Creating A Historic Web Journey


The National Geographic Society (NGS) had a unique project on its hands – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek had embarked on a 21,000-mile foot journey retracing the pathways of our earliest ancestors’ global migration. The National Geographic Society wanted to capture every step of Paul’s journey and share his dispatches from the field with readers around the world.

Initially, the project’s content was spread across multiple sites and platforms. The National Geographic Society approached 3Pillar with an ambitious goal to integrate these sites under a new streamlined and thoroughly reimagined experience.

Together, our teams employed advanced tools and techniques to create a sophisticated – and highly interactive – digital expression of the narrative journalism that forms the core of the Out of Eden Walk project.

We divided the walk experience into digestible chapters and developed narrative maps and media-rich “Walking Tours” to immerse readers in the sights, sounds, and sensations of encounters along the trail. Features like the “Milestone” section and clickable journey maps were designed to seamlessly transport users into Paul’s everyday experiences, bringing his journey to life on screen.

Our teams also worked to create a community-driven translation tool, providing an intuitive interface for avid readers around the world to help translate Paul’s work into more than a dozen language, dramatically extending the potential reach of this unique project.

The website offers over 14 different translations of Paul’s experiences.

The reporting of an incredible journey turned into a collaboration journey in its own right. The National Geographic Society and 3Pillar Global are continuing to work together to help Paul – and the world – retract and reconnect with our shared human history.