Milestone achieved! Our user interface is now future-proof
If you have been using Open Knowledge Maps over the past eight months, you were working with software that was undergoing major changes. Chances are that you didn’t even notice. What was going on, and how did we manage to pull this off?
Before we can answer these questions, we need to go back in time. When we launched Open Knowledge Maps in 2016, it was quickly recognized as a powerful new interface for research discovery. We soon had a lot of users, many more than we had anticipated. At that time, however, the underlying software was still a prototype. In housing terms, it could be compared to a luxury shed. Over the years we added many new rooms and functions and turned our shed into a house.
But we had a problem: every new extension jeopardized the structural integrity of the house. As time went on, it became clear that we could not bring our service to the next level in the existing configuration. As a result, we decided to create a new foundation for our house and rebuild every room. In software terms, our plan was to perform a rewrite of our frontend.
However, software rewrites are notoriously difficult to pull off, and we knew that there were many hurdles along the way. We therefore needed a strong partner for this project.
Enter the eLife Innovation Initiative. Much to our delight, eLife decided to partner with us and provide crucial funding and support for our endeavour. Thanks to our incredible project team and and a nifty software rewrite approach, we were able to successfully achieve this major milestone, without any disruptions to our users.
Curious to find out more about our journey and the development process? Read our blog post published on the eLife Innovation blog.
With the refactoring of our frontend completed, we now have achieved the technical foundation to “raise the roof” of our house - in other words, to implement new features that we have promised in our roadmap.
Now, an even bigger challenge awaits. In order to realize our roadmap, we need to secure enough funding to implement the next development goals. This includes a model for custom services where institutions can include Open Knowledge Maps visualizations as cloud components in their own offering. More news on this exciting development will follow soon! To fund and sustain this infrastructure, organisations can become supporting members of Open Knowledge Maps and provide an annual contribution.Get your organization involved