The Smithsonian Institution Timeline

The Smithsonian Institution timeline

The 10th of August, 2018, marks 172 years since the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution - the world’s largest group of museums and research centers. Taking its name from its founding donor, scientist James Smithson, the institution was created with the purpose of increasing and diffusing knowledge, and greatly contributed to shaping and developing an American national identity rooted in exploration and innovation. Administered by the Government of the United States, the complex boasts an impressive total of 154 million items displayed within 19 museums, 9 research centers and a zoo, mostly located in the District of Columbia. Additional facilities are situated in Arizona, Maryland, New York City, Texas, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Massachusetts and Panama.

To celebrate 172 years of world-class exhibition, pioneering research and innovative educational resources, we have created the Smithsonian Institution Timeline, which chronologically overviews some of the most important events and inaugural dates in its history.

Originally organized as the United States National Museum, an administrative denomination that ceased to be used in 1967, the institution receives 30 million annual visitors without charge. Two thirds of its annual budget comes from yearly federal appropriations, with other funding ensured by private and corporate contributions, licensing revenue and earned retail.

Established with donations from the Englishman James Smithson in 1846, the Smithsonian was initially intended to be a center for scientific research, but later became the depository for diverse Washington and US government collections as well. The construction of the main building, called the Castle and designed by architect James Renwick Jr., began in 1849 and was finalized in 1855. Gradually, other structures and facilities were added, the latest one being represented by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened on the 24th September, 2016.

The Smithsonian Institution chronology was created with Office Timeline, a lightweight plugin for PowerPoint which helps you build stylish timelines, Gantt charts, project schedules and other similar visuals almost instantly. Using the Plus version of the tool, you can further update and style this slide, which is free to copy and share.

Download the Smithsonian Institution Timeline for PowerPoint here.



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Barack Obama Timeline

Barack Obama timeline

This Saturday, American attorney and politician Barack Obama turns 57. Serving as the 44th President of the United States in two terms from 2009 to 2017, Mr. Obama made history from the start by being the first African American to win the US presidency. With his first presidential election campaign promising hope and change, he entered the White House when the US was fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and faced the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Despite the difficult background of matters to tackle at his inauguration, Mr. Obama managed to achieve a series of important milestones for the national well-being throughout his tenure.

To wish a happy birthday to the former US political leader and 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner, we have created the Barack Obama timeline, which overviews some of his most important life events and achievements.

Born in Hawaii, he moved with his family to Jakarta when he was 6, where he attended local Indonesian-language schools, while also being homeschooled by his mother. By the age of 10, the young Barack was able to speak his new home’s language fluently.

Returning to Hawaii to live with his grandparents, he completed his high school studies and went on to attend Occidental College in Los Angeles, but later moved to Columbia University in New York. Soon, he began his career as a community planner by taking a position in Chicago which allowed him to be involved in city cleanup, school reform and other similar activities.

The young and ambitious Obama continued his academic education by enrolling at Harvard Law School and graduating from it with a JD degree magna cum laude. He entered the political scene in 1996 and, step by step, forged a solid career as a politician to be elected as President of the United States twice.

The Barack Obama chronology was designed using Office Timeline, a lightweight PowerPoint add-in that helps users to generate professional-looking timelines, Gantt charts and other similar visuals with ease. You can copy and share the image for free, and further restyle it using the Plus edition of the tool.

Download the Barack Obama Timeline for PowerPoint here.



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The Henry Ford Timeline

Henry Ford Timeline

The 30th of July, 2018, marks 155 years since the birth of American automobile manufacturer Henry Ford. By introducing his Ford Model T, the first vehicle that middle-class Americans could afford, he turned the automobile from an expensive eccentricity into a practical conveyance. Going on to develop the assembly line, he also enabled the mass production of inexpensive goods, a phenomenon that would be called Fordism.

To honor the one who is revered as one of America’s leading businessmen and a major contributor to building the country’s economy during its vulnerable early years, we have created the Henry Ford Timeline, which summarizes his life and work.

