For my data visualization, I used the tool Timeline.JS, an online tool which bases the timeline and its content off a Google Sheets template. The template contains headers instructing the user where to input specific information needed for structuring each slide on the final timeline. For example, the headings furthest left-hand on the template instruct the user to input numerical entries in three columns indicating the year, month, and date of whatever content goes in that slide. The user can also include a start time, end date, and end time. The user subsequently fills in fields providing a title, description, various media, and their sources. For media, the user can include a hyperlink to a Google Map, a website hosted image, or upload an image directly. For my own timeline, I tried multiple times unsuccessfully to directly upload a specific image. Instead, I uploaded the image to my in-progress Omeka database for a later assignment, and I then hyperlinked to that image there. Granted, because my Omeka site is not yet public, it remains hit-or-miss whether or not the image stays on the timeline.
To explain my choice in content, I am currently researching, gay and lesbian political
activism in Philly between 1965 and 1982, and so for this timeline I chose a few key points within that history. Given its brevity, this timeline obviously glosses over the depth of history one could find within those seventeen years. Nevertheless, I chose what I felt to be five pivotal events in that timespan. I chose the Annual Reminders which took place between 1965 and 1969 because they were Philadelphia’s first major gay and lesbian political protests. I then chose Philadelphia’s first Pride Parade because I had access to evidence exhibiting the conflict behind its realization, and because Pride Parades were still very new in 1972. Lastly, I chose the events surrounding Bill 1275 which intended to include lesbians and gay men in Philadelphia’s Civil Rights Code. The Bill failed in 1975 but in 1982 a similar Bill passed in City Hall with only two opposing votes. For all of these I included dates, images or maps, historical text, media credit and captions, all to provide the most informative timeline. I also altered backgrounds to enhance aesthetics.
Despite the difficulty I encountered uploading an image to the template, I found Timeline.JS incredibly user-friendly. When finished, one can click through their slides filled with text, images, maps, or videos, credits, dates, and more. Thanks to the design, viewers can easily engage with the timeline without feeling overwhelmed by the information. Because the timeline acts like a slide show, one can click through and witness the historical transition and change exhibited over time. This is why I chose this tool; I wanted to showcase changes in Philadelphia’s gay and lesbian activism between 1965 and 1982, particularly through conflicts and their resolutions, as was seen with the first Pride Parade. Timelines are well-suited for projects like this, seeking to exhibit change over time, and by finding and incorporating images and maps to better engage a viewer I found Timeline.JS to be an excellent option.