Shocking really, what you can find on the Internet. I found this incredible video on one of the blogs that I follow. It charts world civilization, displaying political entities year-by-year. Utterly fascinating. (BTW, it displays much better on a laptop than on an iPhone.)
I am sure that plenty of historians will quibble. One criticism that I can imagine is that its focus on settled societies misses nomadic peoples. Well, as I argue in class, civilization is about order. Nomadic peoples possess cultures, but not civilizations. Another will be that it focuses on political/administrative at the expense of the race/class/gender trinity. As if those things could be so effectively mapped and as if any one learning object can address every concern.
I would love to see someone use this technology to chart the spread of genetic haplogroups across time and space. I have been doing some reading this past week on linguistics, the persistence of place names and migration patterns at the end of the Neolithic. In some cases, all that we have left of the language of submerged or eliminated peoples are the names that they gave places that were then taken over into the successor people’s place-names.