My inner UFO enthusiast squealed with delight when National Geographic Channel brought us the opportunity to create a veritable summer-time double feature of space-related projects — both to support the channel's premier of it's new series "Chasing UFOs". Two projects that would have made Agent Mulder crack a fox-ish grin — the UFO Sightings Tracker application; which offers visitors the opportunity to submit a detailed report of their own UFO experience while perusing reports of UFO sightings from the past 70+ years, and the Wow! Signal Reply; a widget that lets anyone with a Twitter account schedule a tweet for transmission into outer space!
The "Chasing UFOs" Sighting Tracker is a visually stunning Facebook-connected online application that enables visitors to view, post, share, and socialize UFO sighting-reports. Passive visitors can then explore sightings by panning or zooming around an interactive map — revealing hot spots of activity and markers representing various sightings.
The sightings, when reported, are integrated into the map chronologically. Visitors can then utilize a timeline view that reveals patterns and trends in activity from over the past 70+ years. Additionally, the timeline can be scaled down to a specific set of years, or an individual year, to facilitate the discernment of specific reports based on when they occurred.
The map itself has a tool that allows for a rapid jump to a specific location, and filters so that intrigued individuals can see only the type of reports that they want to see. Explorers can also zoom in or out to view specific regions or entire countries all at once, allowing for an easy way to view many different sorts of trends. Perhaps there was heavy activity in Columbus, Ohio last week or maybe the UFOs are returning to Gulf Breeze, Florida after 30 years. The tracker can help even the most casual of enthusiasts make a connection.
Don't just read it..."Believe" it! Each report includes an "I Believe" button. Anyone using the Sighting Tracker can then click the button to show their support for the report. The Top Believed Reports are then indexed, allowing users immediate access to whatever extra-terrestrial experiences are currently trending. The "I Believe" button also ties in through Facebook, allowing the visitor to show their support to their friends in a fun and convenient manner.
The interactive experience also shows the trending tweets being posted in real time based on the hashtag #ufo, this allows even more instant access to the UFO sightings as they occur. Never before have UFO sighting enthusiasts been able to access, report, and share so much information so quickly; and all in the same place.
We also went beyond the Close Encounter with our involvement in the Wow! Signal Reply. Along with the Campfire agency, we sent a reply to the strong 1977 narrowband radio signal picked up from outer space dubbed the "Wow!" signal. Now "phoning home" would be too 80's, so instead we're marking the 35th anniversary of the signal by helping to send E.T. a massive compilation of Tweets from all over the globe. We here at Neo-Pangea contributed the widget that is used to schedule the Tweets in preparation for their journey into deep-space as well as the online campaign design and animation.
"Finally something I'll follow on Twitter besides The Muppets!", jokingly states Producer Phil Krick. "Integrated social media is offering us outstandingly effective tools that make complete strangers work as a team. Now I can track the coming alien invasion force while sharing hilarious E-cards and coordinating with my Flash mob."
"I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords." cheerily seconded Neo-Pangea's freshest design maven Matt Marsters.
To explore the Wow!-tastic past and current close encounters of any kind, please visit http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/chasing-ufos/
Neo-Pangea is a digital boutique that grows beautiful ideas into captivating experiences. It's where creativity, empathy, strategy, and technology are fused to create immersive campaigns and platforms. It has transformed innovative concepts into tangible applications including mobile & tablet apps, websites, social platforms, and video spots for brands and causes across the globe. Among its worldwide collaborators are National Geographic Channel, Comcast, NBC Sports, L'Oreal, the United Nations Foundation, and Wal-Mart. For more information, visit www.neo-pangea.com.
National Geographic Channel U.S. (NGC)
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channel (NGC) is a joint venture between National Geographic Ventures (NGV) and Fox Cable Networks (FCN). Since launching in January 2001, NGC initially earned some of the fastest distribution growth in the history of cable and more recently the fastest ratings growth in television. The network celebrated its fifth anniversary January 2006 with the launch of NGC HD, which provides the spectacular imagery that National Geographic is known for in stunning high definition. NGC has carriage with all of the nation's major cable and satellite television providers, making it currently available in more than 70 million homes. For more information, please visit natgeotv.com.