Parks and Gardens UK database and website
The UK Parks and Gardens Database Project is a National Lottery Heritage Fund supported development that catalogues in detail all the UK's Parks and Gardens. Altcom was commissioned in 2006 to work on the development a website and major database application and has provided hosting, maintenance/support and ongoing development since.
We provided the UK Parks and Gardens Database Project with a fully integrated open source CMS website solution and a RESTful webservices interface to a large scale database, holding detailed information on all the UK Parks and Gardens. The database was originally developed in Oracle but when the site management moved outside of a University environment we migrated it to Postgres and PostGIS.
The project included:
- A web application interface to the back-end database so that volunteers and data managers could enter and manage the vast dataset of UK Parks and Gardens
- A website content management system to provide the public and researchers with access to the data built in Joomla.
- Integration of the two above platforms using bespoke software components, communicating via XML and a custom XSD via a RESTful web interface. This includes a full API that can be used by third party organisations.
- Server management and configuration
We used Google Maps for the location search as all the records are geo-coded and it ensured that results would be displayed within a reasonable time.
The Altcom team are a pleasure to work with. They are well versed in the field, creative, conscientious, and very efficient.
Rachael Stamper, Project Manager, Parks and Gardens Data Services
The project went live in October 2007 with "soft" launches in York and London and is now accessible to the public. The official public launch took place at the Kensington Roof Gardens on 29th May 2008.