Web Site User Guide
Web Browser Requirements:
This web site has been developed and tested to comply with current W3C approved web standards (HTML 4.01 & CSS 2). Some early versions of popular web browsers are no longer capable of supporting current standards. Therefore we recommend that site visitors use version 5 (or above) of Microsoft Internet Explorer, version 6 (or above) of Netscape Navigator or any other standards-compliant web browser. If you are using an earlier browser version you will need to upgrade before using the site.
Your web browser should also accept "cookies" in order for all the features to operate properly. A "cookie" is a small piece of information that is written to your computer hard-drive to remember previous choices you have made. In fact, much of the site will function properly even if you have "cookies" disabled. However, you will experience problems when navigating around the maps and any viewing preferences you set will not be remembered between visits to the site.
The web site has been designed to fit on a monitor screen of at least 800x600 pixel size. A monitor capable of displaying colours at 24 bit depth is recommended if you want to accurately reproduce the colours of the images. Most modern monitors will meet this standard.
This web site has been developed to comply with W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and has an "A" rating.
Many of the image files held within the web site database have an extra facility, enabling site users to zoom in and examine areas of an image in much more detail. This facility uses technology known as "Image Streaming". Our web site provides image streaming support in the "Zoomify" format. To view Zoomify images you will need to download and install a small piece of software known as a "plug-in". For Microsoft Internet Explorer the plug-in is an Active-X component which is about 250kb in size. The first time you access a Zoomify image you will probably be prompted to install the plug-in. If you have any concerns regarding the installation of the plug-in you may wish to visit the Zoomify web site, where more information about the technology is available. The plug-in only needs to be installed once (although upgrades are occasionally made available) and will self-install automatically once you accept it. The Zoomify plug-in is free.
How to Search for Resources
There are four ways to find resources in the web site database:
Start by choosing to explore "Collections", "Locations", "Object Types" or "Subjects". Then make further choices from the multi-level lists that appear in the left-hand panel. The number in brackets after each option shows how many resources that option leads to. Resources that match your current choice appear in the right-hand panel. There may be several pages of resources for you to explore - just jump between the pages. The deeper you explore - the more focused your results will become. To open an individual resource, simply click on it. There is also a "breadcrumb trail" above the results that shows your current position in the multi-level lists - click it as a quick way to go back to earlier levels.
You start with a "County Map" of Warwickshire. Just click anywhere within the county to zoom to the next map level. There are 5 levels in all - the most detailed being "Street Map" level. The yellow indicator to the left of the map shows your current level (you can also click it to change quickly between levels). The large "navigate" button lets you jump to adjacent map areas (up, down, left, right). Many of the resources have a map reference associated with them. You will notice that the map has a coloured overlay grid. This indicates those areas of the map that contain resources. The exact colour relates to the density of resources in that specific grid (yellow=few, red=lots). Once you have selected a map area that interests you (which also contains some resources) simply click the "View the Resources" button in the left-hand panel. The map is replaced with the results of your search. There may be several pages of resources for you to explore - just jump between the pages. To open an individual resource, simply click on it.
Too many resources found ? You could click the "Return to Map" button and then select a smaller map area. Alternatively you could filter your results using the option boxes provided in the left-hand panel. Make some selections/entries and click the "Apply Filter" button to get a more focused subset of resources from your chosen map area.
The maps you are exploring are modern day versions. However, the web site also contains historical maps so you can see how your area has changed over time. These are only available on the two most detailed map levels. If a historical map is available then a drop-down selection box appears in the left-hand panel. Select the historical period you want and click the "go" button. The current map is replaced with the historic version. Sometimes features on the old and new maps don't line-up exactly. This is because old mapping techniques were not as accurate as they are today. Also, old maps were often surveyed over several years and so form a composite representation of the landscape.
Below the map you'll see a "Postcodes & Places" search box. Make an entry and click the "go" button. This searches a full gazetteer of postcodes and place names across all of Warwickshire. If a matching result is found, the map jumps to this location. This can be a quick way to navigate the map if you are looking for a specific village, street or postcode. Often a search on a common name (e.g. "High Street") will find many possible matches. If this happens you are offered a list (maybe several pages long) from which you can choose.