At 16, the young Ford would leave home to start working as an apprentice machinist. By the time he turned 33, he was already an accomplished engineer devoting his personal time to experiments on gasoline engines. On October 1, 1908, Ford introduced the Model T which quickly became a huge commercial success due to its durability, flexibility and affordability. Ten years later, nearly half of the Americans were driving one.

By constantly exploring ways to decrease costs while improving the quality of his vehicles, Henry Ford also introduced the $5 wage for an eight-hour workday to keep the best workers loyal to his company. This meant increasing his employees’ salary by more than double of what they were previously earning. Thus, he became renowned not only for his profits, but also for his commitment to a revolutionary vision: the production of a cheap automobile made by skilled workers with steady wages.

The Henry Ford chronology was created with Office Timeline, a simple and efficient plugin for PowerPoint that allows users to quickly generate professional-looking timelines, Gantt charts and other similar project visuals. The image is free to copy and share, and you can easily restyle and update it using the Plus version of the tool.

Download the Henry Ford Timeline for PowerPoint here.



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Data Visualization: best practices, tools, trends


Before data visualization, reams of data were compiled monthly for key executives in the form of “blue books” which organized and presented statistics, metrics and other information in lists and tables. Information in this format was difficult to access and interpret.

Executive Information Systems augmented the blue books with higher accuracy and more useable information graphically presented in an up-to-date dashboard rather than lists and tables. But these systems were costly, often requiring IS staff for their implementation and support. Recently, innovations in desktop and cloud applications have enabled users with modest skills to access and create meaningful reports and presentations due to these new data visualization software tools.

This article shares best practices and new trends in data visualization techniques, while also discussing key criteria for choosing the right visual software.

Gantt Chart for Mac

Data visualization software will improve the content, quality and impact of your reports, and presentations created using data visualization tools will impress your customers, colleagues and partners.

Best practices and new trends in data visualization

Behind the scenes, you are able to access databases, spreadsheets, and applications to craft visually meaningful representations of that data. How do you ensure that the information is actually received as intended? Experts and experience advise us:

  • Know your audience’s comfort level with new, visual technologies and scale the visuals you use accordingly.
  • Optimize the visuals for specific content – e.g. bar charts for comparisons; pie or waterfall charts for displaying composition; timelines for events or related developments; infographics for complex relationships based on interactions or reactions revealing trends, patterns, outliers, clusters.
  • Keep formatting simple and consistent throughout the presentation or document. Be mindful of unnecessary text, illustrations or ornamentations such as drop shadows, gradients, and 3D effects, which only make the visual harder to follow.
  • Use colors to add meaning or draw the eye quickly to specific areas of interest.
  • Organize data in a logical, intuitive way to avoid misinterpretation. Categories displayed sequentially, alphabetically or by value will guide readers through the visual and help them process the data faster.
  • Prompt others’ participation with interactive maps, allowing valuable data to be recorded.
  • Employ the variety of new and powerful data visualization tools to create informative, lasting presentations.
Gantt Chart for Mac

Choosing the best data visualization tools

A quick search of “data visualization software” yields thousands of results, and sorting through them can become overwhelming. As there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, professionals can use a few key criteria to quickly determine what visual tool would fit them or their organization best.

1. Skill level needed

Many data visualization programs may have astounding capabilities, but they can take years to master, some even requiring computer programming skills. When evaluating such tools, it is important to consider the users’ skillsets first. In most cases, a simpler tool, with fewer features but an intuitive interface, will provide far better results than complicated software that no one fully understands.

2. Desktop vs. web-based

Web tools are easily accessible from anywhere but may lack in functionalities and data storage capabilities, while desktop versions are usually richer in features, but they can be limited by the hardware they are run on. In the case of desktop apps, it is important to check whether they operate on Mac or Windows systems, or if they require Java.

3. Data import capabilities

Nothing kills the momentum like having to type in rows after rows of data for hours only to create a graphic. The ability to connect to and import information from other sources is key in data visualization.

