As it's been a week and no harm seems to have come, I'd like to repurpose this post a little, and add some status updates. Its main objective is always that of gathering intelligent feedback:
[...] I would like to hear (the actual question) the objective opinion of a professional historian, or competent amateur, on the instrument. I am an engineer, and we may see things differently (I think it's smashing). [...]
The recap: I am working on a free, public, crowdsourced, timeline map of world history, and wish to eventually involve SE and other concerned groups.
Temporarily hosted at: https://www.degrit.com/hotw <- that's for History Of The World, it is SFW.
Pressure currently: OFF - a number of things to work out on the technical side
Current ways to contribute:
Always - Feedback on the concept (some info is on the site, a more detailed manifest is in the works), as professional or amateur users of history.
Discord channel id: 370562064089088001.
Visibility. Maybe you know someone who'd like to hear about it and give their opinion ? A spouse-colleague-child-friend who is in school, teaching at a school, or dean at the same ? A mad billionaire from Texas with a thing for history ? The list does not go on.
Current state - Technical:
The active development of borders and relevant contribution & maintenance is on hold until I can get a machine to run postGIS on (I am currently borrowing a client's Geoserver to fetch the borders).
Battle/tactical maps. After sifting through a LOT of very heterogeneous material I have decided to make a bit of ad hoc middleware, the purpose of which will be to represent the movement and actions of armies, troops, selected individuals across a time span, in a homogeneously readable way - while at the same time making it possible for users to provide content with consistency.
Since my Big Demo milestone is based on recreating 1 choice event - I am thinking the very beginning of WW2, but I'd like to take suggestions - this is the current Priority I Can Work At.
Current state - Other and plans:
In the last few days I have looked at a lot of official maps, artist's interpretations, publicly posted KMLs with vastly varied data, and read more about the invasion of Poland than I thought I ever would or should. What I gathered confirmed my impression that while a great wealth of information is available, it is in such a fragmented way that it is far less useful than it could be. In short, I believe there is a place for this initiative.
Following the Big Demo, and with an easy to understand "episode" to display, I intend to (attempt to) begin contacting a few universities and institutions nearby (I am in Rome) for feedback and/or cohoperation.
In the spirit of glasnost, I wish to clarify that I also intend, for obvious reasons, to showcase the initiative on patreon, kickstarter and whatever else as soon as I get around to understanding how they work.
Edit: all, 2017-10-18
Edit: discord channel, 2017-10-19