About Gaze of Time

Project

Gaze of Time is a project for the visualization of time, from the cosmological origin of the Universe to political and cultural events of the current year.

Anyone or anything that has a date of creation, discovery, a birthday or a any kind of point in time, may appear on the visualization.

Data source

Most of the content has been imported and is periodically updated from Wikidata (part of the Wikimedia family), but the database structure after the import is quite different on this site.

Monads and collections

There are two type of items on Gaze of Time. Monads correspond to Wikidata items and it's timelines are automatically generated from their relationships.

For example, the monad Michelangelo, will show the painters work, people that had influence on him, family members, students, place of birth and death and so on. Everything on Wikidata related to Michelangelo may be shown in the item's timeline, as long as it has some date defined.

Collections, on the other hand, are curated list of items that are meaningful together, independently of their common properties and relations. One example is Harold Bloom's Western Canon of literature.

Edition

If you find something missing or out of place, you can edit such elements in Wikidata (you will see the button "edit in Wikidata" in the detail of each element, after clicking on it), they will be updated in here after a while.

Some editing may happen in the site itself, to better fit our visualization. Names and descriptions are not updated once they have been changed in here. The edition in the site will be available in the future.

Code

The web application runs on Drupal 7, with a MySQL database, PHP on the server side and jQuery on the client side.

I would like to release the code as free software, but it will take a lot of work and resources to clean and document it with that in mind, so that would not be possible for the time being.

In the near future I am planning to start by releasing the Drupal module for Wikidata imports.

Contribute

If you want to contibute to the project, there are many ways to do so.