Using Aeon for an Industry History

Hi Everyone,

Brand new to Aeon here. Excited to start using in anger!

But, really want to use it to pull together my notes on history and relationships of/between market research, opinion polling, advertising, elections, propaganda… essentially the ‘political communication industry’

Forgive me if I am missing obvious as I am new but, can anyone help, I would like to use…

Entity = Company (advertising agency, market research firms, newspapers, news networks), NB company should be able to be part of a group, Political Party, University (certain universities were instrumental in the development of market research), State, Government Department (like Ministry of Information), Committee (eg Committee for Public Information (responsible for US propaganda in WW1), Technique (like random sampling), Media

Event = Company founded, company ended, company merged, company bought (want to include the evolution of the ‘Big 4’ global agency groups like WPP), Contract, Campaign

Relationship = Founder, Employee, Former Employee, Member (of committee), State (of company or government department, committee etc), Alumni (help track university). NB also keep family relationships.

Many thanks!

If I understand what you’re looking for correctly, you may be able to get some help from reading this article Timeline Settings - Aeon Timeline Knowledge Base skipping to the section on “Entity Types and Roles Settings.”

Aeon Timeline is customisable, so you can create a template to contain what you have mentioned above. This is done in Advanced Settings.

The above link that HarleyQ posted is from our older version of the app (version 2), here is the link for our current version: Advanced Settings - Aeon Timeline 3 Knowledge Base

It is not a problem to do this with Aoen.

Only problem will be if you want to add an entity to multiple parent entities, that is not possible.

Another thing is that under e.g. merging, you will of course need to create the new entity manually, with a new start data etc.

In the case of a merge, I would create one main event and 3 sub events… The main event would be the parent of 2 “end events” and one “start event”, that will make it easier to control the dates…
Then you add a relationship from the two company entities to its respective end event, and the new company related to the “start event”.

I am researching the Norwegian Mercantile Shipping in a given period, with more than 2000 ships, a few hundred shipping lines, an unmentionably number of seamen/sailors a few thousand harbors and cities etc.
Each journey is a multi-event event with a lot of relationships between a ship, multiple events, the crew, legal documents etc.

There is a lot of limitations in a project like that, but it is possible…

I will just recommend one thing before you start adding data, make yourself a template, create a dummy copy where you add 1-2 of each of your entities/events to see that the result is as you want it… and when you have got the setup correct, create a new template and a new dummy project…
When you see that it works you can add data either manually or you can add your data in a worksheet and then import it…

Don’t do large amount of data entries until you are sure it works as you want, because it is a huge job to change something if you got it wrong.

So e.g., start with creating a container entity for companies, that hold all your companies, then under that add a sub-container for each company, under that create a sub-container for owners, employees, legal external staff etc., create a sub container for documents and properties.
So, as you can see, start by creating a full hierarchy of entities BEFORE you start to add anything to your timeline…

I started in the middle and tried to add entities and other information’s on the go and ended up with a really big mess, even the projects I imported from Aeon 2, become huge a mess because of the changes in structure in AEON 3…

It is so easy to get a historical project basically wrong if it is started in the “wrong end”.

As time goes, you will most likely want to add even more advanced and detailed information, so plan for it already at the start… e.g. in what order text fields etc. will show.

There are no dates on relations, so if you want to have a list of employees with start and end dates for each individual person, you need to create one event for each and every employee that you add as a sub-event of the company “life” event and then make a relation to that event for each separate person… so this employed event will become the holder of any documents, agreements etc. of that individ.

Same with an owner, you cannot just create a relation “owner” and have a start/end on that relation, you will need to create an event for that ownership, relate the person to that event, and then make that event a sub-event of a main “lifespan” event for the company…

Most likely you will find yourself in need of duplicates, one or more entities, one event that is actually the timespan of that entity etc.

It can be a little difficult, and you will end up with a lot of properties and attributes, it is also important that you order those lists when creating them, because it will define in what order they are shown in e.g. the “inspector”.

You should also (this is a personal recommendation) create both a Source container with sub containers for your sources, and one source and one citation text field for any entities, and start using them from day one…
You should also link to any media for those sources and use fully qualified citation strings source names for those to it is double work, but it will make it easier for you to see the name of the different sources without clicking around.

There are a few things needed for a historical project, that is nearly impossible to do in Aeon 3 unless you are willing to make some really advanced workarounds…
e.g. multiple parents for an entity, timespan for a relation etc.

I hope you understand at least 10% of what I wrote… good luck.

Jaran, Jess and HarleyQ

Many many thanks! I was getting there but your pointers really helped! Especially Jaran, your project sound similar to mine and your advice to plan the data structure then test with a small sample is well received!

I will share my progress, it has to take place in the margin as I am busy with a contract in the Middle East and just starting a MA as well :wink:

Thank you for the supportive vibe as well!



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