UCBerkeley: ChronoZoom: A deep dive into the history of everything

This is a reprint of the article so I can use this with my classes.  Please view the article on the original web site where additional links and information can be found.

I am interested in how they are attempting to view the Big Data stack that is our History.

This collage demonstrates how the time scales for the cosmos, Earth history and the histories of life and humanity span a range of a million billion, making it impossible to view them together on the same timeline. Using zoom technology from Microsoft Research Connections, ChronoZoom allows you to zoom easily from one timescale to another, and imbed multimedia that tell the history of everything.

ChronoZoom: A deep dive into the history of everything

By Robert Sanders, Media Relations | March 14, 2012

BERKELEY —

Imagine a timeline of the universe, complete with high-resolution videos and images, in which you could zoom from a chronology of Egypt’s dynasties and pyramids to the tale of a Japanese-American couple interned in a World War II relocation camp to a discussion of a mass extinction that occurred on Earth 200 million years ago – all in seconds.

Based on an idea from a University of California, Berkeley, student, ChronoZoom – essentially a zoomable timeline of timelines augmented with multimedia features –- is coming to life.

Roland Saekow disusses ChronoZoom’s possibly revolutionary impact on education and the teaching of history. (Video produced by Roxanne Makasdjian, Media Relations)

Roland Saekow disusses ChronoZoom’s possibly revolutionary impact on education and the teaching of history. (Video produced by Roxanne Makasdjian, Media Relations)

A University of California, Berkeley, geologist and his students have teamed up with Microsoft Research Connections engineers to make this web-based software possible. ChronoZoom is being designed to help students, or anyone, visualize history and to assist researchers in viewing large amounts of data to find new historical connections.

A beta version of ChronoZoom was released today (Wednesday, March 14) by Outercurve Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports open-source software.

The idea arose in a UC Berkeley course about Big History taught by Walter Alvarez, the campus geologist who first proposed that a comet or asteroid smashed into the Earth 65 million years ago and killed off the dinosaurs. Big History is a unified, interdisciplinary way of looking at and teaching the history of the cosmos, Earth, life and humanity: the history of everything.

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