11 July 2020
Thanks for your patience while we have essentially re-written the entire 6 and a half year old platform in the background while trying to keep the lights on, this has been a tricky task but a huge achievement by the technical team, also considering the year that 2020 has been.
Yesterday the technical/platform team met and discussed next steps and a fresh plan of attack for going forward and growing of the platform and the number of projects that we support.
We've made a number of important but subtle improvements recently, one of which is zero second deployments.
- Our deployments are now "zero downtime" meaning we can deploy updates to NatureMapr without the website or mobile app going down for even 1 second
The mobile app continues to be enhanced and improved. In addition to the recently added ability to record Points of interest via the mobile app, the following new features will be rolled out shortly:
- The mobile app will automatically prompt you if you are no longer running the latest version of the app. This will help users avoid any pain from old versions of the ap not being compatible with the latest changes at the NatureMapr back end and provide a smooth way for you to update the app before continuning
- The mobile app will remember your last 3 categories and species that you've reported and provide a super convenient "one click" way of "reporting another orchid" or "reporting another Caladenia actensis" kind of thing... Where as at the moment, you need to drill down every single time, Plants > Orchids > Find Caladenia actensis etc. I personlly find it a major pain to report lots of the same species because it takes so long to navigate through all the taxonomy dropdowns. So if you're out surveying a particular category or group of species, this will make your life 10 times easier!
Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be taking some downtime from my regular day job work and will be focusing heavily on NatureMapr and kicking a few goals.
The broad plan is:
- Complete the re-write of the Admin area so we can switch off the Old Admin site properly
- Complete the redevelopment of the survey capability so we can turn the Frogwatch ACT audio survey project back on
- Other general tweaks and improvements
Once these tasks are complete, we will have then 100% completed the entire re-development of the platform from end to end. Every single last piece of code. We will then undertake a series of important user facing improvements that I've wanted to get to for quite some time.
Some other things that we have in the works include:
- Ability to crop and rotate images
- Ability to "Request use of an image" from a sighting author. The system will send a request through to the author and request their explicit permission for you to use their images. This will replace the need to manually chase/email/contact users in the event that you would like to seek permission to use an image from the site.
- Data quality rating system for all sightings. Sightings will be scored based on the criteria they meet in terms of being high quality scientific records.
So please hang in there, it is all going to happen.
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