Platform update

 11 July 2020

Hi All,

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.

88 comments

KimPullen wrote:
   13 Jul 2020
Great work, Aaron and team! It's easy for me to forget you guys working away behind the scenes to keep NatureMapr working like it does.
   13 Jul 2020
Hi Aaron and Co., I hope the general tweaks and improvements include reverting to the original ability to confirm a species without having to go through the two step process of suggesting it first, thereby generating an extra and unnecessary email. I'm longing to see the back of that little quirk! And adding images to the ID pages via define images without having to go in via admin would be nice too. Yours in hope, Jackie. PS Who gets to score the sightings for data quality? Could get complicated eg if the image is lousy but you trust the person who put it up.
   13 Jul 2020
Thanks for all of your work on this!
   13 Jul 2020
I am not sure what is the best forum for asking this question, but I am wondering if anyone can explain to me the process by which NatureMapr sightings are in turn fed into the Atlas of Living Australia platform? Do our sightings submitted here get transferred? How frequently does this occur? Many thanks for any advice you can provide!
RodDeb wrote:
   14 Jul 2020
Really appreciate all the effort and hard work you are all doing for NatureMapr including those who do the identifications. Thank you.
Harrisi wrote:
   14 Jul 2020
Take a bow to all concerned, you should be proud of your work, it is greatly appreciated. A wonderful resource is the result of your efforts!
   14 Jul 2020
Many thanks to all involved. I am so glad that the creators started this site as I really enjoy the community on CNM and I also find CNM a really useful resource to identify the creatures I see. Many thanks to all for the great site and for the updates. I really appreciate CNM and your work👍👍👍
   15 Jul 2020
In the words of the lads from Liverpool: "..it's getting better all the time..." Good work team!
   15 Jul 2020
Many thanks for the support everyone.

Hi Jackie: I'm glad you mentioned that, I didn't realise. So do we need to show the "Confirm" button straight away for moderators? That's a relatively easy thing to fix.

We will be developing a new way to "define sample species images" soon, it is part of our road map.

No "person" gets to score sighting data quality, it will be a transparent set of simple rules and checks that the system will test for, we may not get it perfect first time, but we will refine it until we get it right. E.g. if we get GPS proof of location directly out of the image, then that's worth a point.. More on this soon.

Hi WattaWanderer: The ALA download all our latest sightings (via our API / web service) once weekly. We are still unable to send any sensitive sightings through to the ALA as they are unable to properly suppress the information we provide, therefore we only send non-sensitive sightings through to the ALA at this point in time.

Cheers

Aaron.
LisaH wrote:
   20 Jul 2020
Hi Aaron - congratulations, to you and all involved. I can't tell you how my life has been influenced by being part of this project - and community.
Wandiyali wrote:
   20 Jul 2020
Huge job, many thanks Aaron. Continue to really enjoy the platform and community.
   22 Jul 2020
Hi All,

Sighting Upload delays have now been resolved and a number of sightings are being refreshed in the background to ensure they have the correct location "Place" names. Google was throttling us from geocoding too many sightings! But we are making some changes to better handle that (I.e. so we don't smash Google too hard so that this won't happen in the future).

We have also fixed a few bugs in the past 24 hours:
- Editing sightings with 4 images trying to add a 5th image
- Tiny thumbnails not refreshing sometimes on Sighting Edit Page
- New Admin area (for project adminstrators) can now grant and revoke security roles, categories and locations

More to come...

Cheers

Aaron.
   23 Jul 2020
Hi All,
- Data Export capability is now available in the New Admin area for Administrators.

We continue to redevelop the Admin area and are currently focused on 3 critical user facing issues:
- Nightly/weekly emails are sometimes being sent twice
- User sighting counts are not always re-freshed after sighting upload
- If google geocoding fails, we will abort maintaining a sighting and flag it for retry a short time later.

We hope to have these 3 issues resolved by the end of the coming weekend. They are all funnily enough related to the same piece of architecture within the platform that is getting an upgrade.

More to come...
Mike wrote:
   23 Jul 2020
Great work. For your To Do List you can add geolocation for audio on the app (maybe that's just for Android). Or do you already have it? When I thought audio was not working on the app I uploaded some via the website but I also put some on the Australian Museum FrogID app. I noticed that this also captures lat./long. though I am not sure how I got to that information because I don't see it today.
   23 Jul 2020
Hi Mike,

The upload audio feature on the app uses the GPS location of your device at the point/time when you recorded the audio clip. That is because audio clips themselves natively don't contain any embedded GPS info inside them like images do. Therefore, we can only collect the location if you used the app to record the audio clip.

