The latest Steven Spielberg film, War Horse, has hit theaters in the United States and is expected to kick off in Europe in January.
The film’s action takes place during the World War I and aims at offering the story of a horse’s journey to the battlefields of Flanders.
To promote it, Shropshire-based developers, Shoothill came up with a special website, The War Horse Journey
, which is based on Deep Zoom technology and takes advantage of Microsoft’s Bing Maps.
The website is split in two parts, a Gallery featuring Deep Zoom technology to deliver stills from the film complemented by historical images and maps, and TimeMap to display the battle area using today’s maps.
Basically, it provides users with an interactive exploration of the world they will view when watching War Horse.
As for TimeMap, it uses Bing Maps and Map Cruncher to put together today’s map of the WWI battle area and various historical maps and photos. In this section, you will be able to access videos and other content as well.
The entire website is a proof of how Microsoft technology can be used to add context to the film and to bring history to life.
“It’s a labour of love,” says Shoothill’s Rod Plummer, “We’re creating a real journey for the user around the fictional horse’s story from the film.”
The website is hosted using Windows Azure, which further marks a move away from usual promotional websites and the conventional hosting.
With Microsoft’s offering, bandwidth, storage and hosting cost far less, and performance levels are ensured even when a spike in traffic hits.
“Microsoft takes care of all the back end software so we can concentrate on code performance, usability and the visitor’s total experience,” Plummer continues.
Windows Azure ensures that you pay for the storage, processing and bandwidth that you use, and not for more. Extra capacity is automatically added when a big spike hits.