Hosted at nationalgeographic.com, the launch of Remembering Pearl Harbor was timed to commemorate Pearl Harbor’s 60th anniversary. It chronicles the hours and minutes of the attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, while personal accounts of survivors give visitors a sense of the fear and courage spurred by the attack. Featuring an Attack Map that guides site visitors through a collection of zooming maps integrated with a timeline of events, the site enables users to literally hover over Pearl Harbor and experience the attack as it progressed throughout the day. Visitors can learn more details about a specific event or quickly change their vantage point to view another moment in the attack. Each event is coupled with an in-depth narrative that highlights more than 30 American and Japanese survivors who share their memories of the day. Site visitors can also submit their own memories of the attack, or locate information about a loved one in the Memory Book. Over time, the Memory Book becomes a monument to living memories of survivors, documenting and preserving this history for future generations.
The goal of the site design was to create an immersive experience that presents the events surrounding the Pearl Harbor attack in a way that is both educational and evocative. The visitor’s ability to change time and geography selections to recreate a historic event demonstrates how interactive technology can be used to both educate and engage people as active participants in a historical narrative. Each of the events featured in the Attack Map is stylized to evoke a period newsreel that combines narration, sound effects, and archival photographs. The voices and viewpoints of the American and Japanese survivors are interwoven throughout the experience to help make these events of 60 years ago become both real and personal.
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