Mel Bale, Membership Secretary and Webmaster
This article is from Signpost 55, Autumn 2017
It is just over a year since I was asked to take over looking after the society’s website, http://www.peakandnorthern.org.uk, after the very sad death of its former webmaster, Mike Barnes. I was fortunate to spend a little time with Mike as he guided me through how the website functioned and how he maintained it. Despite a career spent developing computer systems, website software was completely new to me but I have enjoyed learning how the website works and I’ve even been bold enough to make a few changes and additions to it!
Looking through old copies of the Signpost newsletter, I discovered that the website was launched in Spring 2002. Websites are a landscape to be navigated and explored, users discover their own routes through them just as walkers do in the physical landscape. Every so often though it is interesting to wander down an unfamiliar path to see where it leads. The same can be true of a website, so I thought I would describe some areas of the website that members may be less familiar with.
Many people join the society because they have seen our famous green signposts whilst out walking. The website has an entire area dedicated to our signposts and other commemorative structures and there are a number of ways that information about them can be viewed, http://www.peakandnorthern.org.uk/signposts/where-they-are.htm. One of my favourites is Style 4, when this is selected the website produces a file and downloads it to the user’s computer so that it can be opened by programs such as Google Earth or ArcGIS Earth. The file is called signpostlocations.kmz and should appear in the user’s Downloads directory.
Another area of the website that is worth spending time exploring is the one that covers the society’s newsletter, Signpost, www.peakandnorthern.org.uk/pnfs-publications/back-copies-of-signpost.htm. Users can view and download copies of previous editions of the newsletter, they make fascinating reading and contain a wealth of information.
The society has a long history of working with other organisations who share our aims, many of these groups are formally affiliated to the society and the website is an ideal place to find out more information about them, http://www.peakandnorthern.org.uk/useful-links/affiliated-walking-groups.htm.
The website has two key functions. Firstly it should inform all those that visit it what the society is about and how it is going about its business. Secondly it should provide information that helps visitors explore and enjoy the areas that the society covers. If anyone has thoughts about improvements or additions to the website, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll be delighted to hear from you.
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