Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Using Google Timeline results

If you haven't discovered it yet, Google Timeline search is a really useful tool if you're studying history, or if you want to know the facts about a particular time period or era. I discovered it very recently when I was researching something for school.

When you type for something that could have a timeline, such as World War 2, the option shows up automatically, as shown in the image below. But you can always click More search tools and choose it. But it won't be as accurate and perfect as it would be with a popular historical events.

When you go there, you'll see a timeline of the major events arranged chronologically. You'll notice that they come from various different sources that Google has indexed. This includes newspapers, books, news articles online, and even websites and other publications. There is a graph at the top that also displays the points in time when events happened more frequently.

For example, for some reason, Google displayed (at least for me) a span of 1910 to 2010 for World War 2, as there is simply so much info on so many different websites that Google gets confused. But the time around 1940 to 1945 was more bustling. You can click a section on the graph to display even more detailed events for that part.

You can zoom into decades, and then single years, and then even into particular months in that year. But you always won't see very accurate results in Timeline, as it is not a human curated feature. It is displayed automatically by scouring the the web for information. You can't fully trust it. So it is a good idea to click on the results and verify that it is actually what it looks like, and to use Timeline only as a part of your research.

So that was a little explanation on how to use Google Timeline to help in research.

You may like my other articles, such as these:
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