Otherwise, if uploading audio via the website, you need to specify the location manually. (In which case going forward into the future, your sighting would overall score less "scientific quality" points because we can't prove that the audio was truly recorded at the claimed location, which we can do if using the app.

Hope I'm making sense!

Cheers

Aaron.
Mike wrote:
   23 Jul 2020
Makes sense. I was doing it manually when the app was not working with audio for a while. Back to the app.
Bron wrote:
   24 Jul 2020
Brilliant work Aaron and team! Thanks.. I look forward to uploading many more historical sightings when it's all done. They'll miss out on GPS points but might prove interesting. A quick question - are you including a taxonomic structure so that slotting new species in will be more logical? I've learned so much about taxonomy from ALA's structure and would love to see similar in CNM. Cheers Bron
   26 Jul 2020
Hi Bron,

Work on the taxonomy (A bit of an overhaul and consolidation across projects) is planned on our roadmap, but we have a few more critical things to get to before we can do that. More to come...

Cheers

Aaron.
   26 Jul 2020
Hi All,

Several issues were resolved today.

- We have identified 2 further important maintenance improvements that will be made to the mobile apps in the next coming maintenance release to further improve stability
- All Attributes were merged across projects into a single consolidated list of attributes for species and categories regardless of project. This will help NatureMapr sightings be more and more consistent across projects and drastically improve the overall scientific quality of sighting information collected.

More to come.

Cheers

Aaron.
Bron wrote:
   27 Jul 2020
Thanks Aaron! And thans again for the tireless work. Cheers Bron
   27 Jul 2020
Good stuff, thanks for making these imrovements and for communicating how the platform is being upgraded
   29 Jul 2020
Hi All,

Some improvements:
- Bulk sighting import tool has been sped up and made more robust for very large files
- Google geocoding service has been made more robust and google throttling issue has been resolved

Next things on our immediate hit list are:
- Some nightly/weekly emails are still being sent multiple times. Will be resolved ASAP
- Species List tools moved into New Admin
- Create/Edit/Delete Maps/POIs/Places moved into New Admin
- Import taxonomy and import sightings tools moved into New Admin
- Mobile maintenance release is in the works

More to come...
   30 Jul 2020
Hi all, replies to cross project announcements (like this one), will now show in the latest comments across all projects so that we can get more cross project discussion happening against key topics such as important platform updates.

Cheers

Aaron.
   1 Aug 2020
Hi All,

For Administrators:

- Content Management has been moved into New Admin (dependency removed from Old Admin)
- Species List Management has been moved into New Admin (dependency removed from Old Admin)

More to come...

Cheers

Aaron.
   2 Aug 2020
Hi All, Last night at 12:30am, Rohan released an update to improve the reliability of our nightly and weekly emails. This should hopefully prevent any duplicate emails from being sent out due to the existing method timing out and auto-retrying (which resulted in the emails being sent out multiple times). We will keep an eye on this from here on... My weekend has also mostly been programming on the new Admin interface to bring more and more functions across from Old Admin. Cheers Aaron.
   2 Aug 2020
Hi All,

For Administrators:
- Add/Edit/Remove Location functions have now been redeveloped into the New Admin area (another dependency removed from Old Admin)

The next things for New Admin are:
- Ability to define dropdown attribute options
- Ability to define species within a species list
- Ability to define/upload polygons and points for locations
- Import taxonomy move to New Admin

Cheers

Aaron.
   6 Aug 2020
Hi All,

- You can now maintain your profile images once again via the Account Settings page
- Administrators can also maintain profile images for users from within the Admin area

Another small, incremental step forward...

Cheers

Aaron.
   8 Aug 2020
Hi All,

- For administrators: Custom Attribute options (dropdown list values) can now be maintained from the New Admin area

Cheers

Aaron.
   8 Aug 2020
Hi All,

- For Administrators. You can now fully maintain Location Groups from the New Admin area.

Cheers

Aaron.
   9 Aug 2020
Hi All,
- Species Synonyms now show up in Quick Search

Cheers

Aaron.
   9 Aug 2020
Hi All,

For Administrators: You can now fully maintain/edit Points of Interest via the New Admin area.

Cheers

Aaron.
michaelb wrote:
   9 Aug 2020
Re Species Synonyms now show up in Quick Search
Thanks Aaron
Another little bug off the list.
   9 Aug 2020
Hi All,

Lots of other things have been fixed.

