søndag den 21. juni 2009

Not really the Ten Commandments, but...

Det er svært at forstå at så mange elendige løsninger får lov at leve så længe ...

It's hard to understand the reasons why so many crappy solutions still sit around ... Will todays eye openers be tomorrows new crap?


Throughout this blog I'll commend or criticize based on a number of factors:

1. Overall look and feel of the site

- Does it look pleasing to the eye or more like a dog's breakfast?
- Do the colors actually blend and match well or have they been put together by the same person in your office who also works on the flattening divisor defining a WGS-84 projection?
- Does it share the same common threads, values, color schemes, etc. as the corporate image? Or are you a one-off renegade department that has always wanted to stick-it-to-the-man by having your own identity? And if so, does it work?

2. Overall purpose of the site

- Is this a GIS website because your boss told you that "our department needs one"?

- Is this a GIS website because your ESRI Account Manager sold you on ArcIMS 10 years ago?
- Does it actually serve a purpose? Is there something beyond the simple point, click and “hey look - there's my house!!!” or “oooh… aerial photos”?

3. Data

- Is this 100% of your own data or are you also jumping on the bandwagon and using Google Maps? That’s fine – but is it more than just pin pricks on a map?

- Anyway to download / consume the data in any other way? Any instructions for that?
- Metadata? Ever heard of it?

4. Usability of the site

- Who is the audience?
- If the general public, is there *good* online help to guide people through the site?

- If specialist GIS folk, is there *good*
online help to guide people through the site?
- Is it a typical pan/zoom/identify site or do you roll differently and make every user go to the help because you make the zoom buttons different ‘just to be different’
- Is this a web mapping site or a GIS site? Do you know the difference?

5. Geek entities:

- Do you mention what’s running in the backroom powering this site? Do you care? Some people do and scream from their soapbox and some people don’t. I like knowing what is behind the scenes just like any other GIS geek.

6. Speed / Reliability

- Suggestion from a comment and I was going to put this on (and did mention it Twitter) but forgot to blog it. Speed is a huge factor in GIS web applications. People want their maps and they want them now! Nothing I hate more than watching a demo at a conference and the map just grinding away. I think about the poor guy at the local County office on a slow pipe trying to squeeze their maps through the firewall ...

- Reliability is a big question as well - I've seen plenty a website throw up Java Script errors left, right and center. [...]

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