www.nativemaps.org is an important and popular repository of news and best practices in GIS use for traditional knowledge mapping, training, methodology, and data. The site has increasingly included other topical areas, important news stories, and job postings. There has been an evolution in what information the AMN delivers, and this precipitated a re-thinking of how AMN information should be stored, accessed, updated, searched and presented. That's where MapsWest/GeoMemes came in.
In 2006 we proposed to enhance www.nativemaps.org in three main ways, by: (1) adding more interactivity and functionality; (2) giving it more sparkle; and (3) making the site easier to maintain. We redesigned the AMN portal using best of breed open source web design and web database software: we installed a dynamic page delivery system using a content management system (CMS). The completed site leverages the following open source web tools: Drupal (www.drupal.org), PHP (www.php.net), MySQL (www.mysql.com) to build the AMN CMS.
The original site (top left) was built and updated using Dreamweaver. The site had a confusing hierarchy of categories and more than 400 pieces of information (from one sentence notes to full PDF reports). For the completed site (top right) we migrated all 400+ pieces of information into MySQL. These nodes are now searchable, and easily modified using the Drupal CMS front end. As of February 2008 there are over 2800 nodes in the system and thousands of users.
2009 Update: the Aboriginal Mapping Network has had a face lift! This work was not done by MapsWest/GeoMemes. But we still love the site. Contact: Eliana Macdonald, Ecotrust