Website updated… v0.0.2.3 available

Further to my post of yesterday, my web host is back playing nice and so I’ve been able to get the new release back online. Check out http://www.naturerecorder.com and download v0.0.2.3 to get the major changes since v0.0.1…

You can now create and edit real locations rather than being tied to the dummy Site A, Site B, Site C from the earlier releases.

I’ve had a small number of people using the new features for a while but I’ve finally got it to a point where I’m happy for a wider audience to have a play.

This marks a major extension to functionality and brings it much closer to a system you can actually use for real recording.

Further developments are on the way.

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Apologies – wrong kind of work on the tracks

Many apologies to those waiting for 0.0.2.0… progress has been a little slow lately.

The day job has been very hectic with many deadlines over the last three months plus an internal reorganisation meaning I have had to hand over my team and workload to another manager and prepare to pick up a new team myself.

This has meant a few long days (and weekends) and i’ve not had chance to move things forward like I’d like to, however there have been some fairly big steps forward in the codebase that I’ve had a few guys testing in earnest before I roll them out to the world (there are over 100 users already – not too bad for an alpha release!)

It will probably be another couple of weeks before i manage to get to where I want to be for the next release so please bear with me and we’ll get there as soon as possible.

As a side thought – I’ve had a few requests later for functionality to support other realms of nature such as butterflies etc. The program is designed in such a way that it can be used with virtually no modification (just a different taxonomy database) for any order of creatures.

If this is something you’d be keen on please let me know and I’ll try and schedule a release that incorporates butterflies, mammals etc.

Regional Lists – coming in v0.0.2.0

Just a quick update… coming soon in v0.0.2.0 is the ability to manage locations, and to produce lists on a regional basis taking advantage of the hierarchical nature of locations.

My own database is set up with the World at the top level and then beneath that is Europe (I haven’t made any real records of sightings outside of Europe), and beneath that the UK which in turn is split into England and Scotland, and England is split into the counties I have records for. The benefit of this hierarchy of sites is that you get multiple lists for free… add a report to Cresswell Pools and not only do all the records count for my Cresswell list but also for my Northumberland list, my England list, my UK list, my Europe list, my Life list and my Year list.

Now you can already report on species on a site-by-site basis, or globally via the Life List and Year List options but what you can’t do with the current release is report on *all* sites in a county, or a country, or a continent. That changes in v0.0.02.0 :

Lists dropdown

I’ve also made a change to the year list options – it now gives you the option of current or previous year’s year lists rather than just the current one. If there’s demand I can expand that to offer year lists for each year that contains any records within the database.

A little more progress

I’ve finally managed to make some progress on the core application (I’ve been working on importing data via CSV and tab-delimited text) but I’m hoping to make v0.0.2.0 available soon – this will be the biggest increment in functionality since the first alpha.

What this will open up is the ability to manage locations – to this point the locations tab has been hidden from alpha versions but I’ve got enough feedback on the species selection features to open things up a bit.

I’ve also been refining the management of locations and added some new functionality around categorising locations by habitat.

Editing Locations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above screenshot shows the edit location dialog. From here you can change the name, description, set the location (currently only via latitude and longitude but I’ll work on other formats eventually), change the region, and pick from pre-defined habitat types (again… eventually this will be a customisable list but at the moment it comes from the BTO survey codes). I’ll also be extending the List page to allow you to see a view of species seen in different habitats.

A slightly larger view…

Edit Location

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other thing you may note from the initial shot is that I’m working on integrating with Google Earth to provide mapping capability – in this example it is just to shot the location of the site ou are editing, but this will also extend to being able to view your records and reports on a fully interacive map. More on this soon….

Google Earth

Now with added pictures!!

To add a splash of colour to my record listing software, I’ve now got round to adding functionality to store photos (or any form of illustration so long as it is stored as a JPEG, PNG or BMP) along with sightings.

I havent allowed linking to an image on a website yet but that will come in due course.

As things stand, when entering the details of a sighting you can add one or more images by selecting the filename and giving your image your title and optional description :

Adding Photos

This then stores a link to the photo(s) – it doesn’t copy the image file (things would quickly get out of hand with respect to storage if it duplicated every photo you add) so if you delete or move the file the link will be broken (I need to put some validation in around this, or an option to tidy up broken links)

Then when you either go to the page that details your record you will see all photos associated with that visit, or if you go to the page for a specific species it will list all photos logged against the species :

Linked photos

Still to come – similar functionality for audio and video clips.