Actual events in Zotero Timeline

An earlier thread brought up the point that it would be much more useful to display actual events, instead of publications, in a Zotero timeline.
I know that Zotero is supposedly integrated with SIMILE Timeline, but a chronology by publication date does me very little good and I haven't had the time to invest in figuring out how to really make Timeline work for me.
It looks like it is possible to create real timelines, with some hacking of the Document item type. Here are the steps:

1. Add each event as a "document," putting the date of the event as Date, short description of the event (4-5 words) as Title, longer description as Abstract, and participants as Contributors
2. Add tags: "event" and "subject," where "subject" is your timeline's theme
3. Use Related tab to link relevant sources and notes
4. Create a saved search: tag=event & tag=subject; select that saved search
5. Select "Create Timeline" from the Actions menu

Here is an example of such a timeline.

Several modifications would make this feature even more useful:

1. Add Event item type with appropriate fields, including End Date and Place
2. Currently the timeline displays only the first few worlds of the title. It would be great if on rollover Zotero displayed the entire title, the date, and abstract text
3. Currently the Filter and Highlight features only work on Title. It would be nice if they searched Abstract and tags also (and eventually Place).
4. The three "bands" of the timeline still seem a bit buggy to me--I can hardly see the lowest one and it's difficult to select it.

Still, after some hacking, Timeline becomes a great research tool, another reason to think of Zotero as much more than a citation manager.
  • Thanks for your suggestions. We are working on further developing Zotero's integration with Timeline and the other SIMILE tools such as Exhibit, Timeplot and Potluck through separate plugins for Zotero. Stay tuned!
  • I would also very much like this new capability!
  • Critical to my research too!
  • Very interesting use of Timeline and Zotero. Sharing experience like that in social sciences could be very useful to anyone. All experiences showing that "Zotero as much more than a citation manager" is very important.
    Question about Timeline: if, as Erazlogo ask, we can have 2 different dates for the same event (one for the "start" of an event, one other for the "end"), can Timeline "draw" a line between these 2 dates as we see in some chronology?

    Thanks
  • Ditto. Can we expect any developments in that sense soon?

    Also, I'd like to be able to organize my notes (and thoughts) like old fashioned notecards that could be switched around irrespective of source, yet still have the source and page jotted down in a corner for when the time finally comes to cite them. Instead I find I have to try to remember in which of a multitude of sources I saw that one relevent line... I was thrilled when I found Scribe. Unfortunately, I only discovered itright before getting a new computer with VISTA and have not been able to get to work since. If I remember correctly, Scribe allowed you to link notes and sources of course, but visualize and organize them separately. Is there a way to do that with Zotero has escaped me thus far?

    Thanks for all your hard work,
  • edited June 12, 2008
    I'd like to be able to organize my notes (and thoughts) like old fashioned notecards that could be switched around irrespective of source, yet still have the source and page jotted down in a corner for when the time finally comes to cite them.
    This is not currently possible, but see a related forum thread on changes planned in future versions.
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