4. Customization capabilities

Out-of-the-box visuals don’t always provide the best overview of the data. Some data visualization tools allow users to fully personalize the look and feel of their charts and graphs. While this is a big plus, professionals might want to make sure that enhanced customization doesn’t come at the cost of usability.

5. General-use vs. industry-specific

Some tools are designed to serve multiple purposes and are able to create a large variety of visuals, while others may be more specialized for a specific industry, role, or line of business. Professionals will need to decide if they’d prefer the adaptability of a general-use tool or the personalized approach of an industry-specific app.

For instance, project managers and planners will rarely use – if ever – all the graphs, charts and maps provided by multi-purpose software. Instead, they may resonate much better with a simple, tailored tool that helps them quickly generate timelines and Gantt charts to present proposals, plans or reports in a clear, appealing manner.

Gantt Chart for Mac

Simple tools to help visualize plans or events

Professionals who need to present a series of tasks or activities in a visual way can use lightweight timeline and Gantt chart makers such as Office Timeline or Pincello. The two data visualization tools were designed to be simple and intuitive so that users can get started right away, without having to learn intricate functions. Both apps can import their data from other sources and instantly turn it into a meaningful timeline, which can then be fully customized and updated easily.

  • Office Timeline Plus is a feature-rich desktop tool optimized for Windows systems. It plugs into PowerPoint and allows users to build, revise and share their visuals right from within the familiar presentation tool. Try Office Timeline Plus for free.

  • Pincello is a flexible online data visualization tool that works on any operating system, including Mac. It enables professionals to build timelines and Gantt charts directly in their browser, access them from anywhere, and update them on the fly. Once ready, the visuals can be saved as images or as native PowerPoint slides to be used in presentations. Make timelines online now.

Using the right data visualization tools for presentations or reports, professionals can quickly turn complex data into easily-digestible graphics that will impress clients, colleagues and partners.


Useful Resources:

Pincello Quick Start Tips

Office Timeline Quick Start Tutorial


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Ernest Hemingway Timeline

Ernest Hemingway Timeline

On the 21st of July, 1899, American journalist and novelist Ernest Miller Hemingway was born. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954, the writer gained admiration not only for his unique style of writing, which he coined as the Theory of Iceberg, but also for his adventurous lifestyle and controversial public image. With seven novels, six collections of short stories and two non-fiction works published during his lifetime – plus ten other volumes posthumously – he significantly influenced the 20th-century fiction and is considered one of the greatest figures in American literature.

To celebrate the anniversary of the author who succeeded in conveying powerful, evocative messages in a terse style and inspired later generations to say more with less, we created the Ernest Hemingway Timeline, which summarizes his tumultuous life and prolific work.

Starting his career as a newspaper reporter, Mr. Hemingway retained the minimalist style of journalism and ingeniously used it in his literary creations. The action-packed plots and the sap of his novels stemmed not so much from his imagination, but his very own thrilling life as a solider, wartime correspondent and incurable traveler. At only 18 years old, Hemingway received the Italian Silver Medal of Bravery for saving dozens of lives as a Red Cross ambulance driver during World War I. Having learned to hunt, fish and camp in childhood, he also had a tremendous passion for outdoor adventure, which would take him to exotic parts of the world – fishing in the Caribbean or on safaris in Africa.

His effervescence would lead him to experience extreme situations that often put his life in danger and took a toll on his physical and mental health. Given that he took part in the Normandy Landings on June 6, 1944, was repeatedly injured in his hunting expeditions, and survived two successive plane crashes, his famous “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed” makes so much sense.

The Ernest Hemingway chronology was built with Office Timeline, an easy-to-use add-in for PowerPoint that helps you generate beautiful timelines, Gantt charts and other similar visuals with a few clicks. The slide, which is free to copy and share, can be edited using the Plus version of the tool.

Download the Ernest Hemingway Timeline for PowerPoint here.



Quickly turn project data into professional timelines

Build stunning, uncomplicated timelines and Gantt charts that are easy to make and simple to communicate. Get the advanced features of Office Timeline Plus free for 14 days.

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