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Web publishing of comprehensive plans

What format is best for web publication of comprehensive plans?

  • HTML

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • Adobe Arobat (PDF)

    Votes: 16 88.9%
  • MS Word

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The ever-present "Other," as elaborated upon below.

    Votes: 1 5.6%

  • Total voters
    18
  • Poll closed .

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
Oh great Throbbing Brain TM, I beseach thee:

Which web format is most useful/adaptable for web publication of a comprehensive plan?

I don't know the final document size, but let us for the sake of argument assume it's gonna be pretty large.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
Points
40
A mix of html (for the basic text of the plan) with pdf's and/or jpgs (depending on the size) for maps and graphics.

You may want to offer a full-version pdf for those with broadband connections in addition to the web-based plan.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
I would tend to agree with NHPlanner. The last Comp Plan that I PDF'd ended up being too large for most people to download efficiently.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Another option is to PDF it by chapter by chapter.

I prefer this even with HTMl as it makes it easier to read and print just what you want.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
I agree with those who said PDF. I would do it chapter by chapter and consider doing maps as a seperate PDF if they are larger than the average 8.5x11 page size. If you are concerned that the download times may be too much for the end user, I would recommend making the document available on a mini cd-rom or a regular cd rom and charge a nominal fee for the cost of the disc. Some HTML summaries may not be a bad idea either.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
Never use Word to publish anything! It's not universally readable, even on Windows.

(I went with PDF, btw)
 

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
2,490
Points
37
I have been dealing with our town's new comp plan for the last year and a hafl. We put up a PDF version for every draft so far. It's broken down by chapter. Make sure you include a link to the latest and greatest Adobe reader as we had lots of people complain at a public hearing that we "left out" certain pages. The only think I can figure is that they didn't have the latest update. Anyway, it's been nice to be able to direct people to our website. I have put the plan on CD for a couple of people who insisted. With the cost of printing so high, I would like to sell CD's with the final document as well. What does anyone charge for a Comp Plan on a CD?
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
Points
40
MD Planner said:
What does anyone charge for a Comp Plan on a CD?
We sell information on CD quite a bit.....we generally charge the typical cost of the document plus a dollar for the cost of the CD (ie. zoning regs cost $15 for a hard copy, a copy on CD would be $16)
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,523
Points
23
We published in PDF (which I voted for due to the free access to reading software) and brake the document down into manageable parts - see link. We also publish a stack of technical guidelines in this fashion (where copyright permits).

NHPlanner mentions providing CD ROM versions - which we also do. Contrary to NHPlanner, our pricing policy encourages use of the CD ROM version - priced at $15 compared to $60 for the paper version. Free copies can be borrowed from our libraries on short or standard loan terms. This pricing structure reflects the relative cost of production and storage, and reflects our support for resource conservation.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
Points
40
Rem said:
We published in PDF (which I voted for due to the free access to reading software) and brake the document down into manageable parts - see link. We also publish a stack of technical guidelines in this fashion (where copyright permits).

NHPlanner mentions providing CD ROM versions - which we also do. Contrary to NHPlanner, our pricing policy encourages use of the CD ROM version - priced at $15 compared to $60 for the paper version. Free copies can be borrowed from our libraries on short or standard loan terms. This pricing structure reflects the relative cost of production and storage, and reflects our support for resource conservation.
I should have mentioned also, that almost everything that can be purchased hard copy or on CD is available FOR FREE on our website. ;)
 

DecaturHawk

Cyburbian
Messages
880
Points
22
jordanb said:
Never use Word to publish anything! It's not universally readable, even on Windows.

(I went with PDF, btw)
jordanb is right. Besides, it's a security nightmare.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
I'm currently involved in a project at IDES where we're publishing some documentation for some variables known as Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWIs).

We've decided to publish as both HTML and PDF.

The QWIs are organised into .doc files by type of QWI. Those doc files are then fed individually through Adobe Publisher to produce PDF files. I also wrote a Word VBA script that seperates those files into individual QWIs, and then saves them as HTML pages. Thus, both the PDF and HTML come from the same .doc file, which makes maintence easier.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
PDF is the only option for the full plan. If you put a summary on the web site (which is a good idea) also put the maps up in a jpg format. Most of the people I talk to could care less about the text, but do want to see maps. As for a CD, we do not charge, although we encourage them to download it from the website. We are only allowed to charge the cost of duplication, which might amount to $2-3. It isn't worth it. On the other hand, we don't keep burned CD's lying around and if you request one, it might take a week to get it.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,995
Points
31
At the geek/planner interface

OK pdf is king. The question is do I have to buy Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Pro for $389.99 to make a .pdf file that is worth a darn? Or is there a better (cheaper or free) way? No Linux answers please. ;)
 

Doitnow

Cyburbian
Messages
496
Points
16
The plan I worked on has been uploaded in PDF. The whole report and the basic map too. And i think that some version of the Acrobat may be up there for a free download.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
Well, I'm pretty sure we use Adobe Illistrator or Adobe Publisher here. They might be cheaper.

When I publish something on my own, I use LaTeX to write it (a document processing language that produces very nice looking documents) and then use a free program to translate from LaTeX's favorite format (PostScript) to PDF.

Those are all available for Windows but I use them on Linux. :p
 
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