Idea for an interactive timeline project based on the series of events related to our current economic crisis

To help me understand the complexity of our economic crisis, I decided to search for information from the past that might have contributed to the current set of events. The Celestial Economic Sphere, DataViz for the Finance Biz, Truthin... is the title of the post (long) that I wrote in response to the economic crisis.

As I dug up material for my post, it occurred to me that an interactive timeline might be a good way of representing what I wanted to cover. The New York Times was a treasure trove of information and I found links to resources that I have not yet explored.

In my post, I included a video clip from the movie Wall Street, from 1987, featuring Michael Douglas playing the role of Gordon Gekke giving his "Greed is Good" speech. I found a picture of President Reagan with his chart as he introduced his Reaganomics concepts. I found charts of the fall of the stock market from October 19th, 1987, otherwise known as Black Monday. I also included a September 11, 2008 panel discussion of economic experts on the Charlie Rose show.

The most interesting thing I found was created in 1998. It was a representation of stock market transactions around the world, in real-time, using stars in a planetarium. Known as the Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium (also the Celestial Economic Sphere), it used a genetic algorithm to account for different variables. Although the project was initially developed as a parody in response to a significant drop in the UK's FTSE 100 that impacted the global market, the visualization it provided gives us a sense of the interconnectedness and complexity of the world's economy.

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has worked on an interactive timeline or has interest in working on a time-line project. I would like the time-line to show how economic events are related to many different disciplines, regions, and decisions/policies.

Views: 90

Tags: blogging, collaborate, crisis, economics, economy, education, interactive, market, stock, technology, More…timeline

Comment by Paul Schumann on September 27, 2008 at 1:39pm
I really admire and appreciate all the work you've done leading to a timeline of the crisis. I fear that the economic system we have is complex (in the mathematical sense) and hence cause and effect are not related. Read my blog at Can we talk?
Comment by Lynn Marentette on September 27, 2008 at 3:40pm

I took a quick look at your blog and noticed that you have a few posts that hit on some of the topics I've been thinking about over the past few weeks..The easiest think is to create a web-based version, so teachers could use it a tool for their students, using interactive whiteboards, or accessed through libraries that have interactive whiteboards.

The fancier version could be in the form of an exhibit, maybe a traveling one, one one of those new multi-touch wall screens. Different people could interact with it at the same time.

Comment by andrew bendelow on October 5, 2008 at 7:24pm
As a matter of fact, Lynn, I've been trying to find a good open source timeline for my 17-18 yr. old Popular Literature students. Here's our start of the "popularity timeline"--
It's not as vital as the economic health of society, for without your subject (you're an economist?) nothing as frivolous as popular culture could arise.
Wishing you well, and hoping we can confer if not collaborate.
Comment by Lynn Marentette on October 5, 2008 at 9:00pm

I am not an economist. I am a school psychologist and have taken computer courses over the past five years or so, part time. I took a graduate course in information visualization this year, and that is when I started thinking about ways data visualization could support better decision-making. When we had a few economic sputters earlier this year, I decided to listen to CNBC on XM radio while driving to work and back.

I thought it was interesting that when economist and finance industry experts were confused by economic events, they would attribute things to "psychology" or "herd mentality", and factors related to consumer confidence, whatever that really means. I didn't really know at the time that "Behavioral Finance" was a field of study!

It dawned on me that even the most brightest economist and financial experts must lack the appropriate visualization tools to help them manage and analyze complex data. Otherwise, why would so many people be so wrong in their calculations and predictions? Their tools could not make the hidden seen, despite sophisticated algorithms and high-powered computers.

If all of these bright minds couldn't figure things out, if our leaders in business, industry, and government couldn't figure things out to make wise decisions, then what about the rest of us?

An example of an interactive timeline that is sort of what I have in mind can be found on the website: Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality

I'd like the time-line to be navigated on a SmartBoard or touch-screen display.

Do you have access to an interactive whiteboard?

Lynn Marentette
Comment by Chris Thomas on December 20, 2008 at 8:29pm
I have been looking for similar interactive collaborative timeline systems....for slightly different reasons than you. I work in place where there is activity going on in 4-5 different areas that contribute to the overall outcome. I have been called in in the middle of a crisis that has maybe 7-10 days worth of the system plugging along and the various groups tweaking things, sometimes independently. It takes me hours to figure out what has happened to get us to that point. So I set out looking for something we could use to be able to capture these events as they happen, then compile them, parse them, slice them, dice them, etc and display VISUALLY. And I found two realistic possibilities. They both range from "free for individual user" all the way to "enterprise versions for organzations".

Thought you might be interested:

my favorite-->
ok too-->

Good luck. And I sure hope we can use tools like this and other to figure out this economic's getting bad!

Chris Thomas
Comment by Lynn Marentette on December 21, 2008 at 10:55am
I put all of my information about the economic/financial crisis on a blog, Economic Sounds and Sights. I found a new version of a timeline, called "Capzels". It is free, online, and in a Beta version.

I've used Dipity, but I haven't seen mnemograph yet. Thanks for the suggestions!


You need to be a member of Classroom 2.0 to add comments!

Join Classroom 2.0


Win at School

Commercial Policy

If you are representing a commercial entity, please see the specific guidelines on your participation.





© 2021   Created by Steve Hargadon.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service