Pinning Events to a Geographical Map

Pr
ProgExMo
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Location: Calgary, AB, Canada

Sun May 27, 2012 5:23 pm Post

(This is a bit of a cross-post from an email I had sent directly to Matt @ ScribbleCode, but I thought it might be worth posting publicly for others to comment on)

One major feature that I'd like to suggest for a future release (2.0?) is the ability to pin an event onto a geographical map. This could be done using Google Maps for current or modern timelines, or an image (like that of Tolkien's Middle Earth) could be imported to use as a map. It would also be great if the user could then define the scale of the map (since an imported map could be of a small town or an entire galaxy) and the path taken between events. This feature would have the added benefit of being able to see distances traveled between points in space and time simultaneously.

I'm working on a historical novel, so being able to map events from a timeline would be a huge benefit to my research and accuracy.

Lf
Lfarmster
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Tue May 29, 2012 7:27 pm Post

Hear, hear! I add my voice to this humble request :D
It is the mark of a good story...that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, ...whomever hears it, when the “turn” comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears...

ma
matt
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Wed May 30, 2012 12:06 am Post

We had a bit of a conversation about the idea after the initial email.

In short, I can see the idea has some merit, but it will take a bit of effort to make everything integrate together intuitively.

I haven't looked into Google Maps/Earth tools before, so I am not sure if it is possible to take advantage of those in a third party app. Otherwise, it could be based on co-ordinate locations within images.

There would be complications, such as needing different maps of different areas, and with different levels of detail - from a floor plan of an important building, to a map of a whole city, or putting dots across the globe.

And how would you switch to the map view, how would time be handled on such a display, or are all events to ever take place thrown in together on the one image?

All in all - a good idea, but the idea needs some time to percolate and find a simple, intuitive path forward.

Regards,
Matt

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Jaysen
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Wed May 30, 2012 12:30 pm Post

Matt,

A "popped into my head" (which is kind of funny considering) idea is that you have a sliding selector representing time. As the slider is moved from left to right events are added/removed to the map object relative to the time indicated by the slider (it might be nice to have a fade in/out to make the transition smoother). A radio button or far left position of the slider would represent "all times at once".

Feel free to ignore this completely as it only addresses the simplest of items in your list.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

Image

Lf
Lfarmster
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Wed May 30, 2012 7:56 pm Post

I currently use Google Earth to help me visualize the locations that my characters have visited. I use different colored "push pins" to denote the different characters; the one missing aspect is of course time. I haven't yet experimented with moving a screen capture of the maps into Scrivener (ah, something to try during today's writing session!) or seriously looked into other ways to attempt the documentation of passing time with the few tools I have. Since I have Scrivener for Windows, I don't yet own Aeon, though I hope this will change in a few months... ahem. :D

I have recently noticed rumors to the effect that Apple seems to have plans for their own 3D mapping program that will compete with Google Earth. Perhaps this app/software will be more easily integrated with programs written specifically for Mac platforms?
It is the mark of a good story...that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, ...whomever hears it, when the “turn” comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears...