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The New York City
Courthouse Information Kiosk

"This kiosk is a highly positive and useful addition to the courthouse. The best thing the courts have ever done, fantastic!"
US Government Kiosk Evaluator

One of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by BLAZE inter.NET, the NYC Courthouse Information Kiosk, aids the public in locating courtrooms, justices, employees, services, and all information relating to the courthouse.

Web Objective: To create a stand-alone kiosk that will aid visitors to the NYC courthouse located at 60 Centre Street in navigating its labrynth-like interior. It is also pertinent that the kiosk can easily be used by the disabled and the numerous members of the NYC Spanish-speaking community.

The Challenge: This project presented a challenge at virtually every turn. Working with the government is a tricky proposition. Mounds of red tape must be navigated and layers of management needed to be consulted on every facet of the creative process. Since the courthouse is such an old structure, legible records and maps were impossible to find, and the architecture is so unique that "half floors" had to be added to maps because of the many different levels and balconies that were found on each floor.

The BLAZE inter. NET Solution: It took over six months of intensive programming, countless visits to the courthouse, thousands of man-hours, planning and phone calls between the creative team and the client to put this project together. It was well worth it. The NYC Courthouse Information kiosk is the 8th wonder of the world, or at least seems that way to the many people who were part of it's construction.

The Kiosk mixes full motion video, graphic, photos, and interactivity with touch-screen technology to create a truly unique and functional experience.

The building's beautiful architecture and turn-of- the-century workmanship provides wonderful content that inspired the BLAZE team. The colors of the building and its physical characteristics were liberally sprinkled throughout the kiosk. Backgrounds of many navigational pages were created by photographing the extremely detailed artwork that adorns the courthouse walls, floors and ceilings. The Court Services page (seen above) uses photos of the ornate domed ceiling in the courthouse's main vestibule to set the mood and give the visitor a feeling of the sights awaiting them as they enter the building.

The creation of the kiosk maps was one of the most important and time-consuming tasks. One of the main functions of the kiosk is to aid the visitor in finding their way around the many courtrooms and offices in this cavernous building. Despite only having old and faded maps of the floor plans and with many of the areas being remodeled over the years, the BLAZE staff did its best imitation of a fine cartographer and hand restored each and every map.

Due to the intricate floor plans, all maps had to be printable via a small receipt printer in the front of the kiosk. This required all maps to be duplicated in a smaller, printer-friendly format so that legible results could be achieved.

One of the most unique and challenging aspects of this project was the need for the entire kiosk to be completely translated into Spanish. All text, voice-overs and graphics were converted to Spanish by several translators hired by BLAZE inter.NET and our bi-lingual project manager.

Other special features included a Braille keyboard and a headset for the hearing impaired .

The New York City Courthouse Information Kiosk
is on display at 60 Centre Street, NY, NY
in the main Courthouse lobby.

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