TimelineJS: A Review

TimelineJS is a media tool developed by Northwestern University Night Lab, in order to push journalism forward. It is free to use and is done through Google Drive and the Spreadsheet Template. The timeline is free to make and no fees have to be paid to the organization, and information can be re-used and modified.

In terms of privacy, they are able to answer the following questions:

Who can access the data in my Google spreadsheet?
“You must make the data public to the web to use TimelineJS with a Google Spreadsheet as the data source. Normally, the data is still only visible to people who know the link, so if you publish a timeline privately, outsiders are unlikely to see the data. However, it is still public, so you must decide if that is acceptable.”
Privacy is very important to me. How should I use TimelineJS?
“If you want complete control over who can see the information in your timeline, you cannot use Google Spreadsheets, and you cannot use our standard iframe embed code. Instead, you must use JSON format for the data and instantiate the timeline directly using javascript. You can then use standard web server security measures to control who has access to your timeline and the data used to create it.”
Source: http://timeline.knightlab.com

Since the timeline is done through Google, the timeline should be available indefinitely. However, the downside is that the timeline does not currently work with WordPress.

Under the most basic format, TimelineJS limits the way the timeline looks and is formatted, however we are able to switch to JSON format which gives us control over how the timeline is presented and different functions.

Considering that this timeline does not work with WordPress, I would be hesitant of using TimelineJS unless we are using a direct website.


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