About us

TimeMaps: Atlas and Encylopedia of World History

The TimeMap of World History is a comprehensive atlas and encyclopedia of world history. It contains over 650 maps and 1,000 pages of supporting text. It is designed to be easy to navigate, through both time and space.

The TimeMap pays attention to the byways as well as the highways of history. It is structured to make the complex mesh of history accessible and comprehensible. It will continue to grow as we add more content. Please sign up to our newsletter for news of updates.

Company History

We have been producing history education software for a combined total of over 70 years! Peter Britton (who claims 24 of these years) spearheads the team of history teachers, professional history writers, cartographers, copywriters, designers and digital media professionals. Some of his colleagues might go as far to say he is a historic relic himself!

Peter’s interest in history was sparked at an early age. Growing up in Nigeria meant that he spent a lot of his youth in Kano and other wonderful cities which hadn’t changed much since the Middle Ages. Making regular trips back and forth between modern, industrial London and these medieval cities felt like changing historical eras as well as places. He believes that it was the dramatic contrasts he encountered which built in him an abiding interest in history. As a youth he became fascinated by ancient civilizations, especially the Greeks, Ancient Chinese, Indian and, in particular, the Romans.

Before producing history software, Peter studied history at undergraduate and post-graduate level at Durham University, one of the leading academic institutions in the UK, where Peter is now a visiting fellow at St John’s College and an associate of Ustinov College. After teaching history and being an educational librarian for some years, he founded Appian Way Software in 1988. This specialised in publishing history education resources for UK schools – which at the time meant there were beeps and load screens galore!

In 1999, with many successful titles under its belt, such as the Data 100 series, which gave students access to primary historical sources on a large range of topics, Appian Way merged with Actis Ltd – one of the largest educational publishing companies in the UK at the time. Peter became Actis’ CEO.

Leading such a company as Actis was a great experience, but it moved Peter far away from his first love, history. After 5 years, he left to move back into history publishing and in 2007 founded TimeMaps. This new direction was based on a rising awareness that there was a growing dearth of resources that actually tried to build historical knowledge and understanding, rather than just skills.

TimeMaps is a father-son business. In 2008, Jonny joined his father after graduating with an MA in Landscape Management from the University of Manchester. His love of maps and digital technologies put him in a great position to lead the technical role in the business.

Why TimeMaps?

The “Time-Map” concept was originally conceived to offer a visual framework for history topics. A map combined with a timeline lets users see where an event is happening, both in time and space. It gives them a panoramic view of change over time, and so allows them to understand causes and effects of historical episodes much more easily. With this aim, the hugely ambitious TimeMap of World History was created which offers the full spectrum of human history, calling in at each civilization, nation and empire.

Through working closely with history teachers, the maps developed far beyond their original concepts and the Timemaps Apps branched off on their own. With the inclusion of layers of information, timelines, images, animations and worksheets, they moved beyond visual overviews into rich depth-study guides that easily show complex interactions and internal dynamics very effectively.