Many a day I find myself using the MDAH Historic Resources Inventory Database. If you’re not familiar with this amazing database of Mississippi’s historic places, I urge you to check out this previous post that will fill you in on exactly what the MDAH HRI is. The site is addicting to explore, and it is now hard to imagine how different the process was for looking up information about Mississippi’s buildings before the advent of this online database.
So this past weekend as I accessed the database’s website from a smart phone I noticed that I was automatically directed to a new mobile friendly site. While I had heard rumblings that a mobile site was in the works, I was a caught a bit off guard because the header of the site is labeled HSMT. What is HSMT? It took me a day before I figured out that this refers to “Historic Site Management Tool.”
From the mobile friendly site you are given nearly the same search options as the full site. These are: Properties, MS Landmarks, NR Listings, Local Designations, Artisans, Subscriber Services, About. The one option not available on the mobile site is the interesting Map feature. As the full site itself is minimalist in its formatting, I had never had any issues operating the full site on a phone or tablet, so I am not finding a mobile site to be that necessary. Perhaps I am just accustomed to the full site, but I found the mobile site to be clunky, and a bit confusing. Text that looked to be a button or linked, was not, and vice-versa. Hopefully this is just a beta test site of a yet-to-come mobile site. Take the site for a spin on a mobile device. Test the mobile site out for yourself, and share your thoughts and impressions in the comment section below.
Categories: Historic Preservation, MDAH, MS Dept. of Archives and History
Thanks for letting me know about this. It could be a very useful tool for me.
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You’re welcome. I hope you’ll found the HRI database as useful as I have.
I’ve played more with the mobile site and found a few more glitches. Specifically, the searches for National Register Districts link to an incorrect entry. The image above of two shotgun houses in Natchez, appeared when I clicked on the link for Jackson’s Farish Street NR district. This same problem doesn’t exist in the desktop version of the site, and I haven’t had any success requesting the desktop site on a smartphone or a tablet.
You caught us! We’ve just put this out for testing and had caught some of the items you mentioned but not all of them, especially the issue with the incorrect districts. I’m passing on your comments to our developers, and keep letting us know what glitches you find. Our goal in this mobile upgrade is mostly so our site keeps up with the massive changes to backend code that have occurred since we went live in 2011. We want to make the mobile experience as good as the desktop that we all know and love, and we welcome feedback as we are still in the testing phase and can fix these issues. We are especially excited that the way we present photos will be upgraded too in this phase and will be much easier for mobile and desktop users alike to scroll through our database of thousands of photos.
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Thanks for filling us in. That’s good news that the desktop version will be getting some work as well. With the current desktop photo set up, I like how the photos are divided by date, but they sure do take a loooooong time to load.