Project Reflection

My project is intended to be a website that incorporates maps and data to list the different public artworks from all over Australia. The part of the project that is being submitted is for the states of Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Western Australia (WA). Both are displayed in different formats and show off the different ways of displaying the information as well as what has been learned through this project. The ACT page is complete while the WA page is simply an example of another way of completing the project. The homepage is also complete and a full menu exists.

This project aims to be a comprehensive and easy to read website for the average heritage and art fanatic who wishes to explore the public art close to them. The website is also a reference point for those who have found a public art work and wish to know more about it.

The project taught me a lot about data entry, html coding, the use of tools such as CartoDB, Google Spreadsheets, Google Maps, WordPress and more. Once these tools had been successfully embedded into the page they worked well and I was very pleased with the result.

However getting to the point of success was difficult. The WordPress help page and forums became a constant guide for me. One example involves the attempt to insert tables into the ACT page. Without the purchase of plugins, the table had to be crafted from scratch. Eventually a website was found that could convert CSV into HTML code and then I was able to simply copy and paste the table into the page. However there was still some formatting issues. The description did not fit unless it was placed on its own line. I had to copy and paste code before and after each description to create the desired affect you will see on the ACT page.

Another problem involved the CartoDB map. When I copied and pasted the embed code provided by Carto, WordPress would only publish the link. Through the help pages and forums I was able to learn that WordPress and Carto actually work together so well that I didn’t need an embed code and could just copy and paste a link to the map and it would have the desired effect.

My biggest problem arose when I realised there were certain things I knew could be done that I couldn’t do because they would require me purchasing a plugin, domain or widget. If I wanted to do anything outside the free theme I had chosen, I either had to find the right code or find an alternative.

The project was a success. This project has taught me what I can do and how I can do it. Even though it is not there yet, it could be there in the future. The possibilities are almost endless and that makes it successful. On the other hand the project achieved what it aimed to achieve. It is slowly becoming an interactive and easy to use website that shows the user where all the public art is in Australia. Whilst being far from completion, I hope to continue this project into the future, combining the formats I have used for both WA and the ACT to complete the WA page, as well as the rest of the states.

 

Future Plans:

While unfortunately incomplete, the website has taught me enough about the tools required that I can go ahead and finish the website. I have also learned what I can achieve if I did purchase my own domain and plugins. At the moment at the bottom of the ACT and WA pages you should find a “return to top” link. This is a simple code I wrote into the HTML tab of the page. However if you purchase a certain plugin, you can insert a widget that allows a similar “return to top” button to scroll with you as you scroll down the page.

Another interesting tool would be one that allows you to link the map pointers to the relevant information. That way you could just click on the map pointer and it would display all the information below the map or take you to another page with all the information on it.

Another widget that I am interested in inserting into my website is one that allows the user to comment and contribute to the website. Currently on the “User Contribution” page you will find something along those lines. This is only the free version however, and the paid version is a lot more sophisticated. I chose to do the ACT page because it had the most amount of information out of all the states. However I wish to make it so that each artwork has an image attached and more information about the artist, origin and inspiration of the artwork.

I would like to learn more about online mapping software’s such as Google Maps. I want to be able to do more with the maps to the point where a person could simply click on the map and it would give them directions to the artwork. I am already exploring this and you can find an example of this through the “Bessie Rischbieth Statue” link on the WA page. Unfortunately, however, for the maps to work you need to be logged into a Google account. I would like to be able to access direction through Google maps without being having a Google account.

Also on the Bessie Rischbieth Statue page you will find that when you click on the blue marker it shows you all the information and a description. I am going to leave the basic information there and move the description and other information below, out of the map field. I think this will have a cleaner look.

I have really enjoyed this project and have learned a lot more than I expected. This project has been a very successful one and I am very proud of what has been achieved.

Please feel free to have a look: https://kathrynoerlemans.wordpress.com/

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