Week Four: Timeline.js – A Tool I Wish I had in High School

Timeline.js is an incredibly easy to use piece of software, easy to the point of me hardly not believing it. Maybe it’s partially me, as I have experience with Google Sheets and the functions that software can preform, but Timeline.js creates timelines that look professional and smooth with a fraction of the effort.

The best feature about it is that it utilizes Google Sheets. The Google line of office programs are very user friendly and easily accessible, so taking advantage of a wildly known and easy-to-use program was an excellent choice. The template that Timeline.js provides makes it even easier, as every section is clearly labelled and inputting data takes very little time. Having an example open while editing the spreadsheet also helped a lot to visualize how my timeline was going to look. The only features – or rather lack thereof – I struggled with was my inability to specify “AD” or “BC” in my dates (I instead elected to make the date a negative number – for example, 1550 BC became -1550).

I decided to make my timeline related to my final project (which in turn is related to my degree). Despite being used for thousands of years, birth control continues to be a highly debated topic in today’s political climate. Both the abortion debate and the discussion about sexual education curricula involve birth control. If abortions are/become illegal because life begins at conception, how much further will we have to go before any contraceptive are considered illegal? If a single celled zygote is a human being, how long before a singular egg or sperm cell are considered as such? In sexual education, some curricula function on an abstinence-only basis, which is only one of many methods of birth control.

Understanding the history of birth control and how it has evolved throughout the ages will allow us to better understand and appreciate the options we have today. Use the interactive timeline below for a brief overview of the history of birth control.

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