Sat May 25 2024

改善

  • New Language: Content now in Kazakh
  • New Maps page
  • Today in History redesigned
  • New Menu Navigation in Articles
  • Histograph provides better contextual answers and replies in locale language
  • Ask Herodotus replies/speaks in locale language, has memory, provides reference source(s), design updated, and made into a component
  • Cause and Effect buttons now in Toolbar
  • Voice and Dark mode controls in Menu
  • Articles and Maps will be updated daily vs monthly
  • Firebase and Nextjs versions upgrade for improved performance
  • Refactored codebase for maintainability
  • hundred of design fixes and updates

Mon Apr 29 2024

Timelines

Wed Mar 27 2024

Struggles

For the past month, I've been focussing on the Shop and getting little sleep. I haven't had the chance to brainstorm new ideas or content because most of the time I'm setting up Ads (on Pinterest, FB, Twitter), adding new products, and optimizing product SEO. Honestly, I'd much rather spend that time dreaming up cool ideas and working on content. Despite all the hustle, sales are almost non-existent. The ads just aren't clicking with people. But hey, Rome wasn't built in a day, right? I'm keeping my spirits up, believing that something has got to work eventually. It's tough, though. If anyone has any ideas, please drop me an email. If you would like to support the project, please visit the new Support page.

HM Shop
We are open for business. ©HistoryMaps

Sun Feb 11 2024

HM Shop

Over the weekend I setup the Shop. The shop offers a collection of history-themed products, such as journals, paintings, apparel, mugs, digital artwork, etc. tailored for enthusiasts who appreciate the richness of History. The shop, an extension of the HistoryMaps website and brand, aims to sustain the project, so that we can create more content and features on the site.


Updates:

  • About page translated
  • Ask Herodotus page translated
  • Blog translated
  • Footer sections translated
  • Shop links added
  • Blog sorted with new stuff on top
  • Image Artwork updated
  • Advertising & Partnership pages added
  • site faster

Thu Feb 01 2024

Improving UX

UX Improvements:

  • Faster pages.
  • Menu/Table of Contents Improvement.
  • From Event pages, you can navigate to World History Timeline to see what was going on at that time.
  • From Story pages, you can navigate to Timeline Game.
  • Event pages show updated date.
  • World History Timeline now sorted by Year, Month, and Date.
  • Adjust font size for easy reading; layout is responsive.
  • Fixed a bug which prevented some pages from showing.
  • Videos now available for all.
  • Categories now in 57 languages.
  • Show/Hide Video.

Content:

Mon Jan 08 2024

New Year Update

HistoryMaps got a major update today. This deployment is about feature/content integration, localization, mobile and a BUNCH of design changes. I've been making all the pieces of the site connect and talk to each other, making them work in all languages and making sure they are available on mobile/tablet. This deployment is one week late, but I wanted to make sure everything was perfect before releasing this version. All these features are available on mobile and in 57 languages.

 

Integrations:

  • Find the cause/effect from an Event page.
  • Find books (if available) from Story/Event page(s).
  • Take a Quiz (if available) from Story page.
  • Navigate to Event (localized) page from World History Timeline.

 

Localization:

  • World History Timeline is now available for 57 languages.
  • Internal links navigate to localized (language) page(s).

 

Mobile:

  • World History Timeline now works on Mobile.
  • Optimized layout for Tablet.
  • Map Markers active on Mobile.

 

Other:

  • Site is faster!
  • QR code for Museums, orgs, etc.
  • Donate buttons.
  • Card Layout redesign.
  • Hundreds of design fixes. (I stopped counting).
  • Toolbar repositioned & updated with new buttons.
  • 5 HMs added: Israel, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia.
  • Added Subscribe Newsletter button on footer.
  • Story and images added, edited, and improved.
HM ❤️ Museums
©HistoryMaps

Tue Jan 02 2024

HM ❤️ Museums

Museums and organizations can now generate QR Codes from Story/Event pages which can be downloaded, printed, and displayed next to museum pieces or outside installations. By scanning these QR Codes, visitors can access HistoryMap content including maps, images, and videos in 57 languages, making it ideal for international guests.
2023 Year in Review
Wow! What a year! ©HistoryMaps

Sun Dec 31 2023

2023 Year in Review

This was a year of AI experiments, travel, and milestones.

