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A timeline is a project artifact. It is typically a graphic design showing a long bar labeled with dates alongside itself and (usually) events labeled on points where they would have happened. It is used to show events along a period of time.


Uses of timelines

Timelines are often used in education to help students and researchers with understanding events and trends for a particular subject.


Timelines are particularly useful for studying science, as they convey a sense of change over time. Wars and social movements are often shown as timelines. Timelines are also useful for biographies. Examples include:

Natural sciences

Timelines are also used in the natural world and sciences for subjects such as astronomy, biology and geology.

Project management

Another type of timeline is used for project management. In these cases, timelines are used to help team members to know what milestones need to be achieved and under what time schedule. For example in the case of establishing a project timeline in the implementation phase of the life cycle of a computer system.

Time scale

Timelines can take use any time scale, depending on the subject and data. Most timelines use a linear scale, where a unit of distance is equal to a set amount of time. This time scale is dependent on the events in the timeline. A timeline of evolution can be over millions of years, whereas a timeline about the September 11, 2001 can take place over minutes. While most timelines use a linear timescale, for very large or small timespans, logarithmic timelines use a logarithmic scale to depict time.

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