Webster Signatures Database: Adler Planetarium
Hundreds of hours of research is the first step, but the resulting data is only as useful as it is accessible. The Adler Planetarium had a list of signatures found on old objects and information about the makers and manufacturers that used those signatures. With over 15,000 entries, the list was getting out of hand and was difficult to use, and not accessible to the research public at large.
We turned this unwieldy list into a fully functional database, and put it on their public website. Prioritizing common use cases, we developed advanced search tools to filter through the data, and also a way for curators to update the data in real time.
Researchers from all over the world can use custom search options to zero in on the information they are looking for. Plus, they can suggest corrections directly on the site, and curators can approve those corrections on their own schedule. We turned a long, static list into a living, organic research tool.