I spent the early part of the year living and traveling around the Balkans, Turkey and Greece. I lived in Istanbul and Athens where I started to experiment with AI, integrating it in the tech stack, creating features with it and using it to create content (article and image generation). I spent the latter part of the year in Asia where I continued much the same.

The project achieved significant milestones. Traffic spiked in August when I translated the content to more languages and it spiked again in November when we reached 10,000 daily users. We got our 1 millionth user just this month. Among these achievements, the most fulfilling aspect has been the global reach of the site. HistoryMaps is read daily in 57 languages from all over the world (94% global reach).

However, with increasing traffic comes substantial rise in operational costs. The project is at a stage in its journey where it's necessary to choose which path to follow next. Thank you for your support so far.

Wed Dec 20 2023

Future of HM

For the last three years, I have fully focused on and funded the HistoryMaps project entirely on my own. The site doesn't generate revenue and it has received hardly any donations. Soon, I will make important decisions regarding the project's future path.
Thank You
1 million users! ©HistoryMaps

Mon Dec 18 2023

Thank You

HistoryMaps welcomes its 1 millionth user today! Thank you for joining us on this incredible journey. Here's to making history together.
Content
Dawn of writing in Ancient Babylon. ©HistoryMaps

Fri Dec 01 2023

Content

Will focus on adding content for the month of December. Also relearning After Effects so that I can soon create long-form historical video content next year. Visual Learning is the best.

Fri Nov 24 2023

More Languages

Added 15 more languages to HM: Punjabi, Marathi, Tamil, Swahili, Hausa, Burmese, Kazakh, Pashto, Khmer, Kyrgyz, Azerbaijan, Tajik, Lao, Mongolian, Albanian, and Georgian.
Home
undefined ©HistoryMaps

Wed Nov 22 2023

Home

Expeditio finita est! I've been on the road for over a year and it was time to go home. This was one of the longest expeditions I've done, but it was the first time where travel was inspiring the writing and vice-versa. Hanging my traveler's hat and just enjoying not moving for awhile.
Tokyo
Ahhh! Finally back. ©HistoryMaps

Tue Nov 14 2023

Tokyo

undefined
Video Content
©HistoryMaps

Fri Nov 10 2023

Video Content

I've been making Youtube Shorts called One-Minute History: You can learn a lot in one minute. I will use the experience from these experiments to create longer form content. Stay tuned.

Kyoto
Time to visit some favorite nooks. ©HistoryMaps

Wed Nov 01 2023

Kyoto

Visiting Japan for 3 weeks. First stop Kyoto. I lived in Kyoto a few years ago and its like coming home. I'll visit favorite haunts as well as some new ones. Been creating digital art lately for the website using AI. It's still hit or miss but when it hits, its amazing!
Seoul
Gyeongbokgung Palace. ©Anonymous

Wed Oct 25 2023

Seoul

Visiting Seoul for a week. The last time I was here was 2015. It was due time. Visiting the National Museum of Korea, seeing the fall colors, and eating lots of Samgyeopsal. Updating the History of Korea as well.

Taipei
101 ©Anonymous

Wed Oct 18 2023

Taipei

Visiting Taipei for a week. I've been coming to Taipei for more than 10 years, but I haven't been back recently. I wonder if anything changed.
Quiz Time
Arab scholar in the House of Wisdom. ©HistoryMaps

Sun Oct 01 2023

Quiz Time

Just finished Quiz Time. Quiz yourself (or your students) on what you just learned on HistoryMaps. If this feature becomes a hit, then I will develop it further into its own platform where users can create their own quizzes about anything. Pls. let me know if you like it.

