Talking timelines

Recently, the national online team and the Toronto Sun online editors have been trying out a new timeline tool called Timeline Verite. It’s a pretty slick tool and fits in well with our sites.


There’s a few steps involved.

1) If you don’t have one already, hook yourself up with a Google Account. This is a one stop shop for GMail, YouTube, maps, Google Docs or Google Drive – which is required to make this timeline. You may want to consider a Google Account for the newsroom to share. Here’s more information about how to use GoogleDrive, a great tool for creating a shareable document from spreadsheets to presentations. It works a bit like Word but is even more simple to use.

2) Back in Timeline Verite, scroll down to where you see “GoogleDoc” on the homepage.


Select the ‘Google Doc Template’ button. This will take you to your own GoogleDrive. You’ll see a spreadsheet that looks like this:


This spreadsheet provides the nuts and bolts (i.e. the content) and tells the timeline what to appear. The timeline you import in has be stripped of its information. It’s for guideline purposes only and shows you the kind of things you can add to the timeline (i.e. videos, photos, tweets, etc.). The most important columns are the start/end date sections, text and media. Date determines where it will show up in the headline. NOTE: If you don’t have a specific date, but rather just a year, then input 01/01/year. for start and end date.

Text: Will show up in timeline below pictures, video, etc., or as a post appear on its own if there’s no media.

Media: What can appear here? Maps, videos, tweets, pictures. If it’s on the web, it has its own unique real estates (i.e.) URL. YouTube videos, Google Maps are straightforward re: URLs.

How to find a picture URL: Right click on the photo and select ‘Copy Image Location’


How to find a tweet URL: Click on the tweet you want to use and select ‘details’. Copy and paste the URL. It’s unique to that tweet!

3) Once you’ve filled out your spreadsheet, you need to select ‘File’ and then ‘Publish to Web.’


4) Take that link and post it on the Timeline Verite website, here:


5) Once you’ve copied the link you can grab the code to embed the timeline onto your website:


6) Once it’s embedded, you can make changes to the Google Doc and it will automatically appear on your website.


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