Aerian Studios stepped in at the 11th hour and instantly understood the philosophy of the Domesday Reloaded project.
With alacrity, flexibility and professionalism they worked tirelessly to constantly shifting deliverables under two very different sets of conditions: the first, under the strict technical architecture of the BBC and the National Archives, a huge and popular website; the second, a bespoke interactive experience, conceived and designed to yet another suicidally tight deadline, which was met with universal acclaim inside and outside the industry.
Friendly, dedicated, and patient, Aerian seems to me a top class setup.
Domesday Reloaded Web DevelopmentClient: BBC
Launch date: 12/05/2011
In 1986, 900 years after William the Conqueror’s original Domesday Book, the BBC published the Domesday Project. The project was probably the most ambitious attempt ever to capture the essence of life in the United Kingdom. Over a million people contributed to this digital snapshot of the country.
25 Years later, the BBC has published this content via Domesday Reloaded, a website designed and created by Aerian Studios.
Despite what has been the hardest ever project we've worked on for the BBC, with hundreds of thousands of files making up the entirity of the Domesday project, it was an continues to be something we are fantastically proud to be involved with.
Part of our remit was taking the initial data from the original laser discs and transforming that into XML files that are then ingested into the BBC's CMS and represented to the audience as Dblocks (the name given to each of the 3x4km squares used to divide the country up).
These Dblocks, and the data inside them represented a selection of complex issues relating to indexing and caching of information, as the data itself measured over 7 gigabytes, which brings a selection of problems when being accessed on such a high volume site as the BBC.
Utitlising Electon, and some clever caching, we helped to expose the content via free text and map searches. These searches then return either the individual content, or the Dblock it belongs to.
Do check out some of the great press coverage for Domesday Reloaded. There's some fantastic stories contained within those Dblocks, and the love and care the project has been handled with is a credit to everyone involved.