Sat Sep 30 2023

Accessibility for Blind and Visually-Impaired Users

It's my goal to make this site accessible to everyone, including blind and visually-impared users. I have optimised and will continue to optimize the site toward this end. If there are any accessibility issues, pls. reach out.
Southeast Asia
Woman from the Kingdom of Lanna. ©HistoryMaps

Tue Sep 26 2023

Southeast Asia

I've been completing work on the History of Indochina: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos. The History of this region is a rich narrative of the rise and fall of empires, shifting balances of power, and shared cultural and political influences that extend to this day. It has a wide range of characters, from the Khmers of Cambodia, the Burmese Toungoo Empire, the Siamese kingdoms of Thailand, the Laos's Kingdom of Lan Xang, to Vietnam's ancient dynasties. The introduction of Hinduism and Buddhism, invasions from China and the Mongols, colonization by Western countries, and Cold War conflicts between the United States and Soviet Union all contribute to a complex story that includes both glorious and tragic chapters. It's a worthy read. 🇹🇭🇻🇳🇰🇭🇱🇦🇲🇲

Fri Sep 15 2023

Experiments with Content

I've been thinking about adding new content types on HistoryMaps. This would include creating videos, articles, and infographics designed to address topics that are currently underrepresented, such as economic, military, and cultural history.

The idea is to produce long-form articles that could be adapted into video content, as well as infographics like charts, maps, and illustrations. This would enrich the overall content offering.

I've already conducted some preliminary experiments to implement these new content types at scale without compromising quality. The main roadblock at this stage is time, as my schedule is already fully booked developing HistoryMaps content, experimenting new site features, optimizing for SEO, and focusing on marketing efforts.

I'm considering the possibility of hiring freelancers to accelerate these new initiatives. However, this would require a substantial investment in both time and other resources. I'm torn between jumping in now and risking spreading myself too thin, or waiting for a more opportune moment when the website's traffic and financial stability are at satisfactory levels.

I have countless content ideas and forming a dedicated team seems inevitable in the long term. Ultimately, the question isn't if I should expand, but rather when. I would like to get in a position where all the production is handled by others while I do what I do best, imagineering.

R&R
The Trung Sisters. ©Anonymous

Sun Sep 10 2023

R&R

It's been a great 3-week break in Thailand so far: enjoying delicious food and smiles. I just wrapped up the History of Vietnam — it took a whole week to complete. The good news is that last month's optimizations are working; traffic has increased. It's rewarding to see all of the content (including World Timeline & Time Machine) read globally in 42 languages. Bad news is that costs have gone up and the site generates no revenue; this is a self-funded project. I need to figure out how to make the site self-sufficient, but that's a problem for another day.

Thailand
Northern Thailand. ©Anonymous

Sun Aug 20 2023

Thailand

I was having coffee in Bucharest one day and accepted that I was tired. I've been traveling in Europe since last October and the constant movement has been taxing. I need to go back somewhere familiar. Thailand is like a second home to me and I instinctively go there when I need to rest. Spending a few days in Bangkok before heading to Chiang Mai where I will spend a couple of months eating good food, working on more experiments and adding more content (especially on Southeast Asia).

Romania
Caru Cu Bere, a fabulous old cafe in Bucharest. ©Anonymous

Thu Aug 17 2023

Romania

In Bucharest to write about History of Romania. I was here 5 years ago and the plan this time is to visit some new places like Cluj-Napoja as well as revisit old favorites like Brasov and Sibiu. Although, to be honest, I'm getting tired. I long for familiar places.

Black Sea
Nessebar, Bulgaria ©Anonymous

Mon Aug 14 2023

Black Sea

Finally, I saw the Black Sea.
Veliko Tarnovo
Tsarevets Fortress ©Anonymous

Fri Aug 11 2023

Veliko Tarnovo

I've wanted to visit this Veliko Tarnovo since it was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. The old fortified city was breathtaking.

42 Languages
HistoryMaps is now available in 42 Languages. ©Anonymous

Tue Aug 01 2023

42 Languages

HistoryMaps is now available in 42 languages. It is also available with 26 voices (for those who like to listen to the Histories).
History Shelf
undefined ©HistoryMaps

Thu Jul 20 2023

History Shelf

History Shelf is Goodreads for History lovers. It's super easy and quick to make a History Shelf on any historical topic.

Bulgaria
Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe. ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).

Tue Jul 11 2023

Bulgaria

Sad to leave Athens and Greece. I'll be resting in nearby Bulgaria for a month. Will be writing content on the History of Bulgaria, First Bulgarian Empire, Second Bulgarian Empire and optimizing the site.

