A while ago I tried visualizing all of Japan's many Prime Ministers on a Timeline using data from Wikipedia 2 and a Google Docs timeline gadget. It sort of worked, but was buggy... As I look at the page now, it does not work at all.

But when I saw Jay Rosen share a link to Timeline JS just now on Twitter, I thought I'd look back and see if I could have a second crack at a Prime Minister Timeline using the same data. This time things worked out better. Timeline JS has a very handy embed generator that plays nice with Google Docs, so it was only a matter of moving around my columns to match the TimelineJS Google Docs template, and Robert is yer father's brother 1.

This is one of the few third party visualization tools out there that really looks sharp. Here's embed code if you want to grab it.


  1. i.e. Bob's your uncle. 

  2. To scrape the data from Wikipedia, I used the function =ImportHtml("https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Prime_Ministers_of_Japan"; "table";3), which imports everything in the third HTML table on the page. From there, I created another sheet, and brought over the data I wanted to use, with the help of some concatenation and split functions.