UC Berkeley, Moscow State University and Microsoft Research Assign ChronoZoom ‘Big History’ Open Source Project to the Outercurve Foundation

Wakefield, MA. March 14, 2012 – The Outercurve Foundation, in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley, Moscow State University and Microsoft Research, today announced the foundation has accepted the ChronoZoom project, now available in version 2, into its Research Accelerators Gallery. The project, developed to help students, educators, researchers and academics understand historical themes among scientific and humanistic disciplines, was contributed to the foundation by project leader Roland Saekow and project contributors from Microsoft Research, UC Berkeley and Moscow State University.

ChronoZoom, a cloud-based, HTML5 software tool, makes time relationships between different studies of history clear and vivid. In the process, it provides a framework for exploring related electronic resources and serves as a “master timeline”, tying together various specialized timelines and electronic resources. ChronoZoom aspires to bridge the gap between the humanities and the sciences to bring together and unify all knowledge of the past using the story line of Big History to make it easy to understand.

ChronoZoom allows users to browse historical knowledge, rather than digging it out piece by piece, by linking relevant online resources to fixed time scales in an organized and logical manner.

“Up until now, it’s been very difficult to understand the vastly different timescales of Cosmos, Earth, Life and Humanity. 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,” Roland Saekow, ChronoZoom Community Project Lead, University of California, Berkeley said.

“It provides a framework for organizing our study of the past. 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.”

“The assignment of ChronoZoom to the Outercurve Foundation will allow this important project to flourish,” said Paula Hunter, executive director, Outercurve Foundation. “ChronoZoom provides a step toward sharing and analyzing historical data to overcome the challenges of visualizing Big History. 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.”

ChronoZoom will be demoed today at a technology education conference in Seattle, Wash. held by the Northwest Council for Computer Education, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting effective uses of technology in all aspects of education.