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A Flexible Detail and Context Timeline

TimeZoom closeup


TimeZoom is an interactive timeline widget to be combined with a tabular display of data in calendar, e-mail, project planning, or other applications. Different time levels are vertically stacked and can be smoothly zoomed, permitting arbitrary granularity of time units. This allows a rapid change of time context for the data being displayed above.

TimeZoom overview

In addition, single or multiple focus regions with various levels of detail can be defined to allow the display and comparison of time-dependent data, while preserving the overall context.

TimeZoom focus regions

This is an example of defining two focus regions on a single timeline, thereby preserving the general context.

TimeZoom multiple focus regions


Download early prototypes of the TimeZoom technique. One illustrates the basic rapid zooming technique and was built with Qt (compiled for Windows), the other is an even earlier flash demo showing the lens effect. README.PDF included in ZIP-file.

Further Development

At the moment we are combining TimeZoom with actual data being displayed above. These are from real world applications such as calendars (appointments), e-mail managers (e-mails), and media managers (media items or documents). We are investigating the usability of this interactive visualization technique as a method of applying time-dependent semantic zooming.

This is a snapshot from an interactive stock quote visualization employing TimeZoom:

TimeZoom for stock quotes