Background on Discover Shiretoko and interFORest

As some of you saw on the Foxkeh blog and the Mozilla blog, the Japan team has launched a new promotional campaign called Discover Shiretoko in collaboration with the non-profit Shiretoko Nature Foundation of Hokkaido, Japan.

Discover Shiretoko

The Discover Shiretoko site itself showcases four stories which show how both Shiretoko (the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Japan) and Shiretoko (the code-name for Firefox 3.5) have a number of commonalities and, as my colleague William Quiviger said more eloquently than I did,

“aims not only to inform the public about the philosophy, mission and activities of Shiretoko Nature Foundation and Mozilla, but also to make clear that the power of many can change our environment’s future.”

Please visit the site to see the stories about Firefox and Shiretoko.

To promote this collaboration between Mozilla and the Shiretoko Nature Foundation, we worked with the Yasuaki Kakehi Laboratory, of Keio University to create interFORest, a site where participants can receive a banner to promote Firefox and Shiretoko on their own websites and blogs as well as see the other promoters. (Those of you who are keen will note that we worked with Dr. Kakehi’s team last summer to promote Firefox 3.0 as well.)

The interFORest site is pretty interesting so I wanted to point out a number of features of the site that are described on the about interFORest page but that might not jump out at you immediately unless you knew to look for the features.

interFORest.org: birds eye view

On the home page of the interFORest site (see image above, also known as “Bird’s Eye View”, it shows a virtual map of the Shiretoko peninsula of Hokkaido, Japan):

  • Bird’s Eye View: The trees represent websites who have joined in the promotion of Firefox and Shiretoko.
  • Bird’s Eye View: If you see movement in the trees, that means that there are users who are accessing that site at the same time that you see movement in the tree.
  • Bird’s Eye View: The keywords floating in the purple background are generated from the sites that users are using to promote the Discover Shiretoko website.
  • Click through to any tree to get to the “Close up view“:

    interFORest.org: close up view

  • Close up view: The weather and sky light shown on the virtual map is generated by weather data taken from the sky above the Shiretoko Peninsula. If you visit during the day Japan Standard Time, you will see a daytime landscape. If you visit during the night time, JST, you’ll see a night time landscape. If it is sunny at the Shiretoko Peninsula, you’ll see clear skies. If it is raining, you’ll see clouds and rain.
  • Close up view: You can use the 4-way arrow in the sky to move on the mini-map in the upper left-hand corner. This allows you to move around the map to see all of the websites that are promoting Discover Shiretoko.
  • Then click on the tree again:

    interFORest.org: illustrated tree guide

  • Illustrated tree view: If you click on one of the trees, you will see a virtual book open up with information about which site is promoting Discover Shiretoko. Name of the site, web address, place of origin, and then “number of roots” and “number of leaves.” The “number of roots” is a count of the number of times visitors have clicked on this particular tree on the interFORest website. The “number of leaves” is the number of clicks on the banner which drives people to the Discover Shiretoko website.
  • Illustrated tree view: You can turn the pages of the book by double-clicking on the white spaces on the page to move through the pages of the book to see all the sites that are promoting Discover Shiretoko.
  • Also we’ve made a point to build the interFORest site with web standard technologies, specifically Canvas, which is currently unavailable in Internet Explorer. If you visit a site that is hosting a Discover Shiretoko banner with IE, you get a sad Foxkeh who hopes you will visit with a browser that supports Canvas, which would be Firefox, Safari or Chrome.

    shiretoko-ie

    We’ve already seen a number of Japanese Internet media sites pick up the story:

    「知床の自然もFirefoxもボランティアが育てる」—MozillaがWebサイトDiscover Shiretokoを開設

    樹が育つ不思議なバナーで広めよう!世界遺産「知床」と「Firefox」の感動ストーリー

    Mozilla Japanと知床財団、環境保護を訴える共同サイトをオープン


    知床財団×Mozilla Japanによる「Discover Shiretoko」キャンペーン

    モジラジャパン:クリックで木が育つ 知床環境保護のネットプロモーションを開始

    Mozilla Japanと知床財団は6月23日、共同で「Discover Shiretoko」キャンペーンを実施すると発表した。

    Mozilla Japanと知床財団、新感覚のネットプロモーションを開始

    Firefox 3.5と世界遺産・知床の関係 樹木が育ち、森になるバナーをどうぞ

    In addition to these Japanese media, in the first 24 hours since the launch of this campaign, we’ve had over 500 sites join our promotion, which is wonderful.

    This promotion runs through August 31, 2009 but may be extended if the community deems it important to do so.

    Please visit Discover Shiretoko, sign up for a banner at interFORest and help us promote Shiretoko and Firefox.

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