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This is a new version of the Pacific Coast Architecture database, developed over the summer and autumn of 2014. We have retroactively dubbed it "version 4.0" as it represents the fourth major stage in the technological evolution of PCAD. For more on PCAD's history, see the About page.

This version introduces a number of enhancements and new features.

A new layout and graphical look: PCAD was "re-skinned" with a modern, adaptive CSS framework. While still targeting desktop devices as the primary user, the site should function adequately on smaller screens. In the future we will work toward supporting all types of devices equally well.

User-selectable UI themes: to try out this feature, select More > Display Options and choose a different theme.

New mapping features: interactive maps of sites associated with an architect or firm. See PCAD 4.0 -- Mapping Features for more information.

A network visualization view that provides an interactive and graphical representation of professional connections. See PCAD 4.0 -- Professional Network Visualization for a full description.

A quick-lookup widget in the top toolbar. To quickly find a person, building, or firm, simply click in the text box and start typing.

Enhanced search capabilities: search by a number of criteria from the search/browse views of PCAD data. For example, click on the "Buildings" menu to display the Buildings search/browse view. To search, enter keywords and/or location, and click on "More Options" to search by various other criteria.

Image display enhancements: images are displayed as thumbnails with a "lightbox" pop-up to view a full-size image.

Back-end improvements to administration functions to ease data entry and improve data validation. Over time these changes should result in more accurate PCAD data, and make it possible to improve the quality of existing data.

Deployment in a modern virtual server environment, at a new dedicated URL.


Various open-source libraries have made these features possible.

  • Javascript fundamentals provided by the jQuery library.
  • The popular Bootstrap framework is the base library for layout and styling.
  • The user-selectable UI themes are from the Bootswatch project.
  • The quick-lookup widget uses the Twitter Typeahead library.
  • Image-handling by the Magnific Popup library.
  • Technologies behind the mapping and network visualization features are discussed in separate blog posts -- see mapping and network visualization.

The server environment is a product offered by the University of Washington's IT group.

For a brief history of PCAD's technological evolution, see the About page.

Tags: About PCAD