Thursday, May 15, 2008

Website Spotlight - Space and Astronomy Stamps

"Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away, if your car could go straight upwards."

— Sir Fred Hoyle

Or, to add to the quotation, space is only a few clicks away, if you were to point you browser to the Space and Astronomy Stamps website. It is a wonderfully rich site that is deserving of this week's Website Spotlight.

Space and Astronomy Stamps

One of the things that impresses me about this site, besides the sheer number of stamp issues covered, is its design. The site's layout is uncluttered, even minimalistic, and this simple design is marvelous for a site dedicated to stamps. Stamps are shown on the site, not clutter.

The webmaster, Ed Locke, is like most of us ... he collected stamps as a youth, then put them away during his early adulthood. He then resumed the hobby, but instead of collecting any and everything, he shifted his focus to astronomy-related stamps. Based on his dedication to his website, you can tell that he enjoys what he is doing.

The site was started in the mid 1990s as a vehicle for Ed to hone his HTML skills while at the same time promoting his self-described "obsession" for space-related stamps.

From the main screen, you will notice a menu across the top of the page. This is your key to navigation on the site. For example, you can select the country's stamps that you wish to view by selecting the starting letter in the country name.

When you select a country, you will be taken to a list of stamp issues for that country. Wherever Ed has the stamp images in his possession, you can then click on them to get to a detailed stamp page which shows the stamp. The site has 13,000 images of 7000+ stamps, so you will end up doing a lot of browsing.

In the right sidebar of the stamp page are a couple of search windows. One provides the ability to search the site for stamps that are related by topic to the stamp being displayed. The other search option is to search the web for information relating to the topics of the currently displayed stamp. This allows the viewer to research a specific topic that they might find interesting.

From the menu at the top of each page, you can also see New Additions to the site. The site is updated monthly with new stamps -- with the information about the stamp, and images if they are available. From the main menu, you can also search by topic or issue date.

Even if you are not interested in collecting these topics, I encourage you to visit Space and Astronomy Stamps to see some beautiful stamps. Be sure to drop Ed an e-mail to tell him that you visited his site. I'm sure he'd like to hear from new viewers.

Would you like to nominate a website for a Stamps of Distinction Website Spotlight? If so, read and follow the instructions on this link.

No comments: