For this assignment I decided to find a new website rather than go from one of the interactive sites that came to mind right away. After searching through the Webby awards and the European version (Lovie awards) thinking I would find the right thing, I eventually found this on delicious:

http://www.wikisky.org/

I’m all about science and art (science comes more naturally to me) so I love this website. This website has a very detailed and interactive map of the sky and space using pictures. Obviously many artists look to outer space, and its beauty is also easily recognized, but I love when the aesthetic beauty comes accidentally or as a byproduct of the science. I think this is an interesting choice because really they are tricking us with this interactive experience. Truly, it is entirely flat and static. It is only the way the pictures have been arranged and the experience has been thought out that it seems like such an immersed experience.

The application is pleasing because of its flexibility. The user has many difference options to begin their viewing experience. Some are more guided than others. Specific stats can be entered in, or the viewer can browse popular spaces. At each level, the magnification can be adjusted, so moving from a guided experience into more personal exploration flows naturally. Everything is labeled and sectioned off. What is important is easily spelled out, and secondary functions are not necessary for the whole experience. The previews are very helpful. It appeals to all ages and wide ranges of knowledge. I also love the fact that you can take screenshots and personalize the view to show certain layers.

The rest of the site is simple and doesn’t retract from the main focus, the interactive section. Also, just the fact that it is so large and takes up most of the page is visually appealing. Still, the cosmo patterns are mirrored in the design. An application like this is very important, especially in this modern age, because it serves a very important function. Mapping this information out visually adds so much value to the pictures. This is information and photos that otherwise would be much more inaccessible to people. Someone doing research could use this site with just as much ease as a college student just looking at pretty pictures online in their free time.┬áBy putting this out there in such a beautiful way it encourages people to care about something they might not otherwise.