Cheers

Aaron.
   11 Aug 2020
Hi All,

- We've addressed a small gap where the mobile apps were not being told to fetch updates for the field guide when points of interest were updated

Next things on our hit list are:
- Bring bulk import sightings into New Admin
-Bring import taxonomy into New Admin
- Introduce global "Location Groups" such as "watering points" that will be presented the same across all projects.
- Replace the publicly accessible "add point of interest" page with a better one that's more like the new one in New Admin

Aiming for end of week/end to achieve the above.

Cheers

Aaron.
Stewart wrote:
   11 Aug 2020
Great work Aaron and team! It's really starting to hum along now esp with field guides for POI and new admin areas working well! Thanks for all your tireless efforts.
   11 Aug 2020
Hi All, Going forward from the next app maintenance release onwards, NatureMapr will start supporting only the last "x" versions of the mobile app for both iOS and Android. This means that if you have the app on your device and you haven't updated it in quite a while, the app will notify you that you are required to update the app before allowing you to perform any key functions. This is because our support footprint is unrealistically large and we need to only support the last X versions of the app that are reasonably close to the latest version. For example: If we push out a major/important update to the mobile apps (which may break old versions of the app), this new check will inform users automatically that they are older than a particular version and they need to update in order to continue to use the app. This is really important to avoid us ending up in an untenable and unrealistic support situation so that we can continue to provide high quality support to our app users. Cheers Aaron.
   15 Aug 2020
Hi All,

A big weekend and it's only Saturday!

- Import taxonomy now available in New Admin (for Administrators)
- Import sightings now available in New Admin (for Administrators)
- Major mobile maintenance update which includes:

- Larger tiled view for locations in the field guide
- Improved reliability of field guide species image downloads
- The app will now prompt users to update their installed version if it is an older version no longer supported by the NatureMapr platform
- Audio sightings are now copied to the Photos app for added safekeeping
- Clearer error message wording in the field guide
- Clearer warning message when resetting the app back to the default factory state
- Fixed an incompatibility issue within the field guide for devices running iOS version 12 or older
- More consistent styling of bottom menu buttons
- Various minor bug fixes and stability improvements

Thanks,
The NatureMapr Team

We are getting there, happy exploring...
   15 Aug 2020
Hi All,

I can remember a time when NatureMapr was lucky to get a few sightings over the winter period.\
Spring was always pretty crazy with lots of sightings coming in.

Now winter seems like the old spring, so we don't get much of a break with the platform. But that's a good problem to have.

Our focus within the next 2 weeks is:
Maintaining and bedding down overall stability in preparation for our peak spring period (no large/breaking changes will be released)
FrogWatch ACT enhancements and bring their survey-based platform back online in time for their peak reporting period.
Redevelop the "Manage Taxonomy" tool from Old Admin into New Admin so we can finally switch the Old Admin off.
Cheers

Aaron.
Christine wrote:
   16 Aug 2020
Hi Aaron,
thanks for all your continued hard work. Sorry that a new "feature" is not something I want, and I'm not sure how to turn it off. For the past couple of days after I add a new sighting I get a Personal Alert. That means an email, and an alert message under alerts. This does not add any value for me, and I would like to turn off that alert, but if i turn off Personal Alerts I will not get alerts when my sighting is moderated, which I do want. So how can I turn off the "Sighting X is ready" alerts without affecting my other Personal Alerts?? Help, Please! :)
Christine.
   17 Aug 2020
Hi Christine,

That's completely understandable, we'll get to this soon and be able to add a way to unsubscribe from these kinds of alerts.

As a general principle, I think we send out far too many emails in general.

I won't be able to fix this immediately as we have a number of other things in the backlog that are higher priorities, but I'll promise to do something about this ASAP.

Cheers

Aaron.
Christine wrote:
   17 Aug 2020
Thanks Aaron :)
   18 Aug 2020
Hi All,

Some progress this evening.

Bugs resolved
Editing sightings via the website would sometimes duplicate custom attribute values for the sighting upon save (RESOLVED).
Also affected sightings have been cleaned up.

We fixed an issue on author profile pages where paginating within unidentified or significant sightings would lose the unidentified or significant filter and revert to all sightings (RESOLVED)

We fixed an issue where the breadcrumb nav control on author profile pages would not display unidentified or significant filters (RESOLVED)

Enhancements
You can now drill down into the individual rows/results of both taxonomy imports and bulk sighting imports to see an individual record that was either successfully imported, skipped or failed to be processed. This was not possible via Old Admin.
Heaps of other things in the works as we speak.

Cheers

Aaron.
   18 Aug 2020
Hi All,

- For Admins: We fixed an issue where new announcements would not lose their "post to all projects" checkbox state.

