On the topic of projects
Water Footprint Calculator for NatGeo!
by Robert Zimmerman
posted: August 5, 2010
One of the more challanging projects we've ever taken on, The Water Footprint Calculator for National Geographic took us about one month to complete start to finish. There are hundreds of drawings involved and hundreds upon hundreds of lines of javascript that run the show.

The data was provided to us by NatGeo, so fortunately we didn't have to do all the research for this as well. It was a huge project, but you can take the survey in less than two minutes. We sort of felt like the cooks who spend weeks preparing a Thanksgiving dinner that will be gobbled up in three minutes!

The entire thing is written in javascript. It's wild!

Below are some screen shots.


Part of the calculation we had to make is based on a persons zip code. NatGeo provided the data that we could grab off their server for average water use in different regions of the country.




As you adjust your spending habits down for clothes purchases, the duck undresses!


As you adjust your spending habits down for furniture purchases, the room gets less populated with stuff!


Space Junk Quiz for NatGeo!
by Robert Zimmerman
posted: June 19, 2010
The good people at National Geographic apparently thought we did such a bang-up job on our first interactive quiz for them, that they gave us another assignment. This one is based on your knowledge of Space Junk.

As we did on the first assignment with NatGeo, the entire quiz is written in javascript. Indeed, a much faster and eaiser way to go than producing this the way we used to do using Flash.


One of the things that Nat Geo is trying to accomplish here is to encourage people to post their scores to Facebook. We've written all of this into the script - so if you take the quiz, make sure to check out our nifty bit of code that pushes your result to the Facebok Connect application.

No sooner had we finished this, than Nat Geo was on the horn again for another one! Woo Hoo! The one we are working on now is much more complex, with a hefty supply of animation and interactive elements. It will go live in July, 2010 and the summary will get posted here in the bug lab.




National Geographic Interactive!
by Bug Logic
posted: April 20, 2010
Got sleep? National Geographic gave us the call recently to program an online survey based on just that question. One week deadline!

What NatGeo wanted: Ten illustrated questions. Four possible answers for each question. Four final results based on how the ten questions were answered. Finally, choose one of four faces that you post to Facebook.

Here's a link to the final result.

For this assignment, I had to pull out some dusty illustration skills (such as they are), which I hadn't put to use in nearly nine years. While struggling with the doodles for this interactive, it occured to me that what I'd really like to be doing to is collaborating with an illustrator to make this project really pop. It's something to think about for the next interactive we're asked to do. Cool javascript written right here, illustrations from somebody that really makes the final project solid.

Details for Dorks

In the past, we did interactives such as this exclusively in Flash. For this one, we programmed the entire interactive in javascript and for certain, this will be the way we handle these sorts of projects going forward. It was faster to deploy, and at the end of the day, it looks better than having to reply on a Flash player. Not only that, it runs on hand-held devices, which Flash currently can not.

Getting our final code delivered to the National Geographic server provided an interesting look under the hood of this major site, which AdWeek recently named as website of the year. We were provided with access to the NatGeo CMS (content management system), which allowed us to simply paste our full code straight into and text field, save and then view. Having designed and delivered CMS system for the last nine years or so, it wasn't exactly the most intuative or elegant interface, but at the end of the day, it worked and that's all that really matters, one supposes...




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