Placement of items on timeline

5 posts, 0 answers
  1. Barry
    Barry avatar
    90 posts
    Member since:
    Jul 2011

    Posted 06 Mar 2012 Link to this post

    I've just started using the timeline control, which is just what we've been wanting... but my question is: I have a lot of items being displayed on the timeline and it seems that these items are restricted to 5 lines/rows. I have the timeline control taking up half of the view so there is a lot more space (lines/rows) that the timeline could use to display the data, but it puts all items on the first 5 lines/rows. Is there any way to get the timeline to use all available space when laying out the items? When displaying a lot of data it would keep a lot of the items from overlapping.

    I've seen examples with more than 5 lines/rows, I just don't know how to get there...
  2. Tsvetie
    Admin
    Tsvetie avatar
    1517 posts

    Posted 06 Mar 2012 Link to this post

    Hello Barry,

    First of all, let me explain how the timeline orders the items - the items are sorted by StartDate first and then by Duration. Then, every item is positioned using the following logic - in case there is space for the item in the first row, it is positioned in the first row; if not, the item checks is there is space in the second row to show without overlapping other items; and so on. That is why, in case your items do not overlap, all will be positioned in the first row. In your particular case, five rows are enough in order to show all items and that is why, the timeline orders the items only in five rows. The basic idea behind this ordering, is that the items are displayed as close to the time line as possible.

    Currently, there is no easy way to influence the positioning algorithm but we are always looking for customer feedback. Can you explain you idea in greater detail - how do you expect the items to be positioned? It will be great if you can send us a couple of screenshots, demonstrating your idea as well.

    Greetings,
    Tsvetie
    the Telerik team
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  4. Barry
    Barry avatar
    90 posts
    Member since:
    Jul 2011

    Posted 12 Mar 2012 Link to this post

    Tsvetie,

    What you say about the items being placed on the same row if they don't overlap only seems to hold true on certain zoom levels. When I populate data in my timeline and I zoom in to a weekly or daily view then the data is fine, nothing really overlaps. But when I scale back to a monthly view the data bunches up and overlaps in several places - and I don't even have a lot of data in the control. I guess that it could be all right... if users want to see the detail then they have to zoom in, but it seems like if the items are going to overlap they should be pushed to another row when the control zooms - but then you may end up having way too many rows if  you have a lot of data, so I don't know what the answer would be.

    Attached is a screenshot of the overlapping in the monthly view...
  5. Barry
    Barry avatar
    90 posts
    Member since:
    Jul 2011

    Posted 12 Mar 2012 Link to this post

    Thinking about it some more I think that instead of having the items move to the next line down when zoomed... I think it would be better to just combine the items into one object when you zoom out. You could have the visualization change to a 'grouped' bar, and it could display something in the tooltip like "4 items in date range" or something like that. This would keep it from making more rows. User would then know they have to zoom in to get the details of these items.

    The way it is now is if items overlap and they are the same type (ie same visualization) then it looks like there is just one item. In the screenshot I attached there are several items overlapping in the blue-green bars on the chart, you just can't seem then because it all blends in. This isn't really that good because it looks like there are fewer items then there really are.
  6. Tsvetie
    Admin
    Tsvetie avatar
    1517 posts

    Posted 13 Mar 2012 Link to this post

    Hello Barry,

    Thank you for the time you took to share your ideas with us. We always appreciate customers' feedback and in this case I am pleased to tell you that your ideas are actually what we have been discussing for RadTimeline. Basically, we are thinking about adding support for interval specific events and this feature will give you the means to implement the behavior you describe.

    The other idea, that you yourself found not so good - to rearrange the items, based on the zoom level, does not cover all scenarios. Additionally, we do not think it is a good idea to move items around while zooming in/out as well.

    On a side note, I would like to clarify what I meant before with "if items do not overlap". Basically, you are correct that this is only partially true. This is actually true for the DateTime points and lines on a timeline and only partially true for the elements that represent those DateTime points and lines on the RadTimeline timeline. This is a result of the fact that the events with no durations are represented by an element with fixed size and that size does not change based on the zoom level. As a result, the element for such an event will be 10 pixels wide, no matter if you are viewing centuries or hours.

    Kind regards,
    Tsvetie
    the Telerik team
    Sharpen your .NET Ninja skills! Attend Q1 webinar week and get a chance to win a license! Book your seat now >>
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