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Athens is a large city (3.5 million residents and 6 million tourists each year), with a large tourism base due in part to its role in the 2004 Olympic Games. To support the city's needs, the site includes a large calendar of city events, a comprehensive map-based index of city services and interactive tools that allow citizens to access city resources. The site builds on Drupal's multilingual capabilities to provide information in both Greek and English.
Drupal goes to Mars, or rather, Drupal helps us go to Mars ... eventually. NASA's Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University is doing a lot of advanced work with Drupal. They have a number of Drupal sites, each with a different purpose, but all used to share information about Mars as discovered by ASU's THEMIS camera on the Mars Odyssey orbiter. All of the sites have some interesting integrations with other software, including LDAP, legacy authentication systems, Java Servlet based web services, Flash, Java desktop clients, map servers or Google Earth.
Their main portal, http://themis.asu.edu, features news, images and articles about THEMIS and the Odyssey mission. Another Drupal site, http://viewer.mars.asu.edu offers a search portal for millions of images and data from eight instruments on Mars orbiters. It uses Drupal and jQuery as the interface to a Java Servlet backend database and integrates "Deep Zoom" style image viewers.
Ever wanted to help explore Mars? No problem, http://suggest.mars.asu.edu is for you. On this Drupal site you can suggest places on Mars for scientists to photograph with the THEMIS camera aboard Mars Odyssey. The site shows you where Odyssey will be orbiting in the next week, and it integrates with Google Earth's desktop application and the Google Earth browser plugin to let you zoom around mars and choose a place to suggest. After it made the suggested photographs, it will send you an e-mail with a link, where you might be the first human to see that particular spot on mars in such detail. If that makes your inner geek jump up and down, make sure to read their technical write-up. Cool stuff!
The Kofi Annan Foundation is using Drupal. Kofi Annan was the Secretary-General of the United Nations. In 2001 Kofi Annan and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Since leaving the United Nations, the Kofi Annan Foundation supports Kofi Annan in his current work to press for better policies to meet the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable in the world.
Le Figaro, the oldest and second-largest national newspaper in France, started using Drupal for its social features on http://www.lefigaro.fr. It is still using its old web content management system to serve its main content, but all of the social features such as comments on articles are now provided by Drupal.
I met the engineering team, including Le Figaro's Chief Technology Officer René Wallendorf, for lunch when I was in Paris last week, and they were very happy with Drupal. The integration project was delivered on time, within budget and was considerably cheaper than the alternative solutions they had investigated. All things combined, this should be a big win for Drupal, especially in France. Vraiment très cool!
Some of Le Figaro's print publications. Le Figaro is also the official translator of The New York Times, pictured in the middle of the photo.
The World Bank has many websites and a varied online presence and some are running Drupal. Their climate change site, http://beta.worldbank.org, which launched a few months ago uses Drupal. The site serves as a beta for the new content strategy the Bank would like for the future: an integrated model of publishing around shared topics, countries, and products to achieve greater audience reach and satisfaction. This site takes a single topic: "climate change", and aggregates World Bank content from a variety of sources in an automated fashion.
The World Bank's mission is to reduce global poverty and improve living standards. It serves as a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Global climate change is a major priority for The World Bank as developing countries will be particularly vulnerable to adverse conditions caused by it.
The World Bank has reams of information regarding climate change but it was separated by organizational groups and internal systems and it was nearly impossible for a visitor to find and combine these different sources. To counter this problem, The World Bank engaged Phase2 Technology to launch a pilot site that demonstrates the potential success of a topic-based site with large amounts of data. In addition to great tools for data integration and visualization, the site has support for low end mobile devices and multimedia integration.
It's very satisfying to know that Drupal is powering such an important site which is poised to help better the plight of developing countries. Experts anticipate climate change will hit the third world the hardest. This site is one of the more prominent Drupal sites The World Bank currently has, but it is a great example of how to effectively showcase data on important issues. I hope they will consider using Drupal for future projects.