The Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT (AKDC@MIT) and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) are pleased to inform you that we are in the final stages of development for the new iteration of Archnet.org.
ARCHNET NEXT, aka Archnet 3.0, is the first major revisioning since of the site since 2013. The site should be available sometime in the next 3-8 weeks. The specific date will be determined by successful completion of testing. There will also be a brief period during which users will be able to access both the current iteration of the site and the new version.
The fundamental principle that guided this revision can be summarized in one word: accessibility.
ARCHNET NEXT will be more responsive to users in all corners of the world, and on all sorts of devices. A Globally Distributed Content Delivery Network positions content on servers around the world so that it is closer to Archnet’s end users. This expedites the delivery of material without complicated routing across networks of servers. This will improve the experience for users on slower connections such as those in more rural areas and in developing nations.
While Archnet will continue to deliver a first-class experience to desktop users, it has been designed to work equally well on tablets and mobile phones. In addition, ARCHNET NEXT takes advantage of this availability on mobile devices by incorporating a “Near Me” feature so that mobile users can find points of interest near their current location. ARCHNET NEXT also conforms to W3C accessibility guidelines for users with disabilities.
New browsing features will make it easier for all users to get to sites, authorities and collections directly from the home page. Quick filters and a robust search engine allow users to find precisely what they are looking for more quickly and easily.
ARCHNET NEXT was developed in collaboration with Performant Software Solutions LLC, based in Boston, MA and Charlottesville, VA. Specialized in Digital Humanities projects, the firm updated the back end technologies that, greatly increasing the efficiency with which Archnet can process queries of a database that has developed since its inception to become the largest online library focused on the built environment of Muslim societies.
Archnet is a free, intellectual resource focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation issues with a particular focus on societies in which Muslims are or have been a significant cultural presence. Our mission is to provide ready access to unique visual and textual material to facilitate teaching, scholarship, and professional work of high quality. Archnet is an authority, a growing repository, and a tool for teaching and learning about the architecture of Muslim societies, past, and present.
The virtual library contains published records for over 8500 sites and 1100 authorities. Users can access and download more than 9,500 publications and 125,000 images and videos.