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March 19, 2012

Outercurve Foundation Takes Up ChronoZoom Open Source Project

ChronoZoom – a cloud-based, HTML5 software tool that makes time relationships between different studies of history clear and vivid – is now assigned to the Outercurve Foundation, a non-profit group offering software IP management and project development governance.

According to a press release, UC Berkeley, Moscow State University and Microsoft Research assigned the ChronoZoom Big History open source project to the Outercurve Foundation, which has accepted the project into its Research Accelerators Gallery.

The new HTML5 powered timeline tool ChronoZoom, now available in version 2, helps students, educators, researchers and academics understand historical themes among scientific and humanistic disciplines.

ChronoZoom provides a framework for exploring related electronic resources and serves as a "master timeline", tying together various specialized timelines and electronic resources.

According to the source, ChronoZoom aspires to bridge the gap between the humanities and the sciences, in order to integrate all knowledge of the past using the story line of ‘Big History’ to make it easy to understand.

Contributed by project leader Roland Saekow and supporters from Microsoft (News - Alert) Research, UC Berkeley and Moscow State University, ChronoZoom allows users to browse historical knowledge by linking relevant online resources to fixed time scales in an organized and logical manner, rather than digging it out piece by piece.

"Up until now, it's been very difficult to understand the vastly different timescales of Cosmos, Earth, Life and Humanity,” Roland Saekow, ChronoZoom Community Project Lead, University of California, Berkeley said in a statement. “With ChronoZoom's unique zoom capability, we can seamlessly zoom from billions of years, down to a single day right in a standard web browser."

"It provides a framework for organizing our study of the past,” he added. “A new field needs new tools, and we hope ChronoZoom will be able to help Big Historians visualize the vastness of time, look for trends and patterns and provide a portal to the immense online resources available online today."

"ChronoZoom provides a step toward sharing and analyzing historical data to overcome the challenges of visualizing Big History,” Paula Hunter, executive director, Outercurve Foundation, said in a statement. “We are pleased to work with Microsoft Research, the University of California at Berkeley and Moscow State University to continue to foster improvements in the development of this project."


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