BlueWorld
FAQs About BlueWorld

What is BlueWorld.org?

BlueWorld.org is a world geography web site for people who want to know more about the regions and countries that make up our world. It is designed to help researchers, students, and laypersons find quality news and information quickly and easily.

Why was it created?

We felt that many people, Americans especially, know very little about the other countries and peoples of the world. We think the world is a fascinating place, and the many diverse people and customs of the world are endlessly interesting and inspiring. With this site, we hope to help English-speaking people get more informed mabout the rest of the world.

What was your inspiration?

Our inspiration was really to fill a niche by creating a fun, easy-to-use web site that allows people to browse current information about each of the countries of the world.

What were your goals?

Our goal, since we are an unfunded organization, was to provide the best quality information for people at the lowest possible cost. By using open source software, free xml news services, and public domain data and images, we were able to achieve this goal.

Are there other web sites you enjoy?

We are news junkies here at BlueWorld.org, and we visit a lot of great news sites. Almost all the world's newspapers are online, making it as easy to browse headlines from India as from Washington, DC. We also visit alternative news sites, blogs, community bulletin boards. Wherever the news is!

How was BlueWorld.org made?

BlueWorld.org was constructed by hand using a MySQL database and the PHP web programming language. It is very simple indeed.

What sort of technology was required?

To make a site like BlueWorld, we needed a web server and Internet connection, html and text editing software, a database (we used MySQL), and an image processing package (Photoshop). In short, all the tools you'd normally use to create a web site, minus the database, which is not usually required.

Who is it for? Describe your desired audience...

We envision people from middle school on up visiting the site to learn more about the world. We imagine that some people will visit because they want to know more about a specific country or region, but we hope people will bookmark the site as a general world information resource and news center.

How does it work? Where does the information come from?

All the information about each country and region is contained in a database. When you access the page on Angola, code contained in the web page fetches the required data from the server and creates the completed web page before your eyes. You'll notice all the pages have the same format. That's because they're created on the fly, from the database. Just the data is different.

The news information is fetched in using an XML newsfeed. XML is a special way of formatting data (in this case, news headlines) for rapid use in a web page or other application. So we can give you current news headlines every time you load the page by plugging into the XML newsfeed.

Moreover.com supplies the news. The CIA Factbook supplies the data, country maps, and flags. ArtToday.com supplies photo images through a fee-based service. We love them all, because without them, this would never have been possible.

What is BlueWorld.org good for? Why would someone use it?

BlueWorld is great for getting a sense of what's going on in a particular country or region, and for learning how countries around the world interact. By looking at the map (for terrain and geographic location), you can determine who a country's neighbors are. By reading the Vital Statistics, you can get an idea how large they are, how populous, what sorts of commodities they trade and with whom. And by reading the news headlines, you can get a sense of what's important in a country at the present moment, and how they're interacting with other countries around the world. The whole process can be very illuminating and addictive.

What happens to your perception of the world after you become a regular user of the site?

We hope the site opens minds and hearts, reminds us how much we have in common with people of foreign lands, and gives us an appreciation for our glorious differences. We also hope that it inspires people to view other peoples and other countries with a renewed respect and understanding.

What plans are there for the future?

We very much want to launch a new feature called Country Reports that would allow people to post stories about particular countries for other site visitors to read.

We also scoping out a weather feature, using Wunderground's feed.

The notion of doing photo galleries for each country has occurred to us, if we ever reach critical mass with photos. These would need to be captioned, of course.

There's also been thought of a homepage community, where anyone who from anywhere could contribute a page for their community, with pictures, data, and text. This strikes us as something that could be good for class projects...

And we will be adding a Links section to each country page, with the best links we can find, hand-picked and juried by us, your editors.

Can people help you in anyway? How do they get in touch?

Right now, the thing we need the most is photos from countries where we currently lack them. We are looking for photos of scenic or urban landmarks from countries in the Middle East, Central Asia, most of Africa, and elsewhere. If anyone would like to donate an image or two (we will credit you below your photo), we would be grateful. Please email us at photos@blueworld.org

And as soon as we get Country Reports up, we hope people from all over the world will contribute.

Anything else we should know?

If you are an educational institution using this site, we would love to hear from you. It would make us very happy to hear that people are learning from this site. If we can assist you in any way, please let us know.

Contact Us

If you would like to comment or have questions about the site, feel free to email us at: blue@blueworld.org.

 

 

 

 

Photos: clipart.com | Headlines: moreover.com | Maps, Flags & Country Data: ciafactbook.com

All other content ©2003 BlueWorld.org | site by MuseArts Inc.