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The Atlas


The Atlas was a project I have been working on with the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. The basic idea is that they are trying to make it easier to find academic publications - especially where the publications were the results of collaorative efforts between different businesses, universities, organizations, and even government agencies. It is a resource for those who want to advocate research and public policy.

When I first began work on this in January of 2018, they only had a proof of concept for what the database would look like. At the time, any changes made were done so directly to JSON and reuploaded to Firebase. It was complicated for editors and sluggish for users. Plus, it didn't handle relational data in the way that was really desired - most items were just repeated strings, so it was tough to filter the cases that were reused.

The original proof of concept
Browsing different collaborations
A detailed view of a collaboration
The new Atlas landing page

I rebuilt it from the ground up, moving over to a Mongo database, breaking things like Focuses and Categories into separate tables, introducing VueJS, lazy-loading, and caching to make for a state-persistent and easily accessible application. I also built a login system and adminstrative backend with NodeJS for being able to more easily update entries - rather than having to interact the database manually.

It has at times been an almost overwhelming project for one person, but it has also been a great challenge a lot of fun. I look forward to sharing it when it officially launches this autumn.

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