Greenspace Information for Greater London (GiGL) contracted Exegesis to redevelop their online spatial data portal. The primary aims were to:
- Update the underlying technology, to ensure long-term viability of the website.
- Refresh the design, aligning it with the new GiGL design standards and ensuring a seamless transition from their main site (in WordPress) to the mapping site (in mojoPortal).
- Simplify the mapping interface, making it accessible to a greater number of potential users.
- Have multiple versions of the web map, each displaying different suites of data.
We started the project with a discovery phase involving ESDM managers, developers and technical architects working alongside GiGL staff. The discovery phase explored the requirements and potential solutions, culminating in the development of approved interactive mock-ups that demonstrated the new design.
The new Discover London website was developed using Agile methods and followed the mock-ups and GiGL design standards. Significant difference between the old and new websites included:
- Radical simplication of the map controls, which decluttered the map and met modern expectations for online mapping.
- Use of expandable menus to hide more complex controls and information when not in use.
- Combined place name, postcode and grid reference search functionality that was previously separate.
- Grouping data into switchable themes, providing a much simpler view on related map data. We also ensured that it was possible to link directly to or embed individual themes.
- Removing the ability to turn individual layers on and off. Instead everything can be achieved by switching between themes, which ensures no overlapping data.
- Use of a different map projection, allowing GiGL to benefit from existing mapping services such as OpenStreetMap and Bing.
- Fully responsive design, allowing interaction with the online map via mobile devices.
Exegesis are continuing to support, maintain and develop the Discover London website for GiGL.
Further information from Mike Lush.