The Heurist Team’s involvement in the Roehampton Campus Project shows the speed and ease with which a fully-functioning website can be created as a front-end to a Heurist database.
(See the original News item here.)
The Roehampton Campus Project database was the result of a grant to the Department of Humanities, University of Roehampton, London for ‘Using the University Campus as a Learning Resource in the Humanities’.
The project was led by Dr Charlotte Behr, Reader in Roman and Early Medieval History and project managed by Dr Sonya Nevin, Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Humanities.
The database was set-up to help the collage’s students explore the campus, using its buildings and art works, landscape features and religious sites, archival and image collections to research its architectural history, classical allusions and religious links.
The result of the project were stored within a Heurist database linked to a Zotero library.
To make the information available to the University staff and the public via a web site, the Department secured the assistance of the Heurist Team.
The Heurist Team set up a server for the website and installed WordPress on this. The choice of WordPress was based on the fact that it is a free, publicly available platform for creating websites, and provides a wealth of tools and plugins for customizing the site.
They then set up the website, structured its layout, added the main text and graphics and added the scripts to populate the site pages.
All this was done within three days.
The Roehamption campus data is stored in nine topic pages, which are linked from the site’s front page. To each topic, the Heurist Team added three short scripts, quickly generated from within Heurist, as follows:
Script One: Show map details
<code><iframe src="http://188.8.131.52/h3/viewers/map/showMapS.html?ver=1&w=all&stype=&db=Roehampton_Campus_Project&label=All%20records&q=f:196:5222 sortby:rt owner:1" width="800" height="650" frameborder="0"></iframe> </code>
This script creates an interactive map and timeline based on the data in the topic records.
Script Two: Present a Search option
<a href="http://184.108.40.206/h3/search/search.html?w=all&ver=1 &q=f:196:5222 sortby:rt owner:1 &layout=srch:i-i|nav:|app:,Map&db=Roehampton_Campus_Project" target="_blank">Heurist database search</a>
This script presents a search query that opens the results within the database, allowing the user to search the database directly.
Script Three: Display the results
This (Smarty) script pulls in the topic report data and maps from the underlying Heurist database.
Following the successful and rapid implementation of the Web site, the coordinator of the project, Dr. Sonya Nevin, congratulated the Heurist Team with the following email:
A huge Thank-You to you and the rest of the team for your work on the Roehampton Campus Project page!
The page looks great. It’s inviting and visually interesting straightaway. The lay-out looks user-friendly, and the functionality means it really is user-friendly – perfect combination.
It’s going to make a really big difference to the students taking the campus project course. Having the disparate data brought together and made searchable in this way will really open up their research options and hopefully inspire them a bit too. Gradually it will become something everyone on campus can make use of, and again, the easy-to-use interface means that even the tech-shy can will be tempted and able to use it to find out some of the amazing stories from the world around them which have hitherto been hard to access.
The campus project students will have some Heurist training and plenty of chance to experiment with using it, first to search, then to arrange data. The software is a great example of digital humanities and hopefully it will inform a pro-digital mind-set that will stay with them throughout their future careers.
We will certainly be encouraging other campus project developers to develop with Heurist.
Thanks again for your hard work and for making something so well-suited to its purpose,
with best wishes,
Sonya and Charlotte,
Roehampton Campus Project.