Last week I promised some details on a new major feature that will be deployed soon, the feature is ‘Zooming in Further’ and should be live before the end of the month.
Finally we will be able to assign dates more accurate than a single year to each event. This will allow the exact month and day of the event to be displayed on the timeline, and obviously this will include the ability to zoom in further to show the new accuracy.
This is a major improvement not only as it allows a more accurate display of history, but also because it will mean a new range of timelines can be created.
Until now any timeline with more than 3 or 4 events on a single year became very difficult to explore as there simply wasn’t enough room on the page to properly display the events, even when zoomed in all the way. Now as you zoom in further the events will continue to spread out allowing detailed timelines to be displayed correctly.
The other feature that will accompany this, which will be deployed at the same time or a couple of weeks later, is the integration of Wikidata into our database. At this point the main purpose of this new data integration is to automatically re-assign dates to events, giving them a month and day. In the future however, there is a great many more things we can do with Wikidata.
If you are not familiar with Wikidata you can read more about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikidata but in essence Wikidata is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation (Wikimedia is the foundation that encompasses Wikipedia and all of its sister projects) that is collecting structured data to provide support for Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, the other Wikimedia projects, and well beyond that.
We intend to continue building on this new data set to include more information for each event, including location, type, related events and much more.
We will be posting any interesting news about the general progress of Wikidata and ways we intend to use it as the project continues.
I will send out an announcement once Zooming in Further has been deployed and will include an example timeline taking advantage of the feature.
All the best