A project by Cobweb Development Sarl

Information transmission and on-line administration

The City of Geneva pursued several objectives with the relaunch of its official web site:

  • simplify access to the huge mass of information it makes available to the public
  • provide on-line administrative applications
  • provide fresh news and a complete calendar of events
  • have a dynamic-looking web site

A wide variety of data

The main challenge presented by the City of Geneva web site was the wide variety of data to display: news, events, services, council meeting proceedings, locations, etc. The Tesseract toolbox was ideally suited to meet this challenge since it was designed with this very purpose in mind.

The obvious way to make data easily findable is to invest in a good search engine, and the City of Geneva web site makes use of a Google Search Appliance to that effect.

Every relevant piece of information (news, pages, DAM records, etc.) is  also tagged from three groups of tags representing city quarters, target audience and general themes. This also helps visitors find information. In a later stage it is planned to use that information for cross-linking.

Tags and Tesseract

The items are tagged using the Tag Pack extension available from the TER. (although with a custom interface). Targeted records selection are made using "tagpackprovider" a special Data Provider designed to retrieve data based on a tag selection.

The web site with the theme selector

The web site with the theme selector

The tagpack provider retrieving the theme dynamically

A "tagpackprovider" element dynamically choosing a tag by retrieving the theme from the selector menu above

View the site


The most interesting feature of this project is simply that there was a huge variety of data to display and that this causes no problem to handle with Tesseract because it can handle any piece of information. Some data sets required finer manipulation, but this was always possible thanks to the many hooks available in the various Tesseract extensions.

The use of tags is also interesting, but will come into its own only when cross-linking is actively used.

External import

This project also makes heavy use of the "external_import" extension available from the TER. Indeed the majority of the information displayed on the City of Geneva web site is managed across a number of Lotus Notes databases. The data is exported from Notes and imported into TYPO3 at regular intervals.

Once the data is stored in a "traditional" TYPO3 way it is easy for Tesseract components to act on it.