If you've ever wondered about the stories behind airport codes, you can turn to a new website for answers: airportcod.es.
Launched in mid-March, airportcod.es is a labor of love by two Americans: Lynn Fisher and Nick Crohn.
Users submit photos and facts about the stories behind airport codes--the three-letter codes that are assigned by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
So far, there have been scores of submissions. Already, up to 261 airports are listed -- from ABQ (Albuquerque) to ZRH (Zürich). More are in the pipeline.
The visual presentation is slick and pretty. Who says aviation geeks can't value aesthetics and friendly user interfaces?
The tidbits about airports are intriguing. Did you know Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport was originally called Friendship International?
Here's another fun fact:
Stockholm’s airport (ARN) is named ARlaNda, a made-up word combining “Arland”, another name for the nearby parish of Ärlinghundra, and “landa”, Swedish verb meaning “to land.”
The tech angle here is how important design is to a successful site.
Airportcode.es illustrates some key trends. It's truly responsive and simplified for easy use on a mobile device. Few airline sites can say that: Virgin America's recently relaunched site is a rare exception.
Airportcod.es is all about the visuals -- something that isn't emphasized enough by direct marketing organizations when plotting their digital campaigns. For an exception that proves the rule, consider Australia Tourism's visual-heavy digital campaign that's led it to Facebook dominance among tourism organizations.)
Lastly, the content is amplified by people power. It's people who help perfect it, and it's people who are passionate enough about the topic who share the love, spreading the news about the project. Switzerland Tourism's attempting to do this with its current digital media contest. TripAdvisor has done it on a grand scale, famously.
In short: Well done, airportcod.es.
EARLIER: Mashing up airport codes for a clever Expedia ad campaign [IMAGES]