The interFORest Project is a project associated with the “Discover Shiretoko” campaign. Using web technology, the increase of participants in the banner campaign is visualized as “virtual trees” being planted and gradually growing into a forest on a virtual landscape representing the Shiretoko peninsula. Production and planning are assisted by the Yasuaki Kakehi Laboratory, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, SFC, Keio University.
The interFORest website allows one to see trees being planted and growing into a forest on a virtual landscape representing the Shiretoko peninsula. Mouse clicks allow one to move around the forest or zoom in. There is also an “illustrated tree guide” for viewing information about the websites with the banner. Like the individual virtual trees, the website as a whole also changes its appearance according to the current time of day and weather in the Shiretoko region, and the trees rustle in the wind as they grow larger. Various other events are also being prepared.
The main page of the interFORest website gives a bird’s eye view of various trees being planted and growing into a forest on a virtual landscape representing the Shiretoko peninsula. It changes appearance according to the current time of day and weather in the Shiretoko region, and may show the trees rustling in the wind, which means that the trees are growing, i.e., that access to the campaign participants’ websites is increasing. By clicking on an interesting-looking tree, one can get a close-up view of it.
Once a banner is placed on a site, content on that site involving the keyword “Shiretoko” will be excerpted and displayed as floating in the sea around Shiretoko. The excerpts are generated automatically and will be approximately 20 characters in length. This text will gradually disappear over time into the waves. (Only visible in the bird’s eye view mode)
The close-up view allows one to view the clicked tree and its surroundings up close. One can also browse the names of the trees that have been planted (the titles of the websites or blogs) in this view. Some special trees will display an illustrated tree guide. By clicking on the top, down, left, and right arrows, it is possible to move around the virtual landscape and search for other trees.
The navigation view is a window displayed in the upper left corner of the close-up view screen. It lets you see where you are in the peninsula, and clicking on it will take you to the bird’s eye view.
The illustrated tree guide has information on the “virtual trees”. “Details about one” own tree as well as other people’s trees can be viewed by turning the pages. The illustrated guide is closed by clicking the close box on the page or clicking outside the page.
These virtual tree banners make use of a new web standard technology called canvas*1. As the trees are drawn dynamically, your banner will always be one of a kind.
Canvas is a new web graphics display technology and an emerging W3C standard as part of HTML5. Canvas has garnered much attention and now a number of browsers, including Firefox, have built support for the canvas standard. For more information, please see the “Canvas tutorial” in the Mozilla Developer Center.