17 March 2007

History and Time Line of the Project

This year is the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the Catholic-Hierarchy project. For those interested, here's a quick overview:

  • early 1997: The beginning: consisted of 3 manually created pages. "Who's New" (list of bishop changes in the US), "Open Sees" (list of vacant US dioceses), and "Age Limit" (list of US bishops at or near the age limit).
  • March 1999: Automation: the basic framework is created in Paradox (a database program) to support basic information on both current bishops and dioceses in the US. It was renamed "CITUS" (Church in the United States).
  • April 2000: History: structures were added to support changes in dioceses over time (i.e., name changes, elevations, etc.). In addition a method of storing yearly data on dioceses was added.
  • June 2000: Name changed to "CCINA" (Catholic Church in North America) since it now covered Canada and Mexico in addition to the US.
  • August 2001: Going South: "CCISA" (Catholic Church in South America) created as a second site but based on the same database code. The following year it is merged with CCINA to create "CCITA" (Catholic Church in the Americas).
  • August 2001: the first "Group" is created to announce changes.
  • Spring 2002: Going Across the Pond: "CCIE" (Catholic Church in Europe) is created as a separate site. Later in the year "CCIAA" (Catholic Church in Africa and Asia) was also created as a separate site.
  • May 2002: New Name: "Catholic-Hierarchy" was chosen and registered.
  • August 2002: Unification: CCIE and CCIAA were finally complete enough to merge into the main website. Catholic-Hierarchy now covered the entire world. It has entries for 8,700 bishops and 5,300 dioceses.
  • November 2002: The major roman curia offices and diplomatic posts were added.
  • 2002 Overview: During 211,000 visits, folks saw 1.5 million web pages. As more historical information is added the site now has over 11,000 bishop entries.
  • June 2003: Bishop Lineage: With many thanks to Charles Bransom for most of the data, initial support is added for episcopal lineages.
  • 2003 Overview: During 1 millions visits, folks saw 7 million web pages.
  • Spring 2004: Titular Dioceses are now handled like real dioceses with their own pages, etc. This expands the number of diocese entries to over 8,000.
  • Summer 2004: Support for Cardinal Titles was added.
  • 2004 Overview: During 1.3 million visits, folks saw 8.9 million web pages.
  • Spring 2005: In part because of the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI, a number of additional pages were added covering popes.
  • Fall 2005: New menu scheme added to make it easier to find things on the site.
  • October 2005: This blog is introduced to announce changes on the website. It mostly gives a quick overview of bishop changes.
  • 2005 Overview: During 2.1 million visits, folks viewed 14 million web pages. The large uptick was largely due to the massive traffic related to the Papal death and election.
  • July 2006: As more historical data is added, the site now covers more than 20,000 bishops.
  • 2006 Overview: Very close to 2005, during 2 million visits, folks viewed 14 million web pages.
  • 2007 Overview: Not much change from the previous year: during 2 million visits, folks viewed 14.5 million web pages.
  • July 2008: the site receives visit number 10,000,000 since getting its own domain in May 2002. (There are very few statistics available before that time.)
  • Grand Overview (as of November 2008): Since May 2002 when proper stats were first collected, the site has received over 10.6 million visits with folks seeing 72.6 million web pages. The site has over 24,000 bishop entries (15,000 of those have at least some lineage information) and 8,800 diocese entries.

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