Trellon developed the Pearl Harbor Survivors Project, an interactive web portal designed to capture the memories of those who served their country on December 7, 2006. Designed with the user in mind, the site features a number of interactive tools designed to go beyond the web browser and provide methods for users to share their stories without the need for a computer.
Challenge and Approach
The Pearl Harbor Survivor's Project is a complex web application featuring a variety of multimedia tools designed to bring the experience of that day's events home to users through first hand accounts of survivors and their families. Not everyone emerging from that battle could be expected to know how to operate complex interface, and a major challenge for the project was providing tools which would be accessible to everyone wishing to share their stories.
Trellon used the Drupal content management system as a platform from which to build an integrated system for sharing information that incorporated advanced Flash and VoiceXML services. Users are able to share test, pictures and audio online through interactive tools used to construct profiles of the people who were there. Survivors and their families can dial into an 866 number, which effiently transmits recorded phone calls to the site for inclusion as part of user profiles. Battle maps display the actual ships which were present in the harbor that day, which automatically link back to profiles of survivors stored in the system.
Scrapbooks, Profiles and Other Interactive Tools
Users of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Project are able to share surviror stories online through an intuitive system for managing text, audio and photos. Trellon developed a multistage profile wizard for managing profiles that allows users to store information about survivors, including name, rank, chapter of service, and other details about their military experience. Users are able to upload photos as part of their profile, which are presented through interactive photo galleries capable of displaying thumbnails and high resolution versions of images. Each profile then collects an extended narrative where users can detail their accounts of the event. These components come together to provide a personal scrapbook for each survivor.
Tell It Like It Was
Going to the web site is not the only way for survivors to share information through the site. In addition to other parts of their profile, survivors can dial into 866-PHSTORY to record their version of events over the phone. Trellon integrated Drupal with a Voice XML service that automatically posts new calls to the site, providing a simple method to publish audio as part of a user's profile. Trellon used Drupal's native workflow tools to provide methods for administrators to approve calls before publishing, giving them control over what is published and keeping this important tool free from abuse. As part of this project, Trellon implemented a number of open source tools for encoding and playback of received calls into formats which are commonly accessible through web browsers, removing the need for downloading external players.
You Are There
Trellon developed an interactive map of Pearl Harbor on the day of the attacks, constructed from shapefile data maintained by the Naval Archives. Each ship in harbor that day is present on the map in it's proper place, with profiles of ships corresponding to their actual class of vessel.
Part of what makes this tool a compelling feature is the fact it is integrated directly with the Drupal backend. Users are able to click on a ship to access the profiles of survivors who were on it when the attacks happened, giving more immediacy to the overall user experience. Information is transmitted between Flash and Drupal via an XML interface specific to the site, allowing information to flow freely and enabling the creative presentation of content. Users can also post new profiles through the map interface, allowing it to be deployed standalone in other contexts.
The site was launched around Veterans Day events and received national media attention from outlets including CNN, AP, Reuters, The Washington Post, FOX News, ABC News, Forbes, Fortune, Business Week, USA Today and over 80 other publications. Over 450 survivor profiles have been posted to date, from survivors and their families.