Cheers

Aaron.
   23 Aug 2020
Hi All,

- 2 minor security vulnerabilities around sensitive species locations were resolved
- A bug has been confirmed with the Android app which is only uploading the first 2 images of all sightings. This will go into a new maintenance release
- Work on Rejecting sightings from the sighting details page and displaying rejected sightings for the author profile page has kicked off

Cheers

Aaron.
   24 Aug 2020
Hi Aaron, there is a problem with the comments. I've clicked on the link to a couple of comments yesterday to find there is no comment and on this sighting, https://canberra.naturemapr.org/Sightings/4329552 the comment to which Don is replying has disappeared. It was there yesterday. The link to Tech support is no longer directly under About. Thanks
   24 Aug 2020
Hi Alison, The core platform team are unfortunately no longer able to provide direct/open technical support to all users. However, we will continue to provide detailed technical support to our paying customers (these are project administrators). Please use the main Contact form to inform administrators of any issues. Administrators will then triage the issue and raise a formal support ticket with the core team if/as required etc. We had to do this in order to survive as the workload is unrealistic. Cheers Aaron.
   24 Aug 2020
Hi All,

We now have a few improvements that have been made this week by Gaelian, flagged for rolling out into another mobile maintenance update.

These will be on the way soon:
Android only - some sightings would only upload a maximum of 2 images
Sighting "reported on date" was sometimes 1 day behind the actual time the sighting was reported (due to UTC time difference being offset twice rather than once)
Cheers

Aaron.
   24 Aug 2020
Hi All,

- "Inconclusive sightings" are now available again from the author profile page
- Moderators can now once again mark sightings as inconclusive from the sighting details page

This is another gap that has only just been redeveloped on the new platform.

Cheers

Aaron.
   25 Aug 2020
Hi All,

- We resolved an issue where author names were not showing on comments older than about 4-5 years ago

Cheers

Aaron.
   25 Aug 2020
Hi All,

- For admins: quick search is now functional from within the admin area

Cheers

Aaron.
   31 Aug 2020
Hi All,

- The Android app has been upgraded to work with the new Android X framework. This is to keep us up to date with how Google are improving the android operating system. This improvement will come in the next maintenance release and will improve general app reliability and performance as well as making it easier for us to maintain over time
- We resolved an issue where password reset may not function correctly for users that have changed email addresses at some point
- For Administrators: You can now change a sighting's author from within the Edit Sighting page

Cheers

Aaron.
   31 Aug 2020
Hi All,

Do you know that Facebook's app was updated this week and it crashed for over half of existing users?

Did you also know that the Microsoft Cloud was affected by multiple outages in the past week?

These are the best of the best and they still experience real world outages.

Cheers

Aaron.
   1 Sep 2020
Hi All,

- Survey based projects (aka FrogWatch ACT) now show up a random species gallery on their home page in place of the featured sightings component
- We now include location group names in the navigation breadcrumb when you are on a particular location page (I.e. Map, Point of interest or Place). This makes it easier to jump back to the particular location group that the location lies within.

Cheers

Aaron.
   1 Sep 2020
Hi All,

- We are likely to have some good news regarding another maintenance release of the mobile apps tomorrow
- This week we are also working on:
- View Survey Details (Frogwatch ACT but can be leveraged by all projects)
- Add a new Survey (Frogwatch ACT but can be leveraged by all projects)

More to come...
   14 Sep 2020
Hi All,

- Projects can now download the coordinates of their boundary in CSV format via the Admin area
- We fixed an issue where location moderators and category moderators weren't seeing all sensitive species via the distribution map and/or nearby sighting lists
- We turned off email notifications for "Sighting 123456 is ready" messages following successful uploading of a new sighting. You will still receive a notification via the website, but not an email
- NatureMapr has contributed a major fix to an open source plugin that we use for saving media files into the gallery on phones (so that any media recorded within the naturemapr app remains available also outside of the app on your device). This fix will be soon rolled into the plugin to improve our compatibility with the very latest Android X platform. We are ahead of the curve in this space and have modernised our app to be Android X compatible, hence needing to contribute to the plugin that we rely on, as they hadn't catered for Android X as yet.
- Work continues on completion of the new Survey functionality to support Frogwatch ACT

More to come...!
   19 Sep 2020
Hi All,

An important mobile maintenance release has gone out today for both iPhone and Android.

It will be available to download within about 24 hours.

New in this version:

- Fixed a bug where sightings could be uploaded with incorrect date/times when picked from the gallery
- Fixed a bug where species common name wasn't being properly saved when editing a sighting
- Fixed a bug where placeholder text in notes fields may be incorrectly shown when editing a sighting
- Various other minor bug fixes and stability improvements

Please make sure you download the update for your device as soon as you can.

