The Idea Incubator/Wiki Mural and The Big History Timeline

From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This concept combines a proposal for a new tool, called Wiki Mural, and an application of that tool, called the Big History Visual Timeline.

Analogous to the way we use a Wiki to collabulary edit documents, Wiki Mural provides a similar capability for collaboratively editing graphic designs such as a diagrams and murals. The goal is to allow open collaboration in creating and improving graphic designs.

In Wiki mural anyone can create a graphic design image and invite collaborators to contribute edits to that design. Collaboration would be governed by tools and rules like those used in today’s text-oriented Wiki, including logging edits, reverting edits, and maintaining a history and repository of document versions.

A prototype could be built using an open-source vector graphics editor such as inkscape augmented with collaboration capabilities.

Wiki mural can have a wide variety of applications such as collaborating on an architectural, industrial, product, conceptual, or aesthetic designs. One particularly valuable project would be the on-going collaborative development of a big history visual timeline presented as a scalable mural that includes hyperlinks to descriptive text.

Today Google Earth provides a representation of earth (and other planets) that is scalable, allowing the user to begin with an image of the entire earth and then zoom into any location. As the view zooms in from a comprehensive overview, details emerge as the particular location is approached.

The concept of the big history visual timeline is to collaboratively add the dimension of time to a representation such as Google earth. As an example, the Adams Synchronological Chart or Map of History is a large mural that graphically depicts the history of mankind from early history to modern times. If this were recreated using Wiki mural and integrated with Google Earth, users could visit any place on earth and learn about what was happening at that time. Furthermore, collaborative editing access would allow editors to add detail and newly studied events to the mural. The result would be an open, on-going, collaborative effort like the existing ChronoZoom project. However, in the Wiki mural version users could zoom into any time or place. As an example users zooming to the year 1776 and the location of Independence Hall in Philadelphia would see period images of that location and learn about the drafting of the declaration of independence.