On earthquakes and updates

Rock fall at Redcliffs, February 2011 (click for image credit)

Rock fall at Redcliffs, February 2011 (click for image credit)

Now that Te Ara’s first build is complete, we have turned our attention to the mammoth task of updating existing content. We are yet to finalise our approach to updating, but we recognised that one set of entries had to be done first – the Canterbury region and places entries.

We added revised and new content to Te Ara very quickly after the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, but left the Canterbury entries as they were pre-quake. Pragmatism largely guided this decision, because we were fully occupied with our Social Connections and Government and Nation themes, but we also knew we should wait to see how the impact of the quakes on the region played out. Online encyclopedias are more responsive to change than their hard-copy counterparts but have the same responsibility to deliver accurate and complete information.

We have now published a new section on the quakes in the Canterbury region entry, and have updated text and added new visual resources through this and the Canterbury places entry. So many of the sites captured in existing photographs were either damaged or destroyed, and it was a sobering task combing through the entries to ensure we noted all the quake-related changes.

They are now full of quake facts and resources. For me, two new films we’ve added speak to the complexity of the quakes’ impact. An extended clip from Gerard Smyth’s compelling documentary When a city falls records the moment the 2011 quake struck and its immediate aftermath as terrified people gathered in the dust-filled city. Viewers get some insight into the horror of that day. The other film, a short piece on the Gap Filler project, portrays some of the positive community-building initiatives that came out of the quakes. These two films appropriately book-end the new content.

2 comments have been added so far

  1. Comment made by Katherine Baxter || December 22nd, 2014

    Very pleasing to see this section updated as an initial step following completion of the Te Ara build. This is an excellent entry – very moving. Katherine Baxter

  2. Comment made by Kerryn Pollock || December 23rd, 2014

    Thanks Katherine. It’s a good way to end the year.

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