May 26, 2017
Map of Contemporaries is an excellent interactive visual that chronicles the history of the world through the lifespans of famous people. It provides a biographical account of different historical figures and through them an overview of the major events that marked their era. As a history teacher, you may want to use this interactive map with your students to teach them about famous historical personalities and highlight major contemporary events. Use the navigational menu on the right-hand side to narrow down your search. You can search for famous people by content area (e.g., arts, music, religion, science…etc) and by place of birth. Once you locate the individual you are searching for click on its name to access a Wikipedia page with more details on it.
Map of Contemporaries is ‘inspired by Wait But Why’s blog post about Horizontal History — the idea of taking a “horizontal” slice of time and tracing the lifetimes of all the famous people living at that time. It certainly gives you a fresh perspective on some particular era (a feel of that time, so to say), unlike the conventional “vertical” approach of learning who came after whom and what happened after what .The timeline uses the data set from Pantheon, which is a project from the Macro Connections group at The MIT Media Lab. They provide an excellent list of 15,343 historical figures each marked with a Historical Popularity Index (HPI) that helps us to show the most famous people at the top of the timeline.’