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Digital Publishing for Planners
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Digital Publishing for Planners

Digital Publishing for Planners

96 min
Credit: AICP CM

This course is approved for 1.5 AICP CM credits. 

The printed page is not extinct, but electronic publishing is becoming a standard format for the digital age. From page-flipping online documents to custom-built web sites, there are dozens of applications and services for publishing documents online. But which methods are best for publishing long, highly structured documents —like zoning codes—online? And how does one approach this task without prior experience building web sites?  

This course identifies popular digital publishing methods, and explains tradeoffs between user-friendly self-publishing tools and premium hosting services. Examples of real-world urban planning publications are provided, along with a description of software used to support various publishing methods. The course also explains how to approach the daunting task of converting complex documents into a web-based format, including project management tips oriented toward those working in public sector organizations. Finally, the course describes key logistics involved in deploying, testing, and maintaining new software and work products.  

Through this course you will learn best practices for publishing interactive documents in a feature-rich, web-ready format. This course is appropriate for planners new to digital publishing, as well as experienced professionals who want fresh insights and a glimpse of the next generation of online publishing. Chapters may be viewed individually, but the course is best viewed sequentially, as key terms and concepts build from one chapter to the next.

In This Course

  1. This chapter provides a course overview. It describes the purpose of the course, the chapter outline, the intended audience, and prerequisite knowledge and skills.
  2. Why Digital Publishing?
    This chapter describes the underlying premise of the course: The range of tools and services available for publishing long, highly-structured documents online are not well-understood. This premise is supported through data that suggest while the internet is widely used by planning departments, the number of planning departments hosting their zoning codes and comprehensive plans online in a modern, searchable format is relatively small.
  3. What is Digital Publishing?
    This chapter defines the term digital publishing and summarizes distinguishing features particularly relevant to long, highly-structured documents like zoning codes and comprehensive plans. The chapter then presents eight popular digital publishing methods.
  4. Publishing with Tangerine
    This chapter previews Tangerine, a new digital publishing solution for complex planning documents.
  5. Methods
    This chapter walks through each of the eight digital publishing methods again, and this time it explains the software, services, and key workflows used to produce the desired output.
  6. Reality Check
    This chapter acts as a “pause button” for the viewer, encouraging the viewer to reflect on the previous chapters before moving forward with subsequent chapters.
  7. Selecting a Digital Publishing Method
    This chapter explains how to select the appropriate digital publishing method among the eight examples identified in earlier chapters.
  8. Building a Campaign
    This chapter provides recommendations for building a digital publishing campaign. This refers to the logistical and political considerations involved in generating support for, and becoming successful in, the significant task of publishing a zoning code in the context of a public agency.
  9. Testing, Evaluation, and Implementation
    This chapter summarizes the mechanics of deploying, testing, and maintaining new software and work products.

Published 2017