Cheers

Aaron.
   20 Sep 2020
Hi All,

Over the weekend:

- We reduced the time it takes to debug and deploy all future changes to NatureMapr (big deal but not much to show for it)
- We have built the first version of "Add a Survey" for FrogWatch ACT

In the future, Surveys can be leveraged by all projects. Just not at the moment until we complete the rest of our roadmap / ToDo list.

Cheers

Aaron.
   21 Sep 2020
Hi All,

Today we added 2 new values into the Author Profile "gender" fields:

- "Other / transgender"
- "Prefer not to say"

Cheers

Aaron.
   21 Sep 2020
Hi All,

Google have advised that app updates are now delayed significantly due to Covid etc.

So our new 3.9.1 version hasn't gone live yet.

But it should hopefully soon.

Cheers

Aaron.
   21 Sep 2020
Hi All,

We now (once again) mark up comments with any links to sightings and/or surveys so that they are clickable links directly within comments.

Cheers

Aaron.
   25 Sep 2020
Hi All,

Our recent work on redeveloping the survey functionality, primarily to support Frogwatch ACT, has led to a couple of other subtle improvements that now affect the Add/Edit and View sighting pages.

You may notice that the layout has been slightly improved (to use up all available white space within the Add/Edit and View web pages) whenever you are using any of the Identification tools.

The hierarchy will expand horizontally now, instead of vertically. This makes the page flow better, reduces the amount of vertical scrolling, leaves a larger screen area for our growing list of custom attribute fields and also means that sighting and survey pages are now more consistently aligned to one another.

Thanks for your patience while we continue to improve the platform.

There is a lot going on. We wish Frogwatch ACT all the best with their big launch this weekend. We are making final preparations today to ensure they can execute smoothly tomorrow.

Cheers

Aaron.
   29 Sep 2020
Hi All,

A massive last weekend - RoTo and I worked all weekend, but achieved a huge amount.

This is stuff we've needed to do for years but have only finally had the chance to catch up on and knock over properly.

In short: the way that icons were rendered throughout the site was 7 years old.
This is pretty much one of the only/last remaining bits of our code from the original development in 2013.
It was hard baked in and meant that all the icons you see to represent things like sensitivity level, conservation level, invasiveness level etc were all rendered by our back end server. 7 years later, this is quite rigid and brittle. It means that even subtle changes to the website or how we want NatureMapr to function, breaks things easily.

So when we were in the middle of redeveloping survey functionality on the weekend, my own short-sighted icon design from 7 years ago bit us one last time. Rather than have it make the development of surveys more difficult, we chose to bite the bullet and throw it all in the bin and do it properly. We spent all weekend doing that!

As a result, we have now thrown all the old code in the bin and it is a very liberating feeling.

We are becoming more and more free finally, by paying off all this technical debt and being able to take the platform forward.

This now finally makes heaps of future capabilities much more within reach and just around the corner as we have almost paid off all our 7 years of "technical debt".

Cheers

Aaron.
   29 Sep 2020
Hi All,

Another update.

We've deployed a new feature so that Admins can now easily download the sightings for a particular user from within the New Admin area:



Soon we will extend this capability to all users, so anybody can download all their own sightings in bulk from the platform.
We used to have this feature, but it's another thing we have needed to re-implement properly with the platform re-write.

Cheers

Aaron.
Wen wrote:
   30 Sep 2020
Hi Aaron
I love the ease of the NatureMapr platform for uploading sightings, but I've noticed a glitch with the "Recorded On" date for all of the sightings I've uploaded into NatureMapr. My sightings are out/behind by 20 hours. For example, actual photo taken on 22/9 @ 12:15pm and uploaded on 22/9 was displayed as 21/9 @ 4:15pm in NatureMapr. I normally upload sightings the day I've taken the images. Got any idea what's going on? This wasn't a problem when I first added sightings on 22/9, but I became aware of the problem on 24/9, where all of my previous sightings had incorrect date/time. Anyway, I've corrected all of the date/time records that I've recorded, but I shouldn't have to update this every time I upload a sighting. I am using an iPhone SE, so am wondering if my iPhone is getting old. Any insights into resolving this issue would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and kind regards, Wen
   30 Sep 2020
Hi All, Google have approved our 3.9.1 maintenance update and it is now live and available for download! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=naturemapr.mobile.droid&hl=en Cheers Aaron.
   30 Sep 2020
Hi Wen,

Can you please confirm which version of the iPhone app you are currently running?

This was a known issue in a previous maintenance release that we currently believe has been resolved.

