A Searchable Database on the Internet of The Waterfront Center's Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Program Winners 1987-2014

Exploring the Search Engine

The Waterfront Center is in the process of loading information about all the awards granted by the Waterfront Center since 1987 into a searchable database linked to our webpage, see more detail in the Introduction below.

The page to enter queries can be found HERE 

    The search engine stores information in the following categories: Award Year, Award Category, Project Type, Project Name, Award City, Award State, Award Country, Entrants Names, Award Organization, Organization Website, Contact Name, Contact Address, Contact Phone, Contact E-Mail, Project Description, Jury Comments.  You can enter a search in any of these categories.  If  you enter 2011 for example you will see a list of all the awards granted in that year.  Click on the award name of one of the projects and you will see all the information, including images, about that project.  If you entered a country, Korea for example, you will see all the awards granted for that country. 

    The search engine also scans the text of the project description so if you search for park for example you will see not only the projects categorized as parks but also those that have the word park in their project description or jury comments. To view only those projects categorized as Park awards click on those projects labeled Park in the Award Category column.

    We would welcome your comments at mail@waterfrontcenter.org and we are trying to raise the money to complete this project.  If you can help please click the Donate button below.

Introduction

 
    In 1981 Ann Breen and Dick Rigby founded the Waterfront Center, a non-profit educational organization, in the belief that waterfronts — where the land meets the ocean, bay, lake, river or canal — are unique, finite resources. The mission of the Center is to advance, through its educational work and advocacy, the most beneficial and diverse use of community waterfront resources in the long-term public interest.
              
                         Ann Breen                             Waterfront Center                             Dick Rigby                         
 
    In 1987 the Waterfront Center began the “Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Program,” initiated with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts Design Arts Program and the National Marine Manufacturers Association, to recognize top-quality design and development work from around the world. Entries are for comprehensive plans, built projects and student work. The Center also recognizes grassroot citizen’s efforts through a Clearwater Award named for the non-profit group of that name working to clean up the Hudson River in New York.

    Over the years the stature of this awards program has grown internationally. In 2012 seven of the ten awards came from outside the U.S., including Malta, New Zealand and Singapore  The Waterfront Center is known as an independent institution and the judgments rendered by the awards juries are seen as unbiased recognition based on merit.  Honor awards are increasingly sought after and prized. The initial announcement of each year’s awards comes during the Center’s annual conference on waterfront planning, development and culture.
 
    Since the start of the program the Waterfront Center has presented awards to 370 recipients. Since 2004, popular, 20-page illustrated booklets have been prepared each year to publicize the winning projects, and more recently  the winners have been posted on the Internet at http://www.waterfrontcenter.org/Awards/awards2012.htm

Goal
 
    The goal of this project is to create an interactive digital database with information about all the projects that have won awards in the Waterfront Center “Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Program “and to make it freely available to the public in an accessible form. The 25-year record documents some of the best thinking on waterfront planning and design from around the world.
 
    The information in the database would include the name of the project, illustrative images, descriptive text, jury comments, and identifying characteristics to allow interactive searches.  The database would be built with software that would allow searches to be made to extract projects of particular interest.
 
    The database would be posted on the Internet as a free resource linked to the Waterfront Center’s existing, actively-used web site . This unique resource, available no where else, will be a valuable reference for designers, cities, developers, planners, and students. 
 
Project Tasks
 
Complete Contact Information. Search the archives of the Waterfront Center and identify and verify the contact information for each award.  This information includes the name, address, phone number and e-mail address of a contact person for each award.  Where available links to web sites of the developers, designers or planners of each award would also be collected. 
 
Collect Text and Images. Collect all the text and images (both digital and 35mm. slides) associated with the award winners and cross-reference them to the contact list.  
 
Digitize Text and Images. Prepare the text associated with each award for digital distribution.  All hard copy would need to be scanned and put through optical character recognition software.
 
 Convert all award images presently on 35mm slides to a digital format.  The slides would be cleaned and sent to a commercial digitization company at an estimated cost of $1,000.  These digitizations are to be added to the digital images of more recent awards, reduced in resolution for web distribution, and the appearance of the image optimized for digital viewing.  About 1,800 images are involved.
 
Complete Search Software. A pilot version of the search software has been created for demonstration purposes.  Complete the fully functioning software and prepare it for integration into the Waterfront Center web page.
 
Load Text, Images and Contact Information. Collect the digitized text and images of the award projects and load them into the completed search software.  Cut and paste the text and contact information for 370 projects and about 1,800 images into appropriate fields in the database structure.
 
Find Locations and Add Location Links. Find the longitude and latitude of each award and enter this information into a location link to Google maps that can be added to each page.
 
Change Web Site Server. The current Waterfront Center web site server does not support the search engine software so a new server will have to be found.  This will involve transferring all the current web page code to the new server and testing that all the links are correct.
 
Integrate Search Engine to Web Site. Transfer the loaded database to the new web server, add the software needed to operate the search engine on the web site, and integrate the new search capability into a graphic of the Waterfront Center web pages.
Test Search Capability. Test the Web search capability and correct any bugs in the system.
 
Publicize New Web Search Capability. Publicize the new search capability by contacting award winners, posting notices on the web site and FaceBook, publishing a newsletter and issuing a press release to the Center’s large in-house list.
Budget
 
The project budget is $94,645.
 
Funding is being sought from  individuals, organizations and  foundations. 

Help the Center Meet This Challenge!
 
Make a tax-deductible donation to the Center by  sending a check payable to the Waterfront Center and send to: 
The Waterfront Center, PO Box 53351, Washington, DC 20009.
Questions? Call 202 337 0356 or email: mail@waterfrontcenter.org