Why a web-based format?

We live in an electronic world. There are now more mobile devices than people in the United States, and more than half of these devices have Internet access. People not only want electronic access, they want to find a topic quickly. This requires powerful search capability and advanced use of links. Although many users may wish to print out portions of the Manual, printing options are excellent and can satisfy most user's needs.

Much of the material produced for this website was delivered in traditional formats such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and PDF. In most cases, we include links to the original documents. Users should note these original documents contain the material included within the website but have undrgone modification for incorporation into the website. For example, we may receive a Word document containing information that is split and placed into different parts of the website. The attachments and content within the website therefore do not precisely match.

Why a wiki format?

A wiki was specifically chosen for the following reasons:

  • It can easily be updated. This is critical for stormwater, since new information is being generated on a daily basis. We anticipate being able to provide updates consistently on a weekly to monthly basis.
  • Topics or new information can be added easily. The wiki is dynamic in that a new sub-section, section or even chapter can be added at any time.
  • A wiki allows for excellent internal linking between and within articles.
  • Mediawiki, the platform on which this website is built, is well established and addresses most of the issues that need to be addressed in building, maintaining, and using the website. Examples include an existing Manual of Style and several extensions that allow for writing formulas, citing the Manual, printing and exporting, and creating a book.
  • The wiki is easily maintained and supported by technical staff.

Why and how was the arrangement of the content changed?

It was determined that the content of the Manual should be reorganized. There were three primary areas of reorganization.

  • The 2008 updates to the Manual were never incorporated directly into the Manual but instead were added as appendices. It was considered important to bring all information on a particular topic together and avoid the potential for conflicting information as updates were made.
  • Information in some chapters could be combined. For example, chapter 10, which addresses unified sizing criteria, could be combined with Chapter 12, which provides BMP information. Chapter 11, which addresses stormwater credits, could be combined with Chapter 8 and Appendix B, both of which address modeling.
  • The chapters could be organized to flow better. To address this, the following model was selected:
    • provide general information about stormwater;
    • discuss the stormwater treatment train;
    • discuss the BMPs that can be used in the treatment train approach;
    • discuss pollutant and volume reductions, or credits, that can achieved with BMPs;
    • provide a regulatory context; and
    • provide other information such as Minnesota-specific information, definitions, lists of acronyms, and so on.

This flow of information was followed in building the Stormwater Manual Table of Contents.

Stormwater Manual Style Guide

The Wikipedia Manual of Style guide was adapted for this website. It provides information on formatting guidelines.

Accessibility Manual of Style

The Wikipedia Accessibility Manual of Style guide was adapted for this website. It provides information on formatting guidelines for ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliance.

I knew where it was in the old manual, but where is it now?

Most of the material in the 2008 Manual was migrated to the wiki. We have developed a Guide for finding old manual content to help you determine where the old material now resides.

This page was last edited on 1 April 2013, at 18:44.


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