"A technical feat. An incredibly small footprint and a wealth of gracefully considered content." —juror Kevin Farnham
"Organizing and delivering this huge amount of content for a tiny display is challenging enough, but to do it in several languages, Whew! I'd love to have this for every city I visit and the one where I live." —juror Lou Kinard
Overview: Culture Express provides Taipei's citizens and visitors with an easy way to access information on cultural events anywhere in the city. Updated monthly and optimized for quick downloads, the service is available to anyone with a Pocket-PC or Smartphone device.
• 565KB total file size
• PHP with MySQL backend
• Flash 6 interface
Comments by Digital Media Concept Corp:
"Mobile Culture Express, published by the Taipei City Government, is a monthly publication featuring cultural information. There are seven categories: Feature, Performance, Live Music, Visits & Strolls, Family Outing and Community, and it's available in three different languages. Our clients, Mon Jardin Publications and Urban Media, wanted to transfer the cultural information currently in print publication to PocketPCs and Smartphones so citizens and visitors could have anytime access to information regarding cultural events.
"Since the interface for mobile devices is vastly different from that of print publications, the original seven print categories were compiled into three. Users can plan different schedules on different modes: 'Category' duplicates the category index in the publication; 'Calendar' utilizes dates to design different indexes and schedules; and 'Map' uses locations to access different indexes and schedules, it also provides three levels of zoom-and-drag functionality.
"The publication's content is compiled into a database with a PHP application to switch the content to XML during monthly updates designed to allow people to receive up-to-date cultural information via Wi-Fi. There's also another PHP program to manage the mapping system that allows actual coordinates to switch by specifications that produce dynamic street names in Chinese and English. The map utilizes PHP to segment three layers of maps into different levels comprised of 15,000 small images. By calculating small images, load time is sped up and load interval time is shortened. In addition, by making the server do most of the work, the CPU is freed to execute jobs more fluently even at low-performance capacities.
"We developed this using a Standalone Flash Player; users can install the program over-the-air with Wi-Fi and it can be used on PocketPC's, compatible with Microsoft Windows Mobile Software, and Windows Smartphones. Once installation is complete, a 'Start Menu' and icons in application folders are created automatically and the program is fully operational."