An interactive web platform for Herzl's book 'Altneuland'

The project

An interactive interpretation of Herzl's book comparing his vision with the reality in Israel today using realtime data from the web. 

Altneuland is a utopian novel written by Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, in1902. The novel tells the story of Friedrich's and Kingscourt's imaginary visit to Palestine, and they learn about the new society established in Palestine. Through the story, the reader is exposed to Herzl's vision.

The project's goal is to present the book and the vision in an accessible and relevant manner.


Product Design

Data Visualization 

Content Editing


Final Project at Shenkar  College, 2019.


Nadav Barkan

Merav Shaham

Watch the project with explanation

Understanding the user

This is Naomi, she is 18 years old, from Jerusalem, Israel. She recently graduated from high school, and now she is in 'Mechine' - Israeli educational program that prepares high school graduates for the army. Naomi does not read a lot of books but enjoys learning about new things and is interested in social and political issues. She volunteers with disadvantaged youths during her 'Mechine' year and has special interest in education.


Learn about Herzl's vision

Learn about the reality in Israel today

Read the book



Read highlighted paragraphs

Compare the book to present reality 

Research cultural issues 


Social media


Volunteer work

Her parents









Pain Points

Struggle Staying focused

Lack of knowledge

Hard to relate

The process

Detailed reading and research were necessary to build this intricate platform. I selected important paragraphs and sentences that emphasize Hertzl's vision and mapped the content of the story.

The design challenge

High Level

  • Make the book accessible and easy to read without belittling the original text

  • Emphasize the relevance of Herzl's vision


  • User-friendly navigation

  • Different kinds of navigation

  • Clear data visualization

Comparing the book to present reality 

  • Use relevant and interesting data

  • Embed data from different apps (APIs)

  • Use flexible templets

The Product - a web platform

Explore the book

I decided to highlight ten paragraphs from each of the four chapters. The highlighted paragraphs together form a picture of Hertzl's vision and relate to different topics mentioned in the book.

Altnoilend scroll.gif

Scroll between the highlighted paragraphs, and follow your progress throughout the book on the timeline. Each highlighted paragraph has tags: the topic, the location, and the characters mentioned.

Altnoilend open cards.gif

This layer compares the book to present reality, it moves forward and covers the text, showing online data from the web in real-time.

Altnoilend small text.gif

A deeper reading of the book is possible.

Ways to explore & navigate

Using different types of navigation is important in this project, this allows the reader to reach the content that most interests him.

I used tags for subjects, locations, and characters to create different types of navigations. Each navigation contains data visualization that was designed to suit the content.

אלטנוילנד ניווט תחומים.gif

I divided the content into 8 main topics: religion, society, regime, settlement, trade & economics, technology, culture, and security.

Each line represents a paragraph in the book. You can explore the different topics according to your own personal interests and navigate to the relevant paragraph in the book.

אלטנוילנד ניווט מפה.gif

I used Map Box Studio to design the map for this project. I added the 'point of interest' that was mentioned in the book and the character's journey. You can read about each place that was mention in the book, view the journey, and navigate to the relevant paragraph in the book.

אלטנוילנד ניווט דמויות.gif

I mapped the connection between all the characters in the book.

You can read about each character, view her connections to other characters, and filter by religion and gender. You can also navigate to the part in the book that the character is mentioned.

Reality Check

I used real-time data from different platforms to reflect the reality in Israel today and created different templets to showcase each one of them on the website. 

The platform I chose includes social media apps and news channels. They both appeal to young users contain interesting and up to date information that tells the story in an unusual manner. The use of real-time data assures the website will be relevant for years to come.

Watch the project with explanation

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© Reut Choresh