Can you also please provide a link to an affected sighting.

Cheers

Aaron.
   6 Oct 2020
Hi All,

We have been getting smashed due to all the spring activity. A few things going on:
- Known issue: The website is running more slower than usual. This is due to our recent work in replacing the 7 year old icon code. The new code, while working well, is not yet optimised for performance. We will need a bit of time to do this, but it's in the works

- Known issue: Clicking on a project's map icon within the apps is currently broken. This even includes the very latest 3.9.1 and 3.8.1 version of the apps. This is under investigation and to be resolved as a priority

- Known issue: Occasionally the "recent categories" don't display within the apps on the report form. This is a threading/deadlock issue to be resolved in our next maintenance release.

- In Progress: We still have a number of tweaks to make for FrogWatch ACT to properly finalise Survey functionality. This work is in progress as a top priority

- RESOLVED: We updated our Google Analytics code to be compatible with Google's recent changes

- RESOLVED: We fixed an issue where alerts were being created with Date Time's 10 hours in the future. This lead to many alerts showing as "just now" for approximately 10 hours before UTC date time surpassed Canberra Date Time!

- Planned Enhancement: We are introducing a new NatureMapr font (which is actually a suite of properly scalable vector icons) for all our categories (E.g. Plants, Fish, Arthropods, Invertebrates etc). These will replace the old PNG format non-scalable icons which we were never quite happy with. We are working with a talented designer at the moment and will be excited to release the new icon suite in the not too distant future. These new icons will fit the overall NatureMapr theme much better and look much more professional

- Planned Enhancement: We are working on how to enable the app to allow users to multi-select photos when reporting a new sighting. I.e. select many photos in one go rather than having to add many photos individually over and over

Lots of other things to get to after all of the above, but that's enough for now.

Thanks for your patience while we are inundated with requests during spring.

Cheers

Aaron.
LisaH wrote:
   6 Oct 2020
Thanks Aaron and team - I can't describe how much I appreciate what you are doing, and under pressure. Thank you for keeping us updated, and for your continued enhancement of this important project.
   6 Oct 2020
Hi All,

We have resolved an issue where extra images could not be added when editing sightings.

Cheers

Aaron.
   6 Oct 2020
Thanks LisaH,

Positive feedback helps us keep going.

Cheers

Aaron.
   7 Oct 2020
Hi All,

Some progress this evening:
- Mobile app V3.9.2 for Android is in the works and addresses the above known mobile bugs. Issues have been resolved and this release is just being packaged up for release
- We made Survey project's default to the Points of Interest tab when users are Add a Survey for ease of selection of a pre-loaded survey site
- We resolved an issue with google maps not properly rendering when inside a hidden tab to support the above survey points of interest functionality
- We added the obvious "No species were observed" option when Adding a Survey. This is the default option when adding any new survey. Once you then select "Add a species" at least once, the "No species were observed" indicator goes away
- We are now populating the "Latest Surveys" list for survey based projects (E.g. Frogwatch ACT)
- We fixed a minor bug on the web site with regards to displaying icons
- We resolved some missing links within moderator alerts which were preventing moderators from clicking through to some sightings

We estimate we have approximately 1-2 weeks of work remaining on Surveys (FrogWatch ACT).

Known Issue: Exporting a user's sightings from the Admin area, does not include Unidentified sightings in the downloadable extract. We plan to resolve this ASAP. More to come...

Cheers

Aaron.
Mike wrote:
   7 Oct 2020
I have had trouble with uploading audio on the Android app 3.9.1. The recording stops at 30.10 seconds and I get NatureMapr has stopped.
I am also unable to get past mosses etc when trying a Project update because NatureMapr stops.
My phone is running Android 7.0. Do I need a new phone? Is the Apple app working better?

Cheers,
Mike
   8 Oct 2020
Hi Mike,

I think the latter issue should be resolved with 3.9.2 but the audio issue we didn't know about.

I'll let Gaelian know and we'll investigate..

How old is your phone?

Cheers

Aaron.
   12 Oct 2020
Hi All,

Progress update:
- We resolved an issue where exporting a user's sightings from within the Admin area would not include Unidentified sightings in the exported CSV file
- We resolved a missing "Suggest" button when a user is suggesting a missing species that doesn't currently exist in the taxonomy against a particular sighting
- Re resolved an issue with "Suggest New Species Scientific Name" not being displayed in the Sighting Audit Trail list
- We removed a broken link to the old "Technical Support Contact Form" which no longer exists for general users
- We resolved an issue with Threshold (metres) aka radius not being present with newly created points of interests that was then causing the google map image not to generate
- We resolved an issue with a particular type of M4A audio file that is generated by iOS devices not being processed correctly by the new Add Survey tool
- We resolved an issue with the location field guide pages not updating the results when navigating beyond page 1
- We removed the temporary image manipulation icons from the sighting details page to avoid confusing users (as this feature isn't completed yet)
- We resolved an issue where points of interests were having their google map generate as a satellite image rather than a road map
- We resolve an issue where the support team were being double spammed (2 x copies of every email) whenever a user submitted a Contact Form Enquiry!

