Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program (MAP) is well-regarded as one of the nation’s largest and most effective public arts programs; in its over 25-year history, it’s created over 3,000 murals and educated over 20,000 underserved youth throughout Philadelphia. This site relaunch includes a complete redesign and redevelopment of MAP’s online presence to better capture the range and depth of its programs and public works.

Each MAP mural is the result of a collaborative community process in which artists, residents, and students come together to beautify their community and tell their stories. To every day passersby, the stories behind them are not always apparent. This project creates a platform for curating the murals and offers Philadelphia communities the ability to interact with MAP and their projects.

To that end, the heart of the site is the Mural Explorer, an experiential online catalog of murals that reveals the story behind each one. Visitors can zoom-in to view the tiniest details (that they would never see from the ground), learning facts and hearing anecdotes as they explore. Points of interest are plotted on the murals and each is augmented by video, making-of photos, and audio clips; the result is a truly engaging experience.

• The site was in production for one year.

• For most projects, having a lot of great content is a fantastic luxury; for this site, it was perhaps the greatest challenge. During an extensive content audit the team cataloged tens of thousands of assets—from poems and photo series to video clips and audio interviews—all varying in quality and format.

• The site has a unique hero image for every page, dozens of Flickr images of MAP’s projects and a video for each available tour.

• The Mural Explorer has 29 high-res, featured mural images that include up to 8 key images for each featured mural, as well as video and “making of” photos and audio.

• Every mural can be “liked” and shared via Facebook and Twitter. The browse screen then sorts by the number of likes and shares which, over time, allows Philadelphia residents to communicate which projects they think work well, and which don’t.

• A custom open-source, Drupal CMS is used to manage content.

Communication Arts

// From our friends at Communication Arts

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