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Gabe Kean, lead designer
Seb Chevrel, programmer
Steve Denton, Archaeology Division, Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture, editor
Becca Bennett, Web Team, Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture, project manager
Shaine Gans/Carrie A. Lowe, Archaeology Division, Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture/
Laura Phillips/Ashley Verplank, researchers
Gabe Kean Design, project design and development
Archaeology Division, Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture/Education Division, Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture, Archaeology Division, Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture, clients

"A seemingly effortless blending of video and information design, and a staggering compendium of content delivered through a consistent interface." —juror Kevin Farnham

"Clean and simple, easy to navigate and chock-full of well organized information and tools. I really enjoyed exploring this site." —juror Diane Andolsek

Overview: This site tells the story of Seattle's West Point and the people who lived there nearly 4,000 years ago. By examining the area's ancient cultures, it connects users with the past and teaches them from the perspective of archaeologists.

• Interactive artifact filtering
• Timeline modeled on stratigraphic layers
• 1579 photos, 14 videos
• 6-person core team

Comments by Becca Bennett and Gabe Kean:
"Our goals for this project were to tell the story of the people and history while enabling the audience to explore the land area and dig site from an archaeological perspective.

"The content was intended for an audience that includes archaeologists as well as the general public; the problem was that technical data that interests archaeologists can be mind-numbingly boring to the average person. Our job was to get past that and make the site interesting for everyone.

"With the wide range of content types (video, still photos, maps, diagrams and text), our first goal was to create an interface that would effectively present it all, while showing the relationships between the time periods and the artifacts.

"We created an exploratory interface, with a storytelling engine that allowed for all of these content types and gave the museum the ability to control the order and timing. At any point, users can direct the experience themselves (helping them to understand the story from the viewpoint of an archaeologist) or follow a curated path that meanders through time and tells the story in the most logical way.

"There were quite a few challenges, but only a couple that stand out. Many of the archaeological concepts were difficult to translate into an interactive experience. There was constant interaction between the development team, the archaeologists and the Tribal Oversight Committee to make sure that the story of the land, peoples and artifacts were accurately portrayed. We also faced quite a few challenges generating and stylizing the maps. Satellite photos are not usually taken from directly above (not perpendicular to the ground anyway), which causes problems when trying to merge our GIS data with the satellite imagery.

"In the end, we think we created a good balance between a rich storytelling experience and a research tool."


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