Pulse UC Berkeley Energy Dashboard
This website (Image 1) provides an energy dashboard for UC Berkeley’s campus (http://us.pulseenergy.com/UniCalBerkeley/dashboard#/overview). It aims to permanently reduce energy consumption by providing real-time energy use information. It displays historical trends for the campus overall and for individual buildings on campus.
The website uses Adobe Flash to display many interesting features. It has pictures of buildings (Image 1) with historical data on the main page. It also has individual webpages with detailed profiles of each buildling’s energy usage (Image 2).
From the main page, you can access a Google-supported map of all of the buildings that are monitored across campus (Map 1). Each marker has a title when you hover over it and also has an info window (Map 2). From the info window you can then click on the image of the building and it will take you to a detailed profile page (Image 2).
Pros: The website is informational and interactive. Energy use is often an ambiguous mess of data that is difficult to interpret and understand. The interface is intuitive and it is easy for a user to click around the website and find what he or she is looking for
Cons: The map portion is relatively small and simple. There could be interesting GIS functions (such as graduated symbols based on each building’s energy use) that could have been integrated in for the marker symbols. Also, the map is tucked away and is not a prominent feature. Image 3 shows that the map is located on the homepage and is accessed by clicking the map symbol. However, it would be better to have access to the map more prominently displayed to help the user orient oneself with the buildings, locations, and energy uses.
Overall, the Pusle Website provides an interesting interactive tool to engage energy consumers. The website appears rather simple, but based on this week’s coding lessons, I am sure that it took a lot of time to construct! As mentioned previously, the map display is rather boring and could have been better utilized. Also, the info windows do not contain very useful content in them. It would be interesting to integrate energy use trends in to the info window to be able to access a quick cursory view of the historical energy use across different parts of the campus.