Getting Started with Mapping/Timeline Tools

Overview #

There are many mapping and timeline tools out there, and you should use what you are most comfortable with. If you have no experience with mapping and timeline tools this page includes tool recommendations and basic tips to help you get started.

Beginner-Friendly Tools #

These tools are easy to get started with but may lack some useful features the Advanced Tools have. Most of these tools are free. Check out our guides to find out more:

Advanced Tools #

Advanced mapping tools are usually discipline-specific and require subscription fees. Talk to your professor if you need help with tools not listed here.

Tips and Tricks #

  1. Know how to begin setting up your timeline. 
    1. Google spreadsheet template for TimelineJS  
  2. Decide where your will post your timeline. Many of these tools must be embedded in a web page for viewing. It could be your WordPress or Omeka site, see our Website Building guides for more information on how to set those up.

Common Mistakes #

  1. Embedding the link into an embed block on WordPress instead of embedding it directly into the page/post itself. The embed block on WordPress can expect code/URL links however, for map embed codes (especially JS ones) pasting the embed code directly into the code of the page will work most of the time.
  2. Copying the wrong link/embed code to use on your websiteA lot of students accidentally copy the wrong link/ embed code onto their site. 
  3. Using too many slides. Try to avoid using more than 20 slides to keep your projects organized.

Accessibility Considerations #

  • Make sure to include a friendly font and font color, slide background, and make sure your map is sized correctly.
  • Include media credit, content, and headlines. 
  • Use alt-text / media captioning for all of your uploaded images and videos.

Want More Help? #

Reviewed by Anastasia Zanyuk 08/03/22

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