Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mapping Events

Putting together some agenda items for earlier, I came across the redesigned web page for AIA / Los Angeles. The layered interface is impressive for keeping a map (a terrain one, from Google Maps) of Los Angeles in the background. But it is not just for show, the map highlights relevant events geographically and by type (lecture, exhibition, conference, etc.), jumping around to highlight certain events and make the visitor aware of the map's interactivity; a click on an event stabilizes the map. Some screen shots:


According to the designers, Use All Five:
"We focused the new design on creating a navigation for the different types of AIA users (members, students, and people who want general information), and also put a large emphasis on the Los Angeles Architecture culture ... by building the site around mapping software, specifically the Google Map API ... [the] custom content management system ... allows the AIA Los Angeles committee to post events, articles, news, etc., as well as geocode these posts so they can be displayed accurately on the map."
Checking the site on the iPad, the map interface has some kinks to work out. It only works in map view (link at top of page) and the finger/thumb-pinch-zoom on the iPad wreaks havoc on it; after a few minutes I was left with a patchwork of different maps in a square grid with no relation to each other, quite confusing. Nevertheless for PC browsing the redesign is exemplary.