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UNESCO Global Ocean Observing System
The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) is tasked
with coordinating the inputs of countries throughout the world in
order to achieve a comprehensive system for observing the world's
oceans. Given the international nature of this work, the GOOS team
had over the years built an extensive website containing information
about the project, meeting information and associated documents.
However, by 2006, the GOOS website was due for an overhaul. The
design and sheer weight of information meant that casual users were
unable to immediately understand the project's work, and experts
in the field had to dig through several layers of navigation to
find what they needed.
Coldrose was brought in to bring the site up to date. We designed
a new graphic layout and navigation system, giving the pages a modern
feel with the newest information easily available. With this foundation
in place, an entirely new system for the management of contacts,
meetings and documents was implemented. Rather than being stored
on staff PCs or in filing cabinets, everything can now be kept in
a single centralised database. The latest details of a meeting or
the most recent version of a document are always available online,
with those concerned automatically notified if necessary. No longer
do staff need to manually update their contacts - the use of a simple
online interface ensures that any changes immediately shared between
The new site and administrative system make information instantly
available to those who need it, and ensure that nobody is ever left
out of the loop. We're particularly proud of our work with GOOS
- a perfect example of our ability to make life easier for everyone
Euro Estudios is a language school
located in Granada, Spain. In a crowded market, with their website
the main method for attracting customers from around the world, Euro
Estudios found that their previous site was losing them business.
The school approached Coldrose to implement a new site design and
layout. The site had to clearly and simply convey the atmosphere and
approach of the school, while at the same time providing all the information
necessary for students to enrol.
On undertaking the project we visited the school to take pictures
and talk to existing customers about their interests and the type
of information they required when looking for language courses. The
work was completed within a month. The result? A great new site, increased
bookings for the school over the web, and another satisfied customer.
Not a project for a client, but David's personal
website, and a nice example of a design which combines elegant
navigation and is visually attractive. We believe that sites can be
eye-catching without resorting to garish colours or eye-crossing animations:
this site shows how.
Your website design should not just be a coloured border around the text;
it should present your image and convey the nature of your work to the world.
David's website shows how photos and graphics can be combined to give
something which stands out from the crowd and at the same time improves the
UNESCO Harmful Algal Event Database
The UNESCO Harmful Algal Bloom Programme (HAEDAT)
has, over several years, built up the worlds most comprehensive database
. This data was compiled manually, with scientists
around the world submitting forms which were then entered into a Microsoft
Access database. The only way to view this data was to download the
entirety of that database.
Coldrose was contracted by the HAEDAT team to streamline this process
and make the information fully accessible to all. We converted the
existing database to make it fully web accessible, allowing users
to browse, search and view records using their web browser. In order
to replace the manual submission of forms, a comprehensive online
interface was developed allowing experts to submit records of HAB
Currently, Coldrose is developing a mapping interface for the data,
automatically displaying events as they are added. The revamped HAEDAT
system represents a big step forward, making it simple for scientists
to gather, consult and analyse information.
As part of a UNESCO initiative, several
dozen marine institution libraries in Africa maintain their library
holdings using a proprietary system. In order to improve the flow
of information between countries, UNESCO needed a way to publish the
details of these holdings on the web.
Unfortunately, licenses to add a web interface to the proprietary
system would cost tens of thousands of dollars. For a fraction of
that cost, Coldrose used open source technologies to create a system
which converts the holdings into a free format, and publishes them
through an attractive web interface.
Based on Ruby on Rails, PHP and MySQL, the system has no licensing
costs and can be distributed freely. Afrilib is an excellent example
of our abilitity to tailor a solution to a customer's needs and provide
an alternative to expensive generic software - with a lower total