(ARCA) Site Analysis

September 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Three websites were chosen for brief assessment. These are the ‘Atlas of New South Wales’, ‘Queensland Historical Atlas’, and ‘ABC’s Gallipoli: The First Day’.

The Atlas of New South Wales covers topics within NSW (Economy, Elections, Environment, History, People, and Census’). It provides a series of articles about certain topics with the occasional media image. Unfortunately there are no authors attributed to these articles. These are very introductory to NSW, however, contain concise knowledge of certain topics. Site navigation is primarily achieved by navigating the topic hierarchy. There are no navigation metaphors for other mediums such as media. The sites one saviour is the Atlas Explorer which helps contextualise topic information and is especially fun and easy to explore and navigate with. This however does not cover the fact that direct articles can only be found by drilling down categories or via search, as the site does not facilitate the free, casual, exploration of articles.

The Queensland Historical Atlas provides information on Queensland’s histories, cultures and lanscapes. It shows off cultural items and historic documents. The site has a high update rate, a large number of articles that are sufficiently supplemented with images (almost like a curated museum). The site is fairly structured and quite easy to navigate. There are also good areas on the home page allowing for free exploration (from banners, recent content, to random selections). Their is also a more personal touch to the site, with authors and contributors being a part of the site.

ABC’s Gallipoli: The First Day is “An ABC 3D documentary site about WW1 ANZAC landing at Gallipoli on (and after) 25 April 1915”. It promises to provide new insight into Gallipoli: The First Day, by representing it in the context of it’s terrain. A goal it certainly achieves through 3d maps and animations amongst an extremely educational and immersive multi-media experience. The ability to download the entire site as an application also adds to its function. It is extremely easy to navigate and use through it’s multiple concise site-maps. It has the ability to suit the audience as an exploratory or searchable interactive experience, and is beneficially framed by the event-based narrative it tells.

Comparing these three sites, the Queensland Historical Atlas and the Atlas of New South Wales attempt to provide similar topics from an ‘article-like’ standpoint. Though NSW has the Atlas Explorer, Queensland facilitates the free exploration of information with its’ various entry points and (relative) abundance of media. The Queensland site also has more respectable articles, and is more focused on historic and cultural items. The ABC site ‘Gallipoli: The First Day’ is a truly immersive multi-media experience, extremely easy to navigate across its multiple, concise, site-maps. The experience and interface it provides is aided by the relatively narrower focus on it’s narrative.

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