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How we built the interactive that celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series, a hockey match-up between Canada and the Soviet Union that has reached mythological heights in the Canadian consciousness. To properly commemorate this special moment in Canadian history, we embarked on a huge task - to tell the story through interviews with players, team officials and fans who were there.

We wanted to present all this multimedia in one place. The result: a sortable multimedia experience letting readers explore major milestones during the eight-game series (and the intervening exhibition games against Sweden), flip through slides and vote on their favourite memories.

The project started with reporter Patrick White, who interviewed nearly 100 people associated with the games – not just players and coaches, but referees, commentators, fans and journalists. We dug through historical photos from the Hockey Hall of Fame archives. We unearthed and scanned old negatives from The Globe's massive archive. And we gathered the most compelling video from the games.

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With Patrick's interviews, we formed a narrative combining everything from Cold War tensions to Phil Esposito's graceful bow during Game 5.

All in all, it took more than four months of intensive research and work to assemble. The final spreadsheet contains 26 columns of data for headlines, subheads, blurbs, images, video, thumbnails, categories, tweets, related links and so on, for 75 individual slides.

The interactive was built using a combination of Javascript, jQuery and HTML5, including special Javascript libraries such as Flexslider and Isotope so we could share multimedia in a way that's accessible to all of our desktop and tablet users on any device.

We included several new sharing features in this interactive such as a "like" button on each story so readers can vote up any stories other readers might enjoy. The stories with the most votes will appear at the top of the "most popular" list, generated when you click on the corresponding tab. If readers want to share with friends, they can share a direct link to each story via Twitter, Facebook and email buttons at the bottom of each story.

Another feature of the interactive, and one that many long-time Globe readers may be excited to see for the first time, is our new Brightcove video player complete with a full-screen video option. It's been a long time in the making, but a version of this video player should be rolled out in increments over the next couple of months across our site.

Together, the interactive forms one of the most ambitious multimedia projects The Globe and Mail has undertaken. Let us know what you think of the project in the comments.

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