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Publication Number:      Date:  July/August 2001
Issue No: Vol. 65 No. 1
Date: July/August 2001


Internet Watch

by Angelique Crane

New and Improved NSBO Web site

Traveling America's Byways has just gotten easier for online visitors. On May 10, 2001, the National Scenic Byways Online (NSBO) Web site (www.byways.org) unveiled a new look. Internet visitors will still find their favorite links and information, but with a more visually oriented appearance. For example, stunning photos of the byways now appear on the main pages. These attractive photos from the Web site's extensive library offer visitors a sneak peek at the beauty and variety of America's Byways. The images illustrate the wide range of resources and intrinsic qualities that can be found along the byways: scenery, history, culture, nature, recreation, and archaeology. This online site is a popular destination, attracting more than one million visitors every month.

Visitors won't get lost in this new site. They can quickly find what they are looking for with a new site-wide search feature, or browse the site according to a specific state or byway. And the site's links have been streamlined so visitors can quickly reach the most popular features and destinations.

Photo of Trading Post.

The new NSBO Web site offers an extensive library of stunning byway photos such as this one, the ruins of a 1938 trading post located on old Route 66.

Information is categorized for frequent visitors - travelers, media contacts, and the byway community.

Most users will start their online visit by choosing the "For the Traveler" link. This allows them to access a wealth of information about specific byways, their stories, and treasured places. When browsing a byway, visitors immediately encounter a picture, map, and summary of the byway. New sections also provide Quick Facts, The Byway Story, Visitor Services, Travel Information, and Other Information. Not only does the new format simplify browsing, it also creates a cleaner layout for each byway page.

Writers, journalists, and media representatives can choose an entry link designed especially for them - "For the Media." This link brings up valuable information about byways, the national program, the new America's Byways brand and logo, the free program map, the program newsletter, an online media kit, high-quality byway photos, and more.

Byway professionals and experts start their journey at the "For the Byway Community" link. A broad range of resources has been assembled for byway organizations. For example, they can preview past and upcoming events on a new month-by-month calendar. A new search feature will find byway contacts (by name) in the Contacts and Communication section. The Byway Times section keeps everyone up-to-date. Users can read about, and even post, current news and events. Familiar features remain, such as the online discretionary grants system, and the publication and image libraries. An improved system for nominating byways for national designation will go online this summer.

It's a new way to travel America's Byways. Pick a starting point and take a trip through the National Scenic Byways Online Web site. You may discover some unexpected places, stories, pictures, and information.

America's Byways are designated by the Federal Highway Administration under the National Scenic Byways Program. The National Scenic Byways Online Web site is managed by Utah State University and Multimedia Data Services Corp. for the Federal Highway Administration.

Angelique Crane is the team leader for the Internet Applications Group at Multimedia Data Services Corp. (MDSC.) She also serves as database designer, Web site content manager, and applications developer. Currently, she heads MDSC's portion of the National Scenic Byways Online project sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration. Crane joined MDSC in 1996 as an Internet applications developer, and her experience includes database design, compiler implementation, expert-systems development, systems administration, user interface design, and research in new software technologies. She received a bachelor's degree in computer science from Brigham Young University in 1985 and a master's degree in computer science from Utah State University in 1998.




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