The base tool for the construction of the SNOUT site is Ning, a free online
service for creating, customising and sharing social networks. The Ning platform
Ning services and database as well as to external web services such as Flickr
and RSS feeds. The Ning documentation offers snippets of code allowing for easy
integration of these services. For SNOUT, it was essential to include an
instance of Google Maps on the site in order to map the environmental sensor
information detected by the carnival characters during the SNOUT event. As there
is no option to add Google Maps to a site using Ning's site templates, the SNOUT
site was built from scratch using Ning's 'developer' option. This allows
complete control over the code while maintaining access to Ning services such as
site back-ups, access to social networking lists etc.
Figure 5.3 shows the website.