Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ: VRTU), a global IT services company that offers a broad range of information technology services, including IT consulting, technology implementation, and application outsourcing, announced that it has implemented a virtual archive website for Network Rail. This website, for the first time, enables public access to a large number of historically significant architectural drawings, blueprints, documents and designs, tracing the history of Britain’s railways. The virtual archive celebrates Britain’s rich engineering and architectural heritage, giving visitors the chance to experience first-hand the beauty and intricacy of the country’s historic railway system.
Network Rail, the owner and operator of Britain’s railway infrastructure, inherited an archive of close to 5 million records which capture the history of the railway’s most famous structures and stations, including the Forth Bridge and Paddington Station, among others. Having worked with Virtusa on other website enhancement projects, Network Rail approached the company to help create a user-friendly, interactive and content rich website which would allow visitors to view a portion of these records and stunning images for the first time ever.
“Our agile and global delivery model and deep content management expertise allowed us to cost-effectively and quickly implement a robust archive website for Network Rail, featuring a wealth of information and images,” said Frank Palermo, senior vice president, global technical solutions group at Virtusa. “This site has truly given life to the historic railway system and using our innovative technology solutions, we’ve ensured that it is intuitive, interactive and shareable.”
Virtusa and its creative design partner company Jacob Bailey worked closely with Network Rail to implement the vision for the website. It needed to not only be easy to navigate, but also designed in such a way that would do justice to the remarkable images, designs and documents displayed – many dating back hundreds of years. Using its agile delivery methodology, Virtusa implemented the virtual archive on the Ektron CMS400.NET Web Content Management platform that it had previously deployed. As a part of the process, Virtusa implemented several different features to ensure a great user experience. The company utilised Microsoft Seadragon to ensure images displayed were deep, rich and zoomable, and implemented social media functionality within the site allowing visitors to easily share images within their social networks. Virtusa also introduced an ‘Ask the archivist’ feature which allows visitors to ask questions about the archive directly through the site.