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History of the Greek-Persian Wars: Interactive Map and Timeline (history-maps.com)
123 points by nonoumasy on Aug 5, 2022 | hide | past | favorite | 42 comments

Cool idea, but not very well done. Basically the map zooms into one spot and then tells you about a bunch of other places that were involved that the map doesn't pan to.

Also, the timelines are overlapping too much, for example it says something happened, then moves locations and says some other thing previously happened (that it just told you about).

Finally, lots of little things thrown in at the end; "the Ionian revolt happened and Persia spent time and effort conquering them. [3 paragraphs] Also Persia was mad at Athens for helping which kicked off the war". Not built in a very narrative or easy to track way.

Curious if there is a better implementation?

While not map based this link is the best History-as-a-Timeline implementation I have stumbled across so far (desktop only) ....


Very cool project, but as others have said there are performance issues even on high end devices.

Full disclosure: I work for Esri, a competitor to Mapbox.

This probably could have been implemented more quickly and easily, with better usability and performance, via StoryMaps or ArcGIS StoryMaps. The product is tailor-made for exactly this sort of website/project.


Even though it's pretty invasive, i love the image onclick fullscreen display along with the clicking sound.

Thanks. I'm still rethinking that. It was a quick solution to show the images especially the otherImages(which are predominantly other map images) full screen. There's value in seeing the details up close. But I might try a different design, maybe a carousel in the future.

btw, why do you think it's invasive? in what sense?

Making the browser window fullscreen, while the user is not clicking on a fullscreen button.

I see. So adding a fullscreen button instead of the cursor: zoom makes it non-invasive?

I would say so, yes.

This reminds me there's a book, The Landmark Herodotus, that has lots of maps detailing the geography treated in the text, including the story of the Greco-Persian Wars; I've got another book in the series (the Thucydides one) and the maps are really nice.

Thanks for that suggestion. Since Thucydides wrote "History of the Peloponnesian War", you might also like this: https://history-maps.com/story/Peloponnesian-War

Incidentally, I just finished the History of Greece HistoryMap: https://history-maps.com/story/History-of-Greece

Nice idea, but the app autoscrolls every few seconds on mobile Firefox making it unusable.

Not sure why it's autoscrolling. I haven't seen that issue before and also the play feature is disabled on mobile. Which phone and os do you have? I'll try to reproduce the issue.

I think this happened when I pressed play. Also works the same on Desktop. Smetana's music is nice, but the resource becomes unusable as it scrolls and scrolls to new chapters. In can record a video of you want.

Sure that would be great if you can record it. But how are you able to press play on mobile Firefox. I hid the button on mobile. Are you accessing that using Firefox dev tools?

Btw, it's suppose to autoscroll on Play. That is the feature. Its what I call the 'storyteller mode'. I am thinking of using text-to-speech to read each event before proceeding to the next event so the 5 second delay is an arbitrary setting for now.

If you don't want the autoscroll, then you can just scroll the old fashion way on the sidebar. When you do the map will flyTo() the corresponding event.

I just press the "play" button right in the center, music starts playing and everything starts jumping around. Try this link for video:


Thanks. I saw the video. Yes! That is what it's suppose to do when you hit 'play'. But you don't get that view on a real mobile device. The menu icon is also hidden on mobile. You only see this view on dev tools.

The play feature is only if you want the events to autoscroll for you and its part of a storyteller feature I'm working on. So you don't have to use it to scroll.

> Yes! That is what it's suppose to do when you hit 'play'.

Well. I don't think it is a good idea. In text-based content, you need to wait for some input from the user that he's done reading this part of the page and is ready to proceed further. And in your case, the page scrolls extremely fast. I'm no slow reader, but I barely manage to read the chapter headline before it scrolls.

well then, the solution is simple. Don't click 'play' and like I said, Users on mobile won't even see that 'play' button.

My dream in web development since 2012 is to have a way to represent timelines well. They are not easy and they are not intuitive.

Unfortunately I never had the chance of a paying project that involved timelines, or libraries around it.

I guess it depends on how you implement timelines. They can be as simple (as one line) or complex (multiple lines + categories + filter) as you want. I created a Timelines Game using the same HM data: https://timelines-ruby.vercel.app/

And the Persians were sowing the seeds of their destruction, as Alexander and the Macedonian phalanx marched across their lands 100 years later

I think the reality could have been more nuanced that this.

Persians were the prominent tribe in Achaemenid empire which was destroyed by Alexander. But remainder of Persians among other tribes that formed the empire later on freed themselves from Macedonian rule and eventually and gradually pushed them out. Even though the Macedonians occupied the land, they adopted the form of government and were influenced by the culture and Persian way of life. They themselves also had an influence on those empires, naturally.

Unfortunately the website is lacking in painting a comprehensive picture of Persian or those other tribes that formed the Persian empire or perhaps I couldn’t find it.

This is perhaps a limitation on the story since its about Alexander, so obviously it more from the Macedonian or even from Alexanders point of view. The story is Alexander-centric.

I do plan on creating other History maps on the Ancient Persian empires: Achaemenid Empire, Parthian Empire, Sassanian Empire, Seleucid Empire

Would love some feedback when those are done. Thanks for the constructive feedback. I always appreciate those.

Kudos for the effort of creating this nice website. I enjoyed your way of laying out the events.

That will be awesome to read more about those pieces of history in the form of this website. Well appreciated.

Well yeah, but the power structure of Darius and Xerxes who were pursuing these invasions was utterly destroyed by Alexander.

But yes, eventually the Caliphate was invading Europe using cannons to reduce formerly state of the art castles 1000 years later.

I think you are missing out a good few hundred years. Caliphate were not Persians (Indo-European).

The tribes I was talking about were Parthians [1] and Sassanids [2]. These are long before Islam and Muslim invasion of Iran and they were once part of Achaemenid empire.

I don’t know what you exactly mean by power structure but the form of government (i.e. Central government and Satraps) were adopted by and outlived the Macedonians.

You can get more information here (or simply Wikipedia):

1. https://www.worldhistory.org/Parthia_(Empire)/

2. https://www.worldhistory.org/Sasanian_Empire/

edit: fix typo

Do you mean the Ottomans?

Nice info, but where's the scroll bar?

Scroll bars are Web 1.0 garbage.

Fine then give me some web 3.0 scroll bars.

Definitely missing some Web 3.0 treasures like a Metamask connection and microtransactions for each event displayed.

It is good, but given today’s interactive capabilities I somehow expected more. Still well done!

What other things were you expecting?

-searching text

-scroll without hovering over the text itself

-not having to wait for each section to load when scrolling

Very cool! I'm getting some performance issues though (mb air 2018). Pretty low FPS.

thanks for the feedback. are you gettng the issues just on the story page? or also on the main home page?

can you try again? I refactored some stuff.

There wasn't a Greece back then to call these wars "Greco".

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