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15 Billion Years of History In One Completely Addictive, Interactive Timeline

Do you easily lose hours of your life surfing Wikipedia? Then you may love (hate) a new graphic called Histography.

Matan Stauber’s Histography is an interactive timeline of all history, ever, right there in a browser. It “spans across 14 billion years of history, from the Big Bang to 2015,” says Stauber’s blog post introducing the tool.

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The project pulls from Wikipedia. You can navigate the entirety of known history by mousing over a grid of organic dots, floating on a graph that’s always fatter on the right side thanks to the vertical axis showing the number of events in each year. It’s pretty tricky to fit 14 billion years into one screen’s worth of dots, though, so you can zoom in, right down to the decade you’re interested in (I’d skip the first few hundred million decades, though).

Click a dot and the Wikipedia article loads up in a popover, only it looks better than it does on the native site, with beautiful formatting and typography. You can also slice the data based on subject, for instance war, inventions, music, riots, women’s rights and more, or based on time period–the age of reptiles or the renaissance, for instance.

There are also many “editorial stories,” which are hand-picked history lessons. In short, if you ever lost a few hours down the Wikipedia rabbit hole, you should stay as far away from Histography as possible, because it’s even more addictive than its source.

About the author

Previously found writing at Wired.com, Cult of Mac and Straight No filter.

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