MOBILE UPDATE
- Some exciting changes are in the works for the mobile app
- You will soon be able to multi-select images when reporting a sighting. This is very close
- A number of other small maintenance issues will also be addressed in the next release

Thanks for your patience.

Cheers

Aaron.
   12 Oct 2020
Hi again,

MOBILE UPDATE
- Some exciting changes are in the works for the mobile app
- You will soon be able to multi-select images when reporting a sighting. This is very close
- A number of other small maintenance issues will also be addressed in the next release

NEXT PRIORITIES
This week we plan to:
- Introduce the "Edit Survey" page for FrogWatch ACT
- Introduce the Suggest, Confirm, Undo and Verify functions on the Survey Details page for FrogWatch ACT

Cheers

Aaron.
   19 Oct 2020
Hi all,

- We've improved the look and feel of surveys
- We've made your alerts page properly mobile friendly
- We made new Points of Interest now default to the centroid of the project boundary so that they always have a default coordinate pair
- We are investigating why Google charged us $3,000 for geocoding during the last month !!!
- Work continues on the planned mobile release

Cheers

Aaron.
   25 Oct 2020
Hi all,

This weekend we've completed the following:

- Add sort order column to custom attributes so that attributes can be sorted

- Remove species tools from Edit survey page

- Fix Edit survey page wipe species bug

- Automatically move surveys in and out of Unverified Surveys list page only once all their species suggestions have been reviewed by a moderator (or have not)

- Build Unidentifed Surveys page

- Fix distribution map blank grey not-rendering bug for points of interest

- Fix custom attribute check box not holding value after major rewrite

- Mobile app - multi image selection now working for both ios and Android and is being tested

- Mobile app - fix ios reported date time being 1 day behind bug

We are currently working on:
- completion of survey suggest/confirm/review workflow
- packaging up mobile app for maintenance release shortly

More to come
   25 Oct 2020
U reckon there’s going to be a bounty list? Somehow immune from photoshop, I dunno
   26 Oct 2020
Hi All,

We have given the attributes section a bit of an overhaul as part of the work for FrogWatch ACT.

As a bonus, these benefits will be available to all projects immediately.

- Attributes can now be sorted, which lets you control the order they appear on the form. In FrogWatch's case, this was to mimic their historical paper based survey form.

- Formatting of attributes has been improved dramatically

- Attributes can now have a "Unit" E.g. "Degrees (C)". The unit will be rendered in a little prompter box next to the field itself

Cheers

Aaron.
   27 Oct 2020
Hi All,

We have finally written down the various privileges that users can be granted and basically what it allows individuals to do over and above a regular user.

This is due to receiving many similar enquiries/questions regarding how everything works.

This page now shows up globally on all projects in the About nav menu.

https://noosa.naturemapr.org/content/66

Cheers

Aaron.
tpreston wrote:
   27 Oct 2020
Thank you for all your hard work Aaron and everyone involved. I cant tell you how much joy and education I get from this website, not to mention giving a purpose to my photography. I would love to hear what uses info from the site is put to in the future.
I hope you all get a well deserved rest at some point, and congratulations.
   1 Nov 2020
Hi All,

Over the weekend we've completed the following:
- Completion of new survey Suggest/Confirm/Undo moderator tools
- Improvements to how audit trail formatting on both surveys and sightings
- Improvements to how surveys are displayed in lists throughout the platform
- Resolved an issue with the mobile apps sometimes not uploading audio files due to recent API changes
- Resolved an issue where malicious users could not be deleted from Admin
- Resolved an issue where editing comments would cause their line breaks to be removed, bunching all the text up on a single line
- MAJOR code tidy ups and maintenance to reduce amount of code being maintained and upgrades to several dependent components

Cheers

Aaron.
RodDeb wrote:
   1 Nov 2020
WOW you sure have been busy as always, many thanks for all the hard work you all do in keeping this wonderful site working, up to date and tweaked. Really appreciate everything you do.
Thanks Deb and Rod
   2 Nov 2020
Hi All,

The new latest surveys page is now in place and working.

