The latest Steven Spielberg film, War Horse tells the story of a horse’s journey to the World War 1 battlefields of Flanders. To help promote the film and bring its history to life, UK-based developers at Shoothill have developed the website, The War Horse Journey. Using Deep Zoom technology, Bing Maps, and Windows Azure, the War Horse Journey provides users with an interactive exploration of the world they will view when watching the film.
The website is split in two parts: a Gallery, which uses Deep Zoom technology to let the user explore a patchwork of historical images, maps and shots from the film; and a TimeMap, which uses Bing Maps to overlay today’s map of the WWI battle area with historical maps and photos. The site also enables users can also explore videos and exclusive content from the British Imperial War Museum.
“It’s a labour of love,” says Shoothill’s Rod Plummer, “We’re creating a real journey for the user around the fictional horse’s story from the film.”
From a technical perspective, hosting the site on Windows Azure is a “fabulous alternative to conventional hosting,” according to Plummer. “With Windows Azure,” says Plummer, “Microsoft takes care of all the back-end software so we can concentrate on code performance, usability and the visitor’s total experience.”