Advanced Search can be used if other search mechanisms are too imprecise. It lets you combine a number of search terms into a single search.
You can enter a line of text (a word or a phrase) and choose whether the search checks only the Title, the Caption or the Keywords of the resources - or all three fields at the same time. You can also limit the results to resources of a particular type (for example only "images", "objects" or "maps"). Leave this option free to retrieve all types of resource. Most of the resources have a date range associated with them. You can specify the range that interests you by inputting a "Date From" and "Date To" entry. Make sure you use the correct format (dd/mm/yyyy). By convention, photographs are given the date that the photograph was taken rather than the date(s) of the subject(s) in the photograph. For technical reasons it is not possible to search for dates before about 600AD. If you are interested in a particular period - for example the 17th Century - you can choose this from a drop-down selection list. This simply populates the start and end dates automatically (feel free to change the dates if you wish). Most of the resources exist as "stand alone" items. However, sometimes several resources are related in some way. These may have been grouped together into an "exhibition". The final search parameter lets you choose what types of "exhibitions" you want to see.
Once you have made all your selections/entries click the "View the Resources" button. The results of your search are then displayed. There may be several pages of resources for you to explore - just jump between the pages. To open an individual resource, simply click on it. Your current search terms are repeated below the results. If you want, you can change these and search again.
This is the fastest - but least precise - way to find resources. Simply type a line of text (a word or a phrase) into the "Quick Search" box that appear in the top right-hand corner of every page in the web site. Click the "Find" button and the results of your search are displayed. There may be several pages of resources for you to explore - just jump between the pages. A "Quick Search" actually initiates an "Advanced Search" using the text that you entered (by default it searches the resource Titles, Captions and Keywords all at the same time). If you get too many resources you may want to continue with the more precise "Advanced Search". To make this easier the "Advanced Search" box is available below your results with your text entry already filled in.
Advanced Boolean Searching
When entering text into the "Quick Search" or "Advanced Search" text boxes you can define a more precise search by specifying some "boolean operators". This is an advanced technique - but will greatly improve the precision of your search results.
The default search will treat words separated by spaces as separate search terms. Entering Warwick Castle in the text box will look for resources where Warwick and Castle appear separately or together anywhere within the resource text.
Phrase searches using "double quotes":
To search for a specific phrase you must enclose the phrase in double quotes. Entering "Warwick Castle" in the text box will return only resources where the phrase Warwick Castle appears exactly as typed within the double quotes. Phrase searches are useful when searching for famous sayings or proper names.
Finding word fragments using WILDCARD* searches:
The asterisk is a wildcard. Any combination of letter or letters following the asterisk are searched for. For instance, "bass*" would find resources containing bass, basset and bassinet. The wildcard operator can only be used at the end of a word or phrase and will not work if added at the beginning or in the middle of a word or phrase. A wildcard search must always be enclosed within double quotes.
The AND operator:
To search for more than one specific phrase or word you can use the AND operator. Entering "Warwick Castle" AND turret would search for the exact phrase Warwick Castle and the word turret anywhere within the resource text. Only resources containing both the phrase and the word will be returned. Always enclose phrases within double quotes. Phrases and words can be used in any combination and number.
The NOT operator:
The NOT operator allows you to search for resources by excluding combinations of words or phrases. This operator always excludes the word or phrase after the operator. Warwick NOT Castle will return all resources containing the word Warwick except those also containing the word Castle. Phrases and words can be used in any combination and number. They can be combined with the AND operator.
The OR operator:
The OR operator will return results that contain any of the phrases or words separated by the operator. For instance, you might use the following query to search for images of castles in either Warwick or Kenilworth: "Warwick Castle" OR "Kenilworth Castle". Phrases and words can be used in any combination or number. They can be combined with the AND and the NOT operators.
