If you’re reading this, you’re on the brand new version of The Atlas! Yes, friends, you read that right. Over the last year, we’ve undertaken something crazy: we completely redesigned and rebuilt The Atlas.
Why? Because we understood that to really improve how city officials share success stories, learn about what’s working and build relationships with partners, The Atlas needed to be more than just a database of interactive city case studies. It needed to be a full- fledged online community.
This new version of The Atlas lays the foundation for growth. Moving forward, The Atlas will be able to better deliver on our commitment to build safer, smarter and more sustainable cities by connecting city to all of the solutions and partners they need to solve their toughest problems.
New features will be continually released over the coming months. We’re always, always improving The Atlas. If you run into any issues while you’re here, or if you have any ideas about new features you’d like us to build, please, please use the orange feedback tab or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of you may already know The Atlas genesis story: city officials asked us to compile a spreadsheet of exciting city projects. We obliged. But then, in a very “If you give a mouse a cookie” fashion, those same city officials wanted to do all kinds of additional things with the spreadsheet of city projects. They wanted to know who was involved in the project. How much it cost. How it was financed. And on and on…
We weren’t convinced that city officials and staff would actually use the type of platform the city staff were asking us to build, so we decided to test the waters with v1 of The Atlas.
We designed the first version of The Atlas on PowerPoint and architected it on an accompanying 100-page word document (yikes.) It was built by (an absolutely amazing) outsourced team at iTransition.
This was back in 2016. Within a year, it became obvious that city officials and staff really, really wanted and needed The Atlas, especially its database of city case studies. As monthly engagement started to exceed 1K city officials & staff per month, we recognized that we were going to quickly outgrow v1. We began the process of bringing development in house by discovering and recruiting Angela to join The Atlas as Head of Development.
Since then, the team has been diligently rebuilding The Atlas from the ground up, including a complete redesign of the user interface and a full stack transition (from .NET to PHP).
These changes put The Atlas in a position to grow and scale in a way that it never could have otherwise, and gives The Atlas an opportunity to provide the type of free online community that city officials want, need, and deserve.
We’ll be rolling out v2 of The Atlas this week at the Transforming Local Government conference in partnership with The Alliance for Innovation, where The Atlas is acting at the official technology partner of #TLG19. But more on that later. 🙂
Milestones like this are an awesome opportunity to reflect on all of the people and partners that helped us get here: