Monday, May 4, 2009

Tools You Can Use: Google’s News Timeline

"Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away." —Marcus Aurelius

By Scoti Springfield Domeij

What's Going On in the World? A Visual Map

Research is part of a writer's life whether you write fiction or nonfiction. Google's News Timeline helps you research through time and space. Finding ways to save time researching, adds to your actual writing time. What news stories, personalities or events denominated your novel's timeframe? What recent statistics would support your book proposal? Google's News Timeline offers numerous creative opportunities to use this tool to beef up your writing.

Google's News Timeline Features

  • View daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, or even decade-centric stories
  • Follow important stories over time
  • Find older stories hidden in newspaper and magazine archives
  • View trends in events, culture and society or the careers of famous people
  • Refine your search to specific times, magazines, newspapers, or blogs
  • Search specific categories, including news quotes or news photos, blogs, TV shows and even prizes, like the Nobel
  • Display all recent New York Times book reviews
  • Organizes information chronologically on a zoomable, graphical timeline
  • Set the specific time period
  • Filters movies, sports scores, music, and magazines
  • View news and other data sources on a browsable, graphical timeline
  • Searches historical news, scanned newspapers and magazines, blog posts, sports scores, and information about various types of media, like music albums and movies
  • Click on an area of the timeline to zoom in and look at a shorter date range in finer detail, or simply double-click to zoom out
  • Control the width of the columns, by selecting sizes of small, medium or large, to change the scale to shrink or enlarge the data on the timeline
  • Go directly to a specific date by entering the date into the "Date" field on the control bar
  • Date field recognizes phrases like today, yesterday, this week or last week, and this month or last month
  • "Wikipedia Events" and "Time Magazine" are built-in by default, but you can turn those sources off
  • Add events, births, and deaths from Wikipedia by selecting "Wikipedia" from the menu bar and entering the category you'd like displayed on the timeline
  • View information from Freebase about various types of media, including books, music, and movies


Scoti Domeij, Director, Springs Writers said...

Facebook Comment: Judith Couchman at 11:27am May 4. Cool. Thanks for this.

Scoti Domeij, Director, Springs Writers said...

Facebook comment: Scoti Diane Springfield Domeij at 2:21pm May 4
You're welcome. I'm always looking for free online tools to help writers be more proficient and prolific.