Cheers

Aaron.
   9 Nov 2020
Hi All,

Lots of improvements were released over the weekend.

The team have been working extremely hard.

Here is a quick summary:

Mobile update
An updated and improved version of the mobile app was deployed to both iPhone and Android.
iPhone is already live, Google will make the updated Android app available in the next few days.
This update includes:
You can now choose up to five images at once for a sighting (multi image selection is finally here!!!)
Multi-image selection allows you to quickly select many images for a sighting. It will save you tons of time when reporting sightings with multiple images...

Fixed an issue where date/time wasn't being reflected correctly for uploaded sightings

Various other minor bug fixes and stability improvements

Other improvements
Latest Surveys page was implemented (FrogWatch ACT but will be available for all projects)

Surveys now automatically appear in the Unidentified Surveys page whenever there is at least one outstanding (not reviewed) species suggestion on the survey that a moderator/administrator still needs to review

Once a Survey has had all its suggestions "reviewed" (I.e. confirmed or rejected), the survey will no longer appear on the Unidentified Surveys list. This functionality is completely automated now

Removed some of the final remnants of the 7 year old code base that was built in 2013/2014. Redundant code that we no longer need. Less code = less bugs. So this is why it is critical to continue to pay off technical debt and keep our code base super clean and well maintained
Manage Taxonomy tool end of life
The important "manage taxonomy" tool is the final remaining part of the system that we need to completely re-write in full since replacing the old website.

We had been running the old code base in parallel so that moderators and administrators could continue to maintain their project's taxonomy while the redevelopment was taking place.

Unfortunately, the old code base is no longer compatible with the brand new web platform and as a result, the old Manage Taxonomy is now completely dead. So we've turned it off and it is no longer available

Therefore, we now need to complete the redevelopment of the Manage Taxonomy tool as one of our highest priorities. We have already commenced work on this and will keep you posted.

The new Manage Taxonomy tool will also introduce the first version of the new "global taxonomy" concept. This means (for example) that we will be able to quickly know where all the black cockatoo sightings are right across ALL NatureMapr Projects. This is because the black cockatoo species within all projects will now be linked together at the database level.
Note: This doesn't mean that project will need to lose any of the flexibility that they currently have. Just because a species exists in the global taxonomy, doesn't mandate that species needing to exist in every project. It just means that if you happen to have any sightings of a species in your project, it will always link back to the global taxonomy, so that we start to develop greater analytics and power from the data across ALL naturemapr projects. It's a bit like joining forces to make larger impacts
   12 Nov 2020
Hi All,

Set Sample Species Images
- Today we have (finally) re-introduced the ability to define the sample species images.
- These are basically the images that are displayed around the platform and in the field guide pages for every species.
- The new tool is a lot simpler (and easier for us to maintain).
- Simply go to the sighting that you wish to use one or more images of.
- Then click the new icon on the bottom right corner of any of the sighting's images.
- Then a modal window will appear that displays the existing sample species images for the species and allows you to select the position that you wish to set/update the image for. I.e. 1, 2 or 3.
- And you can enter in an optional caption.
- Then just click save and the sample species image will be set and saved.
- From then on field guides and the mobile apps will have their species sample images updated within a few seconds.

Large numbers of alerts (for busy administrators and moderators)

- We have added some more granular sub-sections to the way that alerts are displayed in the top bar notification area.
- If you have more than 100 alerts at any time, the system will now automatically split them up into:
Past 24 hours
Past 7 days
All
- This will hopefully de-clutter things a bit and make it easier to deal with only alerts from the past 24 hours or past week at a time etc. The Clear All button also only clears those alerts that are displayed for the given period.

Both features are new and will take some bedding in until we get them perfectly spot on.

So please provide any feedback or issues if you give these new features a go.

Cheers

Aaron.
Christine wrote:
   13 Nov 2020
Hi Aaron,

that last bit about alerts sounds like a great idea, but currently I have 2 alerts, but it is only showing the most recent one. I had actually left one old one in there purposely so that i did not have to update my session to be able to open the alerts if a new one came in, as the alerts does not seem to update automatically and give you a count as it used to, and if there are no alerts you cannot actually open the alerts to refresh it, but have to refresh your whole view.
Hope that made sense, but basically, just letting you know of this new issue with alerts since you have made this change,
Cheers,
Christine.
   17 Nov 2020
Thanks for the feedback Christine.

We are playing with the alerts tool a bit more now and I'm keen to get your continued feedback as the changes take shape.

Cheers

Aaron.

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AaronClausen

AaronClausen
AaronClausen

Founder, NatureMapr
65924 sightings of 2245 species in 210 locations from 110 members
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