Site Launch: FireMapper

This past week and today the finishing touches were put on: Space Instruments’ website– The site design was done by Benecke Creative, and I did the underlying html, CSS and JavaScript. It’s got some nifty stuff on it. I particularly am proud of some of the mouseovers in areas like the Oil Spill Mapper and the FireMapper. It’s not terribly accessible code, but it does demonstrate nicely the features of their powerful sensing equipment. I did essentially no design work, other than advising Benecke Creative on what was feasible for mouseovers and navigational text.

Another cool thing, I’ve built the site using PHP, though you cannot really tell that based on the urls. With the powerful mod_rewrite capabilities in Apache (all on wonderful LAMP Host, of course), the site pivots through a few pages of PHP code, which gives me maximum flexibility to control the whole site in once place. Content files are placed in a subdirectory which the client can change using the most basic HTML possible. It’s not a full-blown content management system, but it’s simple, robust, and powerful.

There may be a few more changes to FireMapper in the near future, but they’ll largely be evolutionary. This site is a radical redesign of what came before, and it’s something to be proud of.

Tonight I was given a tour of some of the products showcased on the site, the GIS capabilities and sensing capabilities are remarkable. With the San Diego Fires still fresh in the memories of folks here, these products are relevant. The client indicated to me that their previous site had been inundated with traffic when the last fires hit, as people were searching for “San Diego Fires,” so much so that they got a huge bandwidth bill. We at LAMP Host are working on solutions to let people know when their sites will be approaching such limits, and give people options in that kind of an instance.

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