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Area 49

This guide provides information on how to use technology within Area 49, as well as guides for digital technologies and physical projects. Area 49 is available for use by all current students, faculty, and staff.

Using TimelineJS

TimelineJS provides fairly straightforward instructions for setting up the project, with additional simple instructions in the spreadsheet. However, some unconventional uses are accounted for in the instructions. Take a look at the information below to understand how to implement these nontraditional uses.


The "Groups" column of the spreadsheet gives these instructions, "(Optional) Groups are a way to show events that are related to one another." Not much other information is given about groups. Here are some tips on using Groups.

  • Groups form additional timeline sections that are stacked on top of one another by group. If an item is included in a group, you'll be able to see that connection on the bottom timeline portion, but using Timeline's arrows will cause the view to move to the entry that shows the next chronological date in the whole Timeline. There is not a way to go through the first group, then the second group, and so on. The user will need to visually follow the group line to the next item.
  • While you can include any number of groups you'd like, anything over 9 drastically interferes with the timeline's slides. 9 different groups is the point where you can still see any photos or videos, but depending on the length of the paragraph's text, you may need to scroll down to see the end. However, this would allow someone to follow along with a single storyline, as long as they scroll over to the next item in the story, instead of clicking on arrows.
  • Groups can have any name, but if an item does not have a group, it will not be included in one, and will instead be included in the bottom grouping stack.

Display Date

The "Display Date" column can be used in two different ways:

  • Include a specific date to be displayed
  • Include wording that could continue the storyline or could refer to the item before it.

Here's how this could work:

Include the year/month/day date in the red columns for the item you are putting on the timeline, for example, May 15, 1950, and include the display date as the same. We'll consider this slide 1. Then, for anything else that relates to it, include the red column year/month/day information as May 16th, 17th, 18th, 1950, but have the display date as the same title as slide 1. Slide 1 would show the date you actually wish to convey, but the slides after it would still show up right behind it. They wouldn't have incorrect dates, but they would show up as non-dated content near other content you'd like it to show up near.


In order to use a photo, you will first need to host it. However, even though the Timeline itself uses Google, you cannot host the photo in your Google Drive, even if you make it public. One easy way is to make a Flickr account and host your photos there. You will need a link that ends in .jpg, To get this, once you upload your photo to Flickr, open your photo in a new tab, so that the photo is the only thing you see in that tab. The URL should show a link that ends with .jpg, which is the link you can copy and paste into your Timeline spreadsheet.

Area 49 Resources Guide

Check out our Area 49 Resources Guide, which includes information about programs to create nontraditional projects, as well as many examples!