I have looked at SIMILE Timeline, a DHTML-based AJAX widget for visualizing time-based events, at work and found it very interesting.

David Huynh, the author of Timeline, has released Exhibit– lightweight structured data publishing framework that lets you create web pages with support for sorting, filtering, and rich visualizations by writing only HTML and optionally some CSS and Javascript code.

It’s like Google Maps and Timeline, but for structured data normally published through database-backed web sites. Exhibit essentially removes the need for a database or a server side web application. Its Javascript-based engine makes it easy for everyone who has a little bit of knowledge of HTML and small data sets to share them with the world and let people easily interact with them.

Check out examples here and here. There are good documentations. I will definitely try it out at work.

He says that Exhibit has been inspired by Tim Berners-Lee’s Tabulator into which his Timeline has been integrated. Interesting.

Personally I prefer Exhibit to Tabulator because the data is stored in JSON files.

Exhibit data models are RDF graphs; these data models can be converted into RDF without loss. However, the Exhibit data model is a sub-model of RDF, as described below. This design choice allows for specialized, simple syntax (based on JSON) for rapid authoring. For simple, small data sets, we believe that Exhibit data models are sufficiently expressive. An Exhibit data model contains a set of items, each having a type and several properties.

via Danny Ayers

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