I’ve updated my Warhammer 40k map to finally fulfil the purpose I created it for: to display a timeline of events that occurred during and lead to the Horus Heresy.

The map can still be used to see all the planets and regions within the galaxy at the time, but now it has a timeline mode so that you can track people across the galaxy, seeing where they moved to and when.

screenshot of an interactive map set in the warhammer 40,000 universe that shows a timeline of events during and leading to the horus heresy
Screenshot of an interactive map showing the events of the Horus Heresy

Timeline Mode

screenshot of the timeline feature on the horus heresy interactive map project
Timeline feature

The largest change in the map is the addition of timeline mode. This feature uses the leaflet plugin Playback and is activated by a button in the top-left of the map.

Timeline mode changes the appearance of the map slightly, removing access to some of the layers and icons, and added new ones. It also adds a new interface that allows you to move through the events between the years 750.M30 to 014.M31.

Pressing play is probably the best way to move through the timeline, pausing as needed so that you can take in where everyone is. There is also a slider if you want to move to a specific point in time.

By default, you can scroll through all of the important participants (around 120) but I’ve added some options to limit this number if you’re after watching a particular group move through the years.

At the bottom of the interface it will also tell you what year is currently being shown on the map, and any important battles that occurred during this time.


screenshot of the coordinates feature on the horus heresy interactive map project
Coordinates feature

You can now see the coordinates that your mouse is pointing to in the bottom-right corner of the screen, between the compass and the minimap.

I’ve had this feature for a while as it helps me with marker placement, but I thought I’d make it a public feature.

Sidebar Changes

I’ve expanded the information within the sidebar too; adding more help text, a better description of the map, and a new section for other projects that are either similar to mine, or are taking inspiration from it.

Next Steps

I don’t think I want to add any new features to the project as it does what I wanted it to do. Having said that, there are some improvements I’d like to make.

I do think that the Playback plugin is not 100% perfect for my map and I’d like to fix some of the issues that I’ve spotted.

Firstly, there are times when icons are invisible, either because they don’t appear until later in the time period, or because they have no further involvement. Even though these icons aren’t currently visible, they can still be hovered over and if there are any icons underneath this, you won’t be able to interact with them.

In a similar vein, sometimes the timeline icons need to be on top of each other because several people are on the same planet at the same time. I’d like for there to be some way of offsetting each icon when this happens so that you can see everyone who is in the same place at the same time.

In general terms I’d like to improve the speed at which the map and its features load. Also, perhaps some sort of simplification of the user interface (there are a lot of icons and moving parts that make the screen quite busy).

Have I Missed Anything?

If you spot something that is incorrect or needs updating, or perhaps I’ve missed a really important event during the Heresy, please do let me know in the comments below.

Previous Incarnations

To see the progress I’ve made over the years and how the map has changed, please review the version 1, version 2, version 2.1, version 3, version 4 and version 5 directories.