Friday, February 04, 2011

Dipity makes me want timeline views in calendars

While the winter of my calendar-sharing discontent continues, I am inspired by a service called Dipity, which lets anyone create timelines on a Web page. It suggests to me that all calendars might benefit from adding a timeline view. So when sharing becomes as easy as we want it to be, there will be cooler ways to view our shared calendars than simply replicating daily/weekly/monthly views on paper. For now, Dipity also offers an interesting way to scan developments in the Middle East.


Scott said...

We just launched Calamander, which has a neat timeline view (we call it the "swimlane") of all the calendars in your life. We have currently integrated with Hotmail, Yahoo, Google, Facebook and Exchange calendars.

We've got easy sharing to!

Alex Pline said...

"Timeline" views of calendar event data are a favorite by Project Management types at NASA Headquarters. Typically, they take milestone schedules of projects and put them into a gantt chart using MS Project, even if they are not using Project to actually manage anything. It's ostensibly just a tool to produce a "timeline" view(aka gantt chart in this context) that ultimately gets copy/pasted into Powerpoint. Yech, a horribly manual and brittle process.

We have a custom web-based calendar application that we have tried to get them to use instead to manage these events so that the end product doesn't just exist on someone's desktop, even offering to create a "timeline" view along side the typical daily/weekly/monthly/list views. But the requirements ultimately get too hairy. They want a standard layout (which can be done programmatically) until they don't want a standard layout, eg tweak something like they do in Powerpoint, which ultimately undermines the whole process.

That said, I relay this story to illustrate that you are not the only one who thinks it is an interesting way to view temporal information! And I wish we could we could make some headway on an implementation.

As my MBA wife learned in a marketing class - there is no such thing as a bad idea, just bad implementation. If there was ever a "bad" (good?) idea implemented well it is expressed with 4 words: teenage, mutant, ninja, turtles.