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StorylineJS is an open-source, online tool that generates an annotated, interactive line chart that depicts stories as data that change over time. Somewhat like TimelineJS, also developed at KnightLab at Northwestern University, StorylineJS uses Google Sheets as a data source meaning that students can collaborate on common datasets. As new data is added to the spreadsheet, the visualization is automatically updated. Each entry can contain a date, title, and text.

Why Use StorylineJS ?

  • While StorylineJS might not be a tool for a complete digital project, the visualizations can be embedded on course blogs to illustrate other work.
  • Because StorylineJS uses Google Sheets in the background, it is very easy for students to compile and prepare data. The website for the tool includes very thorough and easy-to-follow instructions for getting started.
  • Data is displayed in two dimensions: as a timeline with relative spacing and as a line graph showing the relative magnitude of some data point.

How to Add StorylineJS to Your Course

StorylineJS is an online tool and is completely free to use. Students can use Google Sheets is is part of their Princeton Google account.

Additional Resources:

KnightLab, Northwestern University

Posted by March 22, 2021