THE PALEOPORTAL KIOSK GENERATOR: REGIONAL GEOLOGY AND PALEONTOLOGY CONTENT IN FREE, TAILOR-MADE EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE FOR PARKS, MUSEUMS, AND OTHER VENUES
The PaleoPortal kiosk project does exactly this, enabling organizations to easily construct exhibit kiosk software on the geologic history and paleontology of specific regions of the country, taxa, and geologic time periods. The user simply goes to the PaleoPortal kiosk generator website, uploads a logo and header, chooses a region, geologic time periods, and taxa to describe, and generates a website in a matter of seconds; the resulting html files can be downloaded and used on any computer even without Internet connection. Thus any organization -- e.g., a park office, a library, a nature center, a classroom, a museum -- can create for free and in a matter of minutes high-quality html software that seems tailor-made for their respective uses.
The kiosk generator code was created at Whirl-i-gig software. In the coming year the software created by the kiosk generator will be tested in classrooms, in a display at PRI's Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, NY, and potentially in one or more Finger Lakes State Parks. The technology and user interface for this project will be a model for creating inexpensive kiosk software from existing database-driven websites. This will be enormously helpful for the many teachers and informal venues that have limited funding to create custom-made software.