12 Jun 2021
We have had the fortunate opportunity to have a full team of developers (from my day job business - at3am IT) working laser focused on NatureMapr platform improvements and enhancements over the past few weeks - they will continue this right through to 30 Jun.
NatureMapr enhancements are being professionally managed by a dedicated project manager and with the assistance of Michael B, are being thoroughly tested in our dedicated TEST environment, prior to consideration for PRODUCTION rollout later this month.
This represents a very large investment for us, in the order of over $100,000, to pay a top shelf team market rates to get the platform to where it needs to be, to support our pending national rollout and brand new mobile app.
And the team are absolutely hitting it out of the park.
So far, over 60 items have been addressed, improved, fixed or enhanced which will all be included in our next pending platform update.
- NatureMapr will move to a global/shared taxonomy to provide increased consistency across all regional projects. That is, category structures will be consistent across every project
- Species will all be linked back to the global/shared taxonomy, providing many advantages:
- The mobile app will come pre-bundled with every species in the global taxonomy, enabling users to quickly, painlessly and easily report sighting of any species in any regional project right across the country
- Synonyms will be defined and managed at the global/shared taxonomy level, so that all regional projects can instantly leverage the list of synonyms that already exist for a particular species, without needing to re-define the same list of synonyms themselves over and over again
- We will be able to almost instantly report on all the "gang gang cockatoo" or "platypus" sightings right across the country, as all species will link back to the global/shared taxonomy
- Brand new / essentially empty regional projects, will be immediately able to receive new sightings via web and/or mobile app because they will have instant access to the global/shared taxonomy from day one. This eliminates the existing need to pre-load in a hand crafted taxonomy for each region on a per region basis. This will ultimately allow NatureMapr to stand up new regions across the country and all users to start reporting and shaping their local field guides from day one
- Of course, regional projects will continue to build up their own unique field guide lists - which are the accumulated list of species that only occur within that region. This important behaviour will continue to exist and work in harmony with the introduction of the global/shared taxonomy
- Improvements to sighting bulk import tool for administrators
- Improvements to species bulk import tool for administrators
- Improvements to alerts sent to category moderators when comments are received
- A new Statistics web page, so that project administrators can quickly and easily get a rich, visual snapshot of the breakdown of activity/sightings/users in their region at any time online without needing to wait for the weekly statistics email. The new statistics web page provides more detailed statistics than the old weekly stats email provided and is much more reliable, i.e. accessible any time on demand
- Ability to flag bulk imported sightings on a per data source basis to either be sent to our data partners (ALA, NSW BioNet) OR to be exluded from being fed our to data partners (I.e. in the event of an extremely sensitive data source being imported into NatureMapr)
- Various bug fixes right across the platform which I won't list, but in the order of around 20 minor issues that have all been tidied up, resolved and tested
- Work on the brand new, much simpler mobile app is nearing completion
- The NatureMapr app is directly dependent on the structural changes mentioned above, so we will update the platform first, soon followed by release of the mobile app
- The NatureMapr app will not require any project bundles to be downloaded, you will be able to report immediately after downloading the app from the app store
- The NatureMapr app contains much more help text and simple prompts to make using the app much more obvious to users who are unfamiliar with it
- The navigation, user interface have all been streamlined and simplified. E.g. there is a very large, obvious UPLOAD button directly in the main navigation menu
National Roll out
- Once the platform has been upgraded and the mobile app have been released, we will formally enable new regions, so that NatureMapr coverage will extend Australia wide
- These projects will be pre-loaded with access to the new global/shared taxonomy from day one and will be "ready to roll"
Integration with data partners
- We are working together with CSIRO ALA to completely redevelop and refresh the data feed from NatureMapr to the ALA. We will be one of the first data providers to utilise new ALA infrastructure via our brand new feed.
- The new ALA feed will elegantly take care of both updates and deletes to sighting records. So that if a sighting is deleted from NatureMapr, it will in turn be removed from the ALA within the next 7 days (at the latest). Similar for updates to sighting records
- Work is underway on a similar feed through to NSW BioNet
Local Government Partners
- We are excited to announce shortly a couple of new local government organisations that we will be working with - more to come in this space
- We hope to receive some crucial additional funding from ACT Government and continue to receive invaluable support from our existing Local Government Partners
- We are having some exciting talks with Microsoft Australia - I can't say much more on this yet, but watch this space
Thanks for your continued support while we have had to make major structural changes to the whole way that NatureMapr works.
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