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Interactive Web site tells Nevada’s stories through its articles, images, and sounds.
Now, thanks to Online Nevada Encyclopedia, Internet users can observe the Strip’s 50-year transformation behind the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign in a matter of seconds, spend a day with a fourth-generation ranching family in Gardnerville, and order a drink at the Old Washoe Club in Virginia City. OK, the Web site’s not interactive to that degree, but the Media Gallery allows you to get so up close and personal with the inside of the historic bar that you can view the detail in the pictures on the wall.
The virtual Web site, which incorporates the latest technology in its articles, images, and audio to tell Nevada’s story, officially launched in April. “We wanted an experience that goes beyond reading,” says graphics editor Howard Golbaum, a professor at the Reynolds School of Journalism at University of Nevada, Reno. “It’s the next best thing to being there.”
ONE was featured at the 2007 Rural Roundup, the Nevada Commission on Tourism’s annual conference. “From a tourism standpoint, we’ve always promoted rural Nevada, but this is a way to show it,” says Edward Estipona, a board member of Nevada Humanities, a publicly funded non-profit organization that brought the project to life. “There’s a lot of great stuff in addition to Las Vegas and Reno.”
The site’s purpose is to preserve the Silver State’s history and educate the general public, but Estipona sees a less tangible benefit. “We think it can help break down some of the cultural barriers that have been created in our state,” he says. “It’s always north versus south or town versus town.”
Designed by Twelve Horses, ONE differs from other information sites of its kind, such as Wikipedia, because all of the stories are written and edited by professionals. Nevada is one of only six states to have an online encyclopedia, according to Estipona.
U.S. Senator John Ensign and state Senator Dina Titus were instrumental in funding the project. Ensign helped secure a $350,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, and Titus worked with the State Finance Committee to match the federal contribution. Several other organizations offered financial assistance. “Budget is the only challenge we see right now,” Estipona says.