Learning history in school commonly takes the form of reading from textbooks and memorizing dates, places, and names. However, students have an array of different learning styles, and not everyone is good at learning by memorizing. Young students tend to lose interest in the subject and are not inspired to seek more information about what interests them in the material when they’re outside the classroom. Learning history is not only about knowing names and dates; it is more about understanding the relationships of events that occurred in the past and how they relate to and affect others. That’s why schools usually start by introducing the beginning of mankind in prehistory and the early civilization period to students in middle schools. However, experiencing a time period such as “5,000 BCE” is far more than young learners can imagine. Students must be able to visualize the connections and sequences between events that happened in the same period of time in different places in order to engage them in a meaningful way.

Young learners are familiar with using digital devices in their everyday life. They’re interested in games, picture books, or movies that are sometimes based on historical events. This shows that history itself is not boring for them, but it’s the way they learn about history that matters. One effective way to engage them in learning history should be in a fun and lively way. Complicated ideas in history can be interesting if presented in intelligible terms. According to the National Council for the Social Studies, historical events always occur in time and place. To incorporate history and geography together is one important solution to provide a deeper understanding and a complete picture of historical events. By creating an application with an interactive timeline and map, young learners will have the flexibility to explore knowledge beyond the classroom. They should feel that history is about real people in real places; therefore, they will feel history comes alive.

The scope of this project is in the pursuit of creating an interactive web application that will assist students in secondary education and above, as an effective way to learn global history beyond the classroom. Data visualization of a timeline and map will be presented as the main navigation. It will allow users to compare historical events that occurred in different parts of the world, focusing on the early civilizations period. Users can explore a timeline of history by selecting a specific time period, comparing and seeing connections between time and places, and experience historical events across the centuries with the interactive timeline and map.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

World history--Interactive multimedia--Design; Information visualization

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Visual Communication Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CAD)


Mike Strobert

Advisor/Committee Member

Adam Smith


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes