This blog presents visual information in pedagogical contexts; considering how information is presented in visual form and how we can learn from these presentations.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Time Magazine visual graphics on historical topics

For the last six years, Time Magazine has presented graphical representations of information on their magazine website. With a current catalog of 180 graphics, the Time collection is an interesting study in the evolution of web graphics.

The earliest of these graphics titled, "The Shuttle's Triumph and Tragedy," is simply a five panel time line presentation, with each panel containing an image and chronologically arranged summary information about the Space Shuttle Columbia.

the next four graphics were focused on the War in Iraq, a trend in military content that has continued to this day.

This graphic from 2004 is also a time line, but is interestingly static. Although the information is arrayed nicely on the time line, the graphic lacks an interactivity, something we may now come to expect from online graphic.

This 2005 graphic on the Civil War military leadership in the Union Army featured an enhanced level of interactivity across four screens and within screens on roll-over effects and pop-up graphics.

Two Time graphics attempt to represent historical spaces in Monticello and Jamestown.

A more recent 2009 graphic on FDR's war-related actions is decidedly flat in terms of information array and intereactivity. Hopefully, this will not prove to be a new trend at Time.



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John Lee is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education at North Carolina State University. His scholarship is focused on pedagogies of digital history. This work includes the design and implementation of online resources that extend the boundaries of history through online networks and the digitization of historical source material. In addition to this focus on digital history, John is also interested in the historical literacies needed to negotiate online historical resources and visual representations of historical information. For more please see

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