The NEAR operator:
The NEAR operator allows you to search for resources where words or phrases appear close to each other within the resource text. Both the words and phrases in a NEAR query must be enclosed within "double quotes". "Daisy" NEAR "Warwick" would return resources including the name "Daisy, Countess of Warwick". It would not return other resources in which the terms "Daisy" and "Warwick" were widely separated. Phrases and words can be used in any combination.
It will take a while to get used to Boolean Searching if you've not used it before. This is an advanced technique - but is not essentail for finding resources in the web site database.
Viewing a Resource
Clicking on a resource brings up a full page of information. This shows the resource's Title, the full size resource image (500 pixel), an indication of the Date range (if applicable) and, finally, a text Description (i.e. the caption). Descriptions can vary considerably in length depending on how much information was known about the resource itself. They have been written by subject experts with detailed knowledge about the resource.
There are also a number of options available. All resources have an "Add to Album" button (this is discussed below). Resources with an associated map reference have a "View Location" button too. This jumps to a map showing the associated resource location (generally within a red circle the size of which represents the precision with which the map reference is known). If you wish you can explore the maps from this point. Probably, though, you'll want to click the "Back to Resource" button to return. Most map locations relate directly to the resource (e.g. where a fossil was found, where a photograph was taken etc) but in some cases they refer to where the resource is currently to be found (e.g. an historic document currently held in a museum) unless a more specific location is known.
If the image is available in the Zoomify format then a "Zoom to Detail" button is shown. Clicking this opens a new page and starts the streaming of the Zoomify image data. Instructions on how to zoom in/out of the image are given. Data is only streamed to your computer on an "as-needed" basis. Zoom into one area to explore the image in fine detail. It may take a while for all the necessary data to be received so that the full detail can be revealed. Be patient - its worth the wait ! Then zoom back out or drag the image to explore another area. Zoomify images are great for looking at text in old manuscripts or for studying individuals in group photographs, for example. The web site also includes a few 3D objects which you can "rotate" using the Zoomify viewer (best viewed with broadband).
Below this you'll see a list of "Related Themes". Click on these to find other resources similar to the one you are viewing. This feature uses the "Theme Explorer" multi-level lists mentioned earlier. Remember that a resource may link to many "related themes" if it fits into more than one category.
The source of the resource is accredited at the bottom of the page along with a unique identification number. If you contact us about a specific resource please include this unique number in your query. This will help us to identify the specific resource you are interested in.
Exhibitions all have a dark blue background and so are easily seen amongst a larger set of search results. Clicking on an exhibition brings up a page similar to that described above. However, any linked resources are also shown in a panel on the left-hand side. These are somehow related to the main resource image (e.g. different pages of the same book, different members of a family etc). Clicking on one of the related images brings up it's unique information instead. All other features operate as already discussed. Sometimes a resource exists as both a "stand-alone" resource and as part of an "exhibition". In this case the text description of the resource will be relevant to the context in which it is being presented.
Creating Personal Albums
The "Windows on Warwickshire" database is big! Once you find resources that interest you, you'll probably want to store them for safe keeping. You can do this by creating an "album" and then adding resources into it. Access this through the "My Album" facility. You must initially register with the system (full details are given within the web site) to obtain password protected access to "My Album" from any Internet connected computer. You can create as many albums as you wish - perhaps each for a different subject area - and add as many resources into them as you want. When you find a resource that interests you simply click the "Add to Album" button, select the appropriate album, and save the resource. You can even add a brief text note to each resource to remind yourself about it in the future. Within the "My Album" facility you can modify your text notes or remove resources from your albums, as desired. Don't worry - you're not removing resources from our database - only from your own album!
Interactive Learning Journeys
In the "Spotlights" area you'll find a selection of "interactive learning journeys". Each of these is a self contained weblet that explores a specific subject in more depth. Some are aimed at users of a specific age range - but most will have something of interest to everyone. Spotlights are a great way to find out more about the collections that have been digitised as part of the "Windows on Warwickshire" project.