Skip to Main Content
New
We've joined projekt202
Learn More

Harvard University

Making millions of media assets easily navigable and manageable with Harvard

Challenge

Harvard University’s Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies (RIJS) had over 1.5 million pieces of historical media on a digital research and archiving platform that was difficult to navigate, update, and manage.

Solution

Enabling greater accessibility to in-depth resources about Japan’s 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear meltdown through a web application with multiple integrated technologies.

Impact

Worldwide, researchers are able to better study Japan’s 2011 disasters through the RIJS web app, helping them develop research-backed approaches to disaster preparedness and response efforts.

The Challenge

The existing digital research and archiving platform housing media and data collections about Japan’s 2011 disasters was cumbersome to use and manage, making it difficult for users to search, contribute, and curate content.

The Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies (RIJS) at Harvard University had compiled over 1.5 million pieces of media and data collections about the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear meltdown in Japan.

The information, housed on a digital multimedia platform, was intended to help researchers learn from these disasters to inform future preparedness and response efforts. However, the technology was unstable and prevented easy navigation of the content.

two mobile screenshots from the Japan Disasters Digital Archive

The Solution

By integrating multiple technologies, ADK rebuilt the multimedia platform from the ground up as a user-friendly web application that would allow for more streamlined management and use of the content.

ADK held an in-depth discovery session with RIJS leadership and Harvard University developers to uncover their primary goals for a new multimedia platform, and understand the front-end and back-end needs for the redesign.

For RIJS, it was all about showcasing the valuable media and data collections critical to researchers worldwide through a next-generation digital multimedia platform.

On the front end, we architected a new experience that is multilingual, responsive, and user friendly for researchers to not only access content through a highly-advanced search feature, but curate content as well.

On the back end, we leveraged multiple technologies, including Drupal, to streamline updating and management of the platform’s content by university and RIJS personnel.

Three screenshots of the Japan Disaster Archive (JDA) website.

The Impact

Harvard University and its RIJS has become the go-to source for researchers across the globe to access detailed media and data about Japan’s 2011 disasters.

Japan’s 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown produced a plethora of information that is sought after by researchers worldwide for future disaster preparedness, response, and recovery efforts.

By launching a user-friendly web app that made available the millions of media and data collections about Japan’s disasters, Harvard University and the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies have become a primary source for those researching the event.