PhotoGuide Japan Reborn!!!

I am proud to present PhotoGuide Japan’s biggest update in its 7-year history.

Major structural and technical improvements have been incorporated along with updated and expanded information.

Here’s a few of the changes and improvements:

– The site’s content has been reorganized into four distinct Zones to make it easier to find things:
1. NewsZONE – Read news & information.
2. DirectoryZONE – Look up addresses & phone numbers.
3. PhotoZONE – View photos.
4. PhotoBBS – Message boards.

– Much of the site is now database-driven with dynamic Web pages.
– The site is more interactive. For example, you can add comments on dynamic Web pages.
– The site’s look and feel has changed dramatically.
– The URLs have changed for most pages (except the home page and PhotoReviews). Redirect pages are in place.

Enough said. Time for you to look around and re-explore PhotoGuide Japan. If you want more details about this massive update, click on the “Read more” link below.

Here’s a detailed list of the major changes at PhotoGuide Japan as of March 3, 2003:

Photo topics have been reorganized into four Zones
The old site had too many Zones (‘ZineZONE, PhotoZONE, DataZONE, ResourceZONE, HistoryZONE, and DirectoryZONE) so I simplified it into four Zones (categories). I think it’s easier now to remember where everything is.

Database-driven with dynamic Web pages
The advantages of a database-driven site is that it enables the Web pages to be dynamic instead of static. The site becomes more interactive. For example, you can post comments to a page on the fly or submit listings and links.

And for me, I can easily update the site through a Web interface. I don’t have to startup Dreamweaver, modify the page, then upload it.

PhotoReviews unaffected
PhotoReviews has not been affected by this massive update. It will continue to consist of static Web pages for the time being. PhotoReviews already underwent a massive facelift last year.

PhotoHistory now dynamic
Besides the additional pages for the years 2002 and 2003, PhotoHistory now sports a new look and consists of dynamic Web pages. You can add comments under any page. The top URL remains the same, but the underlying pages are all different.

PhotoWho’sWho now dynamic
All biographies now have their own Web page, so all the URLs in PhotoWho’sWho have changed. You can post comments to any biography.

I’ve also included some biographies in Japanese. And the longer bios use a new, easy-to-read format.

PhotoSpaces now dynamic
Massive update. I’ve added a lot more galleries and museums. There’s now over 240 listings for all of Japan. Names and addresses in English and Japanese and directions to the place are also provided. Even Japanese visitors will find PhotoSpaces useful.

New DirectoryZONE
This Zone has Photo topics that used to be under the old DataZONE, ResourceZONE, and DirectoryZONE. All the Photo topics in DirectoryZONE are now run by the same database system to create an online address book.

Most of the Photo topics (like PhotoVendors and PhotoBookshops) in DirectoryZONE also cover areas outside Tokyo such as Osaka and Kyoto.

One convenient feature is My Custom List. You can keep your own list of favorite camera shops, bookstores, etc., on a Web page at DirectoryZONE. You only need to have cookies enabled on your browser.

What’s New
We now have a dedicated and dynamic What’s New page to keep you informed of all site updates.

PhotoPolls
New! From time to time we will add more online surveys (mainly for fun or as a tidbit).

PhotoFAQ
Now interactive. You can help us add more FAQs by posting a question for us to answer.

PhotoWeblinks
Now you can submit links (subject to approval).

PhotoDealers
This is now a list of stock photo agencies and vintage photo dealers.

Unchanged Photo topics
PhotoJapanese
PostcardGuide
KIPS Report
TIPS Report
PhotoZONE (PhotoShowcase, PhotoExposure, and PhotoPostcards)
PhotoBBS (PhotoBulletin, PhotoDigest, PhotoPR, etc.) – PhotoBBS was introduced in July 2002, and it was our first database-driven section.

Deleted Photo topics and Zones
‘ZineZONE, HistoryZONE, DataZONE, and ResourceZONE have been deleted. Their Photo topics have been moved to one of the four new Zones.
PhotoPeriodicals: This topic will eventually be transferred to PhotoReviews’ magazine section.
PhotoAgencies: This topic has been transferred to PhotoDealers.

And so, we’re back on top as the world’s most comprehensive (but far from complete) English resource and guide to photography in Japan. Finally, I can call this PhotoGuide Japan, Version 1.0. This is the version I originally wanted to present the first time I put the site online in 1996. Finally, we’re coming of age.

But we still got a lot of growing and maturing to do. This is only a new foundation that we have laid. One which should last for the next few years as we further grow and mature.

-philbert ono
Tokyo, Japan

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