Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Flood Fighting Resource: Using Drupal to Manage Web Site Edits

Beginning in 2010, the North Dakota GIS Technical Committee (GISTC) used the open source content management system Drupal to create and maintain links and pages referring to flood-related data and other resources.  There were and still are, many web-based flood-related references that need to be organized somewhat and to be maintained. Pushing all of these edits through one person (yours truly) who in turn submits an internal work request to make the changes to the GIS web site adds extra time and substantial cost. Drupal allows the GISTC to make our own changes as we need.

GISTC contributors log on to the Drupal-based site using their standard credentials.  These folks can then create, edit, or delete links, pages, or updates. The site has been set up to include an RSS feed, allowing subscribers to be notified of the new or changed information as it becomes available. As of this writing, the GIS web site is a standard web site, not based on Drupal.  However, during flood season the home page of the site is modified to include an area where updates from the Drupal site are automatically displayed.

So why am I telling you this?  One reason is to give you a better idea on how the GISTC works together in the background to create content and useful information. Another reason is to give you an idea on how perhaps your organization could also utilize a tool such as Drupal to quickly create and manage web-based content among a number of editors. 

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