After a heroic fifty thousand additional lines of code by our developers, we’re ready to announce the launch of the new Koordinates user interface! As we wrote several months ago, we’ve made regular upgrades to our user interface over the years. The general trend has been to simplify: cut tabs, cut buttons and make it easier for users to find, add and download the data they need.
Screnshot of the new Koordinates.com user interface
This latest upgrade is no different, as you can see. First, and most obvious, is the increased size of the search box. This might seem like a minor change, but as more and more data is added to Koordinates.com — and there will soon be a lot of data — we expect the search function to be the first port of call for users looking for datasets from around the web.
Also, in the old search box, you could search for dates and maps or you could search for addresses; in this search, we’ve lumped these functions together, to ensure that you’ll get all relevant search results.
Once you’ve entered your search term — Wellington, say — you’ll see that the list of results contains the same information (licence, views, date added, etc), but it looks a whole lot nicer. The old slim ‘add/remove’ button is now a fat ‘+ sign.
You can also expand this list — and turn off the map, which might be worthwhile for non-GIS datasets — by clicking the wee arrow to the side.
If you click through on your chosen dataset, you’ll find that the additional information — including its description, category and history — is more clearly displayed. It’s also easier to browse different forms of metadata. Also, if you want to share the datasets you’ve chosen, the generic ‘link’ symbol at the top will give you a shortened URL.
Regular users of the Koordinates site will also note that we’ve moved a few buttons around, and replaced some unnecessary text with symbols. For GIS users, the most important tools can be found in the top right: an ‘x’ to clear map layers; the crop button; a ‘selected items’ button that includes a drop down menu of your selected map layers; and finally, in the top right, a big download button, with the size of your current selection. From the ‘selected items’ drop-down menu, you can remove map layers and also change the transparency of your map layers.
We hope that this will make it nicer for experienced users, and also more intuitive for new users (of which there will be plenty in the months and years ahead).
We’ve also made some more fundamental changes under the hood. Simply put, we’d pushed the earlier version of Koordinates.com about as far as it could be pushed. With this new UI, we’ve upgraded to HTML5 and CSS3, which will help us make further tweaks and improvements in the months and years ahead.
It’s worth pointing out, though, that the new UI won’t support Internet Explorer 7, if that happens to be your browser of choice, and Internet Explorer 8 support is also less than other modern browsers.
So, that’s the new interface! There’s plenty more minor changes. We hope they add up to site that looks nice and is useable for everyone, including people who are accessing datasets for the first time.