Phila Place is a website that allows users to explore the political, social, and industrial site all across the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This site is primarily a map of the city of Philadelphia. On the map there are many icons and buttons you can press, all attributed to a different physical location in the city. Users can look at everything from Eastern State Penitentiary to Lincoln Financial Field.
When you first enter the site, you’re greeted with a beautiful, postcard style writing that makes you feel like you’re reading and old letter. The homepage is colorful and has ton’s of different options and tabs to click on. The main attraction, of corse, is the interactive map that encompasses most of the homepage. The map is Interactive, meaning you can move it around and click on different locations and view information about the location. The map highlights sits of historical and cultural importance to the city, or to the nation as a whole.
The next section of this website is the map itself. The map covers the entire city of Philadelphia, all the way from the Delaware River all the way to Morris Arboretum in the North Western end of the city. Most of this page is taken up by the map, with tabs on the left to toggle different search parameters. The drop-down features neighborhoods in the city you can look closer at and see what sites they have to offer. You can also select from a variety of topics, everything from clubs, to restaurants, to political sites, even cemeteries! The map features many historic sites all throughout the city with detailed explanations on every aspect of the sites.
The next Tab is called the topics tab. This tab takes everything that was on the map and throws it into a list. it makes it very easy for a person with visual disabilities because it allows for screen reader to go down the list and read off for those who would need it. This page is very accessible and its very unique because it essentially is just the map again, but instead of an actually map that you interact with its just a list, that way you can still explore the sites of Philly even if you have any sort of disability. i think this is defiantly the most unique and smartest-designed page on this site.
Moving along to the next page, the collection page. This page features a large collection of photos, articles, and primary source documents from whenever time period you wish you learn about. This tab contains intervies from current residents, photos of famous people such as Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and other founding fathers, and other important figures throughout history. This site as a whole is also really unique because it bridges the gap between “history” and the “present”, meaning that when you click on a location on the maps or in the topics tab, it not only shows you the history of the building, but alos what its being used fro today and even future plans for the location. It’s a very creative way to showcase a city that i love and have a personal connection with.
The final Tab on the top is the blog tab, where the featured page is, highlighting a different location in the city every week. Clicking on the Blog button actually takes you back to the home screen, which i thought was a bit strange considering the front page didn’t have many “blog” qualities. This site’s mission is too ” PhilaPlace weaves stories shared by ordinary people of all backgrounds with historical records to present an interpretive picture of the rich history, culture, and architecture of our neighborhoods, past and present”(PhilaPlace.com), and i think it does an excellent job at accomplishing its mission. It also is very accessible to people with disabilities through the use of the Topics and Catalog tabs. AS mentioned previously, these tabs put all the locations on the map into a list format. That way, for those who need a screen reader, it allows for everyone to enjoy the website. This website is a very unique, fun, and entertaining take on a city that holds a special place in my heart. Philaplace.com shows you a side of the city that is very interesting and that often doesn’t get shown. Overall i would say this website is good. it is accessible to most everyone, it accomplishes it’s mission, and does it in a way that engaging and entertaining.