Today in History
The Defence of Rorke's Drift. ©Alphonse de Neuville

Thu Jun 29 2023

Today in History

Today in History - Some notable historical events that happened today.

Hero Sensei
Hero(dotus) Sensei Educational App. ©HistoryMaps

Wed Jun 21 2023

Hero Sensei

Thinking about building an AI-powered Educational App (for the History domain) using Langchain + LLMs. Conversational memory allows it to remember where you left off on the course. Lessons are supplemented with media resources (image, video, audio, etc) supplied by agents and interactive widgets for engaging lessons (maps, puzzles, games, etc). Text-to-speech and Speech-to-text technology allows for hands-free learning and interaction. It can have those dreaded 'surprise quizzes' to frighten the next generation of students.

  • Accurate: you can choose textbook or source for the knowledge base
  • Conversational: Teacher will be a conversational chatbot with long-term memory
  • Interactive: Q&A, back-and-forth discussions, quizzes, exams, reviews
  • Visual: lessons will include image, video, etc
  • Modal: web/mobile
  • Aural: text-to-speech, and speech-to-text
  • International: available in multiple languages
  • Gamified: It will be fun and engaging
  • Stochastic: surprise quizzes, choose your own adventure, improvisation, etc
  • Social: Interact with other students
  • Whitelabel: Teachers and Institutions can customize their own curriculum.
HistoryGraph
Egyptian Recruits Crossing the Desert by Jean-Léon Gérôme. ©Jean-Léon Gérôme

Mon Jun 19 2023

HistoryGraph

Histograph - Cause & Effect Graph. Enter a historical event (economic history or otherwise) and it will return a list of effects this event caused. You can then click on each event to see its cause, and so forth.

Tue May 30 2023

StoryTeller Mode

HistoryMaps can now be read in 26 (language) voices. Just click the icon on the top right on the header to turn it on/off.
Athens
Athens at Night. ©Anonymous

Tue May 16 2023

Athens

Back in Athens for a couple of months. Writing several HistoryMaps about Greece and the Balkans here, as well as doing several AI experiments.
Syros
Syros, Greece. ©Anonymous

Tue May 09 2023

Syros

Getting Island-hopping fatigue although this is a good island to rest for a week before settling in for a few months rest in Athens. The view from Ano Syros is breathtaking.
Paros
Naoussa, Paros, Greece. ©Anonymous

Sat May 06 2023

Paros

I ❤️ this island.
Cyclades
Maze-like streets in Naxos, Greece. ©Anonymous

Tue May 02 2023

Cyclades

Took an early flight to Naxos. As soon as I landed, I took a cab to my hotel, changed and then walked a few meters and planted myself on the beach. Time to relax in the Cyclades.
Rodos
Elafos and Elafina at Mandraki Harbor in Rhodes, Greece. ©Kostas Bouk

Sun Apr 23 2023

Rodos

In Rodos for a week researching the Siege of Rhodes while doing one of my favorite travel activities: exploring castles.

Ask Herodotus
Ask Herodotus, AI Chatbot ©HistoryMaps

Sat Apr 22 2023

Ask Herodotus

Do you have a question about History? Ask Herodotus is a History AI Chatbot that answers and provides resources on History.

Patmos
Skala, Patmos, Greece. ©Anonymous

Fri Apr 21 2023

Patmos

Most people come to see the Cave of the Apocalypse. But I really like this quiet Dodecanese island for its good fish, good wine, and its good breeze.
Comparative History
Pollice Verso (Thumbs Down) ©Jean-Léon Gérôme

Thu Apr 20 2023

Comparative History

What was happening in Asia during the European Migration Period? What was happening around the world at a certain time in History? Seeing historical events visually on a timeline and map is intuitive and engaging. World History Timeline is a good way to explore Comparative History.

Pythagoras
Pythagoreio, Samos, Greece. They tell me a person in this town knew a little something about Geometry. ©Anonymous

Tue Apr 18 2023

Pythagoras

I was inspired to write about the History of Mathematics here.

