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Timemapper Guide: How it Works

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Erika Mann
Director of Digital Initiatives, Technology, and Scholarship
(260) 481-5404

Create a Spreadsheet

There are two ways to get started with creating the spreadsheet. You can either download the Timemapper Spreadsheet Template below and then copy it to a Google sheet later, or you can start by following the "Timemapper Google Sheet Template" link to open the Google sheet version:

  • Click on "Timemapper Google Sheet Template" to open the Google sheet template.
  • Choose "Make a copy" under the File menu.
  • Rename the file. Change the folder to "My Drive" to make a copy on your own Google Drive. If you are collaborating with others on the timeline or timemap, click on the "Share" button to add emails to give them access.

Complete Your Spreadsheet

Not all fields are required to be filled out on your spreadsheet; however, depending on what functionality you would like to have on your creation, there are fields that are necessary to complete.

  • The "title" and "start date" fields are required for any timeline.
  • The "title," "start date," and "location" fields are required for any Timemap. The "location" field requires latitude (always list first) and longitude coordinates, which can be copied from Google Maps' satellite view.
  • To indicate a timespan, the "end date" field is also required.
  • Additional fields indicate where to add description information, tags (these will also show up in the date area of the timeline itself, so be brief with these), site links, and links for images (which will show up in the timeline or timemap).
  • Fields are also available to include valuable source, credit, and caption information.

Once you have completed your spreadsheet (or have a good idea of what content needs to go in which cells), make sure you have deleted the first line of example content provided in the Timemapper template, so that it will not appear in your published Timemap. It is helpful to retain a blank copy of the template that you can refer to later if you need a reminder of how dates or locations need to be formatted or to use when you create additional Timemaps.

Connect and Customize

Once you have completed your spreadsheet, you will need to upload it to your Google drive and publish it.

  • In the Google Spreadsheet menu bar, click on "File" and select "Publish to Web" and click "Start Publishing."
  • Return to the Timemapper website ( and click on the "Get started now" button. Go to step 2, "Connect and Customize."
  • Paste the URL of your published Google spreadsheet. Use the URL that appears in the "Link to share" box when you click on the "Share" button in the upper-righthand corner of your Google spreadsheet.
  • Enter the title of your Timemap
  • Choose if you want the full Timemap or just the timeline or just the map.
  • Select the date system you used (the default is set to US style with month first)
  • Select the date you would like the timeline to begin. Most likely, you will want it to start with the first event you entered in your spreadsheet, which is the default choice.
  • Click on "Publish," and your Timemap will load!

Your Timemap (or timeline, or map) will have a unique URL that you may use to share or link to on other resources, you can Tweet your Timemap, and you can get the embed code for your Timemap by clicking on the "embed" button at the top right of your live Timemap.

You may also edit your Timemap after it is published if you connect it to your Twitter account.