For my capstone project I decided to make a website titled, “Cleaning up Philadelphia”. I came up with the idea for this project when I was walking around the city one day and realized how much trash is on all of the streets and the massive piles that amounted to empty lots. For the website I decided I would go to many different locations in and around the city snapping photos of the immense amount of trash with a description on where it was taken and then presenting some solutions for the situation. My intended audience for this project was the people of Philadelphia since this issue is hitting so close to home and they are the ones dealing with this mess. My goal when creating this site was to inform the public of the issue by not only showing the photos that I took but also presenting facts to show just how dire the situation is. The reason for the site was to show some awareness to the issue in the hopes that people will also notice and feel as though they should chip in and help out.
Prior Experience Related to the Project:
In the past I have created many different sites for a variety of different classes. Last semester I coded my own website using Atom. I also am very familiar with the technologies I used for the project as I have been using them consistently for the past four years at SJU.
Challenge of the Project:
During the course of this project I came across a good deal of challenges that I had to overcome in order to get to my final goal. One challenge that I faced was acquiring certain photos that I needed to include on my site. While I was driving to different locations around Philadelphia I came across plenty of trash that was on the side of the road which would be perfect for the site. It was a challenge to capture because when I was looking for content I was alone so trying to capture a photo while driving was quite difficult. Another challenge that I faced was trying to find a format that would fit my site. I went through multiple websites looking for a format that I thought would fit my site well.
Prep Work and Background Research:
For my project I needed to do a bunch of prep work and research. My first step was to research places in Philadelphia that I could go to in order to capture the content needed for my site. I researched a bunch of parks, schools, tourist attractions, etc until I was able to pinpoint multiple locations that would be perfect for grabbing content. After I had my starting locations pinpointed I decided to inform myself more about the issue before heading out to witness first hand. I did plenty of research on why the issue is so bad, how it got to this point, and what people are doing in order to help the situation. I found a lot of good information in the articles I looked at and included some of the facts in my final website.
Primary Technologies and/or Software:
In order to complete my project I needed the proper technology. For my project I used a DSLR camera in order to capture my photos, a lav mic to record some audio, and I used WordPress to design my website. All of these technologies were essential to the project.
My original idea for my project was to keep my focus on the city aspect of Philadelphia and try to stay away from anywhere else. However when prepping for my project I thought it would be more inclusive if I included the suburbs of Philadelphia into the project to make my project more diverse. While I was out capturing content I realized that some places I went to did a much better job at keeping the area clean compared to other places. To remain ethical in my project I did not bash on one place and praise the other instead I compared both situations and gave solutions.
During the process of this project I traveled to many different locations in the Philadelphia area to try and find as much content as possible for my site. I was able to capture many photos in the city of Philadelphia as well as the suburbs. After capturing the content needed I began thinking of design layouts for my site. After a while of researching I came across a site that had the perfect layout, courtesy of Professor Wolff, and then began to build my site. I used most of the photos that I took as well as some of the information I gained from doing background research. After blending it all together I had my final site.
What I’d Do Differently:
After completing the project and reflecting on the past semester there are a couple of things that I would have done differently. First off I would have captured more photos at the areas I went to. When traveling to areas I tried not to take too many photos as I didn’t want to do an overload of photos in one area in order to use more photos from a variety of different places. Secondly if I were able to do this project again I would have tried to interview civilians walking the streets to try and gain a perspective of what everyone else thought about this issue.
I posted my final deliverables to this my site below