Greek Islands
Kokkari, Samos, Greece ©Anonymous

Fri Apr 14 2023

Greek Islands

After my Anatolian Adventure, it is time for sun and some hedonism. Will be touring the Greek Islands for a month.
Kusadasi
Ruins at Ephesus ©Anonymous

Fri Apr 07 2023

Kusadasi

Spending a week to Kusadasi, to relax, to visit the ruins of Ephesus, and to prepare for Greece.
Izmir
Izmir, Istanbul ©Anonymous

Tue Apr 04 2023

Izmir

Rounding off the Turkish Riviera. Looking forward to the Greek isles soon.
Knight's Invitation
Bodrum Castle. ©Anonymous

Fri Mar 31 2023

Knight's Invitation

Knights of Malta began construction of Bodrum Castle in 1404. Came here to find clues of the Order's secrets.

Antalya
Antalya, Istanbul ©Anonymous

Mon Mar 27 2023

Antalya

Spending time on the Anatolian Riviera.
Of Sufis and Dervishes
Dervishes. ©Ulf Svane

Thu Mar 23 2023

Of Sufis and Dervishes

Came to see the dervish dance.
Ankara
Ankara Castle. ©Anonymous

Mon Mar 20 2023

Ankara

Spent my time in Ankara climbing up to the Castle.
Bursa
Koza Han, Bursa ©Anonymous

Thu Mar 16 2023

Bursa

After a month stay in Istanbul, I started my Anatolian Adventure in Bursa, the old capital of the Ottoman Empire. Visiting some famous tombs, mosques and drinking chai at the iconic Caravanserais here.
Crossroads of the World
Istanbul ©Anonymous

Tue Feb 14 2023

Crossroads of the World

Istanbul has been on my bucket list of cities to live for awhile. Amid its towering minarets and bustling bazaars, each corner of Istanbul unfolds like a page from an ancient manuscript, revealing layers of its storied past. Since I planned a month-long Anatolian Expedition (inspired by Seljuks, Ottomans, and Crusaders), this was a perfect time to live in this historic city. I plan on creating several HistoryMaps focused on Turkiye, as well as an epic narrative dedicated to the Ottoman Empire.

Montenegro
Montenegro is still a relatively undiscovered gem. ©Anonymous

Fri Jan 13 2023

Montenegro

After spending Christmas and New Year in my cozy apartment in Split, I ventured south along the Adriatic - to a quiet coastal Montenegrin town where the wine is good and the fish is delicious.

Sat Dec 31 2022

2022 Year in Review

2022 has been full of experiments, content, features and UX improvements. The website has changed a lot. Some features were added and then taken out. Content was created, improved, and was translated to 8 other languages. This year marked the first time I've combined travelling with this project. It's adds a level of depth, enjoyness and meaning. Hoping 2023 will bring more inspiration and adventures.
Labyrinth
The Split Maze. ©Anonymous

Fri Dec 30 2022

Labyrinth

It's been great to recharge with the sunny sea a few steps away and quiet lanes (low season) to explore. Just launched both iOS and Android Apps of HistoryMaps.
En Passant Croatia
Escaping the Polish Winter. The boardwalk is great to clear the mind. ©Anonymous

Sun Dec 18 2022

En Passant Croatia

I've had my fill of Poland's icy squares so I traded them for Croatia's sunlit tiles. I rented a nice apartment tucked away in the mazelike alleys of the old town, just a few quadrants from Diocletian's Palace.
Polish Gambit
Wawel Castle in White. One of my favorite breweries is next to it. ©Anonymous

Tue Nov 15 2022

Polish Gambit

A month ago, I started working on new content and features for HistoryMaps. A few weeks ago, I published the History of Poland. A few days ago, someone kindly offered the use of their translation API (neural network-based and written in Rust) to translate the content to different languages. Today, HistoryMaps is available in 8 differen't languages.

Paris
Cafes in Paris are always good places to make life decisions. ©Anonymous

Sun Oct 16 2022

Paris

The expedition starts next week, but the opening move remains undecided. I was rifling through a old travel guide in a café in Le Marais. I saw some inspiring images of Poland covered in snow (I've been there before but never in winter). On a whim, I booked a flight to Krakow. The rest of day was spent finishing my coffee.

Mon Mar 01 2021

Tabula Rasa

The HistoryMaps Project is now live! Just some timelines and a map but its a start. This blog section will showcase updates, news, as well as the lands I travel to which inspire the stories.