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Digital Timeline vs Static Timeline: Which One to Choose

As a way of introduction, let us answer the question of what are timelines? A timeline is usually a graphical representation of events in time. In order words, it usually begins at some point in time and spans a time period before terminating at the end of the series of events that it depicts. These timelines are used to serve various purposes especially to tell historic events and also when events need to be viewed in a chronological order. It is an ideal way that history students and historians employ to depict a lot of their information. It can be the events that took place within the hours in a day or sometimes used to span long number of years like the events that took place within a decade, century or millennia. Whichever the case, timelines would serve as a great way to depict these events and in reality this has always been their role. There are different types of timelines and different timeline formats. It is in looking at this that the comparison of digital timelines and static timelines would come into play. Timeline digital or static digital timeline design would be defined in this article and we would also get information on how to make a digital timeline. Some timelines make use of texts while others use graphics, multimedia audio and videos, different data and we also have 2D and 3D timelines. These are useful basic information that would help you understand the differences between timeline digital and static timeline.

Definition and Main Features of Timeline Digital and Static Timeline

Static Timeline: So what are the definitions and features of static timeline? Static timeline dates back several years. This was before the so-called digital era when everything that was done was moving from paper to computer. With this it is easy to understand what static timeline was all about. Static timeline was the one that was represented by static images and generally drawn on paper. Some were however printed. It is static in the sense that once it is on paper, you cannot of course move or edit the data easily. These timelines were artist dependent in that it required the graphic design skills of the artist and the artist’s ability to appreciate and design the data under study.

Digital timeline: On the other hand, digital timelines which represents most of the timelines that we have today is a much higher upgrade from the static timelines in the sense that you could do so much more with these timelines. It is easy to edit and enhance timelines with the aid of multimedia audio and video. It is not heavily artist dependent because it usually operates with the aid of software and there are many of these tools that are available today for one to use even a novice can create a timeline. There are also tutorials on how to make a digital timeline that one can watch or read online. Digital timeline does not have the limitations of space and function as static timelines and it can be made way more interactive that the static timeline.

digital timeline creating services

Advantages and Disadvantages of Timeline Digital and Static Timeline

From the above you can get out some of the advantages and disadvantages of both digital timeline and static timeline, but as a way of making them in an orderly fashion, we would be enumerating some of these pros and cons below:

  • Advantages of digital timeline:
  • Digital timeline is more interactive
  • Create interactive timeline is easy to manipulate
  • The tutorials make it good for newbies to try
  • Requires much less skill
  • Is not heavily dependent on having artistic set of skills
  • Has fewer functional limitations
  • Has fewer space limitations
  • Tons of software are available of which some are free and others are paid
  • Disadvantages of digital timeline:
  • The sophisticated ones are expensive
  • It can be complex to operate
  • Too many tools means that the work can be clumsy at the hands of a novice
  • Most tools requires registration first
  • It doesn’t have a natural feel
  • Some of the user interface of the software is poor
  • Advantages of static timeline:
  • It has a natural feel
  • It is simple and easy to appreciate
  • Less complex interface
  • Straight forward and simple to do in the hands of a professional artist
  • Does not require expensive and sophisticated tools
  • Does not require registration
  • Disadvantages of static timeline:
  • It cannot be easily manipulated
  • It cannot be changed easily after printing or completion
  • It is archaic to many
  • It has functional and space limitations
  • It is heavily dependent on the artist skills
  • It is not as interactive as the digital alternative
digital timeline sample

Image credit: vanderbilt.edu


Experts Tips on How to Make a Digital Timeline

Generally if you want to make a digital timeline you need to know some of the expert tips on how to make a digital timeline. Below is a short list of some of these tips:

Get a simple software tool if you are a novice
Do not try to appreciate all the functions on the software in one timeline
If it is for a major event timeline, use a professional or any of the professional timeline suites
If you are unsure about how to start always watch a tutorial first
Start by finding out the title of the timeline
Always pick out your events and their dates
Get all the needed graphics that you would be incorporating to the timeline as well as multimedia audio and video
Choose your beginning and end points
Always allow your digital timeline to flow so its events can be appreciated at one glance

With this it would not be difficult for you to see how to make a digital timeline or for you to choose between static timeline and digital timeline.

Timeline digital remains a great way to learn how to create your timeline and you can use any of the digital timeline tutorials online to learn.

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