glimpse of the power that will be available to anyone using Histropedia or similar tools in the future.
Recent Wikimedia blog post – Histropedia: The power of data visualisation combined with free knowledge