The new web site is deceivingly simple and purposely minimalist. Kyle Miller and I picked the basic template over the summer, aiming for a googlishly-simple look. In the fall, Ben Lichtner engineered the inner workings to reflect the progress we had made with the PreserVenice and Bardolino web sites. Kristen Brann, a member of the WPI team in charge of coordinating the 25th Anniversary projects, worked with Kyle to revamp most of the original features in the 20th anniversary site, and, with Benny's assistance, added the new interactive components that make this site at least 10x better than the earlier one.
The Visualizations and Data menus on the 2.5 web site, as well as the Accomplishments and Accolades, all take advantage of the underlying real-time cloud technologies. Venipedia itself, despite its long history as our hyperlocal encyclopedia, is now mostly composed of pages generated in real-time from our backend City Knowledge Console, thanks to our custom-made wikipedia Firebase add-on. It's impossible for users to tell the difference between an auto-generated, data-driven wiki page and a "normal", manually-made Venipedia page.... Several of the Data (e.g. Bridges, under Infrastructure>Water) and Visualization pages on the VPC 2.5 web site share the exact same data as the Venipedia pages and all are set up to read changes in the underlying database in real-time. In essence, everything on the new 2.5 web site is designed to work in perpetuity. As the underlying data are updated, the web site and all related wiki pages and applications will reflect the new information immediately.
There is a lot more to say about the rich content of this anniversary web site, which I summarized in a recent presentation at WPI. Each of the menu items on this new web site is worthy of a full description and I will make sure I gradually expound on each of them in upcoming blog entries, now that WPI is on Spring break, and I am preparing to fly to Santa Fe to work on 6 new projects with a cadre of 23 WPI students until May.
Take some time to click around the VPC 2.5 site and stay tuned for more detailed posts about its numerous features!