Why Americas National Mall Went Digital

Everybody's going digital -- even the monument core of Washington DC. Known as the National Mall, the area dates back to the establishment of the City of Washington as the permanent seat of the United States government.

The two-mile piece of land, bound by the US Capitol to the east and the Washington Monument to the west, attracts millions of visitors annually. The "Mall" — a pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined boulevard — features monuments and memorials, world-famous museums and iconic federal buildings along Constitution Avenue.

Now it also has Wi-Fi and interactive experiences at kiosks near the World War II and Korean War information centers. "We created an infrastructure from the ground up that supports this significantly improved experience," said Vikrant Binjrajka, CTO of INADEV, the contractor that built the new interactive, Drupal-powered web experience. "We've widened the scope of content that it provides to users." 

All About Experience

So the question is -- why as a digital marketer should you care? The question always leads to customer experience, of course. And being the best at it. Interactive, engaging content that simply makes thing easier on customers to get at the heart of the story.  

web cms, Why the National Mall in America's Capital Went Digital

Examples of this kind of interactive experience with customers are popping up everywhere. In this case in Washington, D.C., it's tourists, including families of veterans.  "It's meant to create an experience around the people of these wars," Binjrajka said.

People can find in the database millions of records and quickly comb through ones of relevance for them -- such as a loved one who fought or served during the wars. And it's "more than just finding a person," but connecting users to "their stories."

"It's a great learning experience for them -- to be able to understand a lot more," Binjrajka told CMSWire. 

What's Next? 

INADEV partnered with the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) for this project. The kiosks also include educational games and historical facts.

The American Battle Monuments Commission, established by the Congress in 1923, is an agency of the executive branch of the federal government and guardian of America’s overseas commemorative cemeteries and memorials. 

The next step in Washington, D.C.? Mobile apps powering the experience further.

"That's where we're headed," Binjrajka said. "We want to extend the kiosks beyond the physical by creating a highly interactive application where people can interact with the physical elements of the memorial."