11 February, 2008

Spark08 Website: Ways of displaying information on-line

We've finally finished working on the Spark08.com [note that they've made big changes to it now] website for the World Firefighters Games. The idea of the site is to connect with a younger audience (7 – 16 yrs old) encouraging them to explore fire and rescue services across the world and the World Firefighters Games via four national curriculum subjects: History, Art, Geography and PE.

This was a big thing to attempt in the very small amount of time available and while the site is far from perfect I've appreciated the chance to explore various ways of displaying information using various free on-line services. Using these services you can very quickly display information in more appropriate ways, and I've explored how we've used some of them below.

Google Maps: To display information geographically (example)
While you can do very useful and clever mashups using data sources and Google Maps if you have the technical know-how, anyone can use Google Maps to display their information.

Log in using your Google account and click on the My Maps tab. From here you can choose 'Create new map' and easily add placemarks containing the information that makes more sense displayed geographically.

Flickr: For displaying and annotating photographs (example)
We've used Flickr to display a series of photos as a slide show, which also displays information about the photo.

You can create slideshows in Flickr by creating a new Set from the photographs that you've uploaded. When you've done this you can click on the 'View as slideshow' link and link people to the URL of this page so that they can see the slideshow.

Xtimeline: For displaying historical information (example)
This allows you to upload text and related images that are best displayed by date.

Not all of these would be useful for your projects, but they provide a simple alternative method of displaying information that might be more effective than just text. As always when using external services keep a copy of the resources on a computer that you know is backup up, so you cannot loose it all.

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