architect's picture

Suggest new functionality for the site

Please post any suggestions about new functionality that you'd like to see on the site, or possible new ways the site may be used.

This topic has now been discontinued. Please go to the 'suggest new features' forum and create a new topic if you'd like to suggest something.

Reply

Comments

miked's picture

New functions - geography

I should like to see various forms of geographical searching on the site

miked's picture

We should probably split this

We should probably split this listing into various topics as its becoming very difficult to keep track - can someone do this?

Following on from the geography topic I have put a few outside UK records on to help with testing the new geography features that are being developed. While doing this I noticed that my older outside UK photos are not geotagged which makes producing an observation difficult if not impossible if you want to try to be accurate about it. I've always written on the slide where/when it was taken but with natural history its often difficult to find a name that is very specific to where the observation was made especially when its abroad. Probably do need a button to indicate how accurate the location is.
Incidentally one reason why I was thinking of geocoding these older pictures was so that I could go back (or someone else could) to see if the species is still there.

JaseJ's picture

Tagging and mapping

I'd like to be able to tag other people's observations. Not everyone is comfortable with tagging and it looks like the tag cloud on the home page is getting dominated by a few users.

The edit field for adding new tags can 'feel' a little restricted in space too, maybe discouraging people from adding more tags. Maybe pre-populating a list of common tags for each group would help too.

Tagging should enhance the ability to search the site and perhaps address the issues associated with other website that are currently used to ID species. For example, it'd be helpful to search for "pink, five petals, flower" a get a list of thumbnails from observations.

I'd also like to see the mapping side of things enhanced, so that I could see other people's observations/locations. Firstly, it'd be nice to have all the observations made in one place to be captured in a single location, or at least be able to see geographically similar locations plotted on the map.

--- edit ---

I guess this would probably be better in the improving existing features topic!

Jonathan's picture

The tagging idea is a good

The tagging idea is a good one. Thanks for the suggestion.

We shall be adding geographical searches in due course. The priority we are working on at the moment is to cross-check names with the species dictionary used by the National Biodiversity Network. This will then enable us to do a variety of other things, including linking names to pages in the Encylopedia of Life

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

monty's picture

tagging

I discovered ispot only last week and have been finding my way around the site. I love it but to be honest I didn't understand the point of tagging until I read the suggestion above from JaseJ.

To me, and maybe others, the first word “Assynt” in the tags box was unfamiliar and a bit scary. I thought it was some scientific nomenclature; maybe you need to be Scottish! Also, when Adding an Observation I didn't find any help in explaining the use of tags so I decided to do without them.

I can now see that they are indeed useful so I would suggest (1) possibly call them “key words” instead of “tags” which is a bit more self-evident; (2) explain what they are for in the Help sections and/or in the FAQs; (3) change the text under the General tagging box from “A comma-separated list of terms describing this item. Example:... a forest” to “Please add a comma-separated list of terms describing your item that will help users to search the site. Example:...a forest.”

monty

Jonathan's picture

Thanks for the suggestion,

Thanks for the suggestion, Monty. A good one.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

DavidHowdon's picture

Tagging

I've been wondering for a while what the tags were for. Most of the information I might put in a tag on a general photography site (taxonomic information, location, date etc.) are included anyway in the iSpot information.

What 'extra' are the tags intended to cover?

lpearce's picture

mapping facility

I agree it would be really useful to be able to search using various forms of geographical areas.
I am sorry if ASSYNT is 'unfamiliar and a bit scary' to some but it is useful to group sighting into the larger area of Assynt and tagging seemed to be the only way.
So I would think it would be really useful to be able to use mapping to group sightings into geographical areas as well as retaining mapping to the more exact location.

Les Pearce
Photos- http://www.flickr.com/photos/assyntnature/
Videos http://www.youtube.com/user/assyntnature
Wildlife of Assynt

Jonathan's picture

Don't worry. I for one am

Don't worry. I for one am jealous of all the things you get in your area. A reminder of how impoverished nature is down here in the suburbs of the South, even if we are making the most of it!

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

Matt Smith's picture

Clear the "My Spot" list function wanted.

Can we have a function to "clear all" from the "My Spot" list please. Every time someone does anything to an observation that I have had some input to it adds that observation to my list. Most of the time I look and see that its just another "I agree" has bee added, nothing more.

At present I have to go into each entry individually to clear them off the list - a "clear all" function would be very useful and save me a lot of time.

Tachinid Recording Scheme

www.tachinidae.org.uk

TRS Facebook Page
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tachinid-Recording-Scheme/376652392364707

RichLove's picture

Hi Matt Thank you for your

Hi Matt

Thank you for your feedback. The My Spot and My Unread areas will be undergoing a few changes in the next couple of weeks and this is a feature that we can consider implementing.

We hope to also divide this page out in to sections to be able to show you what has changed on each observation.

I hope this will help.

Richard L
iSpot - Technical Team

charlieb's picture

Duplicate identifications

It would be good if the system picked up on duplicate (identical) identifications.

cooperj's picture

Observation identifiers & names

1) can you add observation identifiers to the observation details page? They are useful (essential) to unambiguoulsy comunicate about an observation to others outside the iSpot system. They effectively already have them as URLs, e.g. http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/10496
but this needs to be more explicit on the observation page itself e.g. "iSpot record identifier: ispot.org.uk/10496" or some such URI/globally unique identifier.

2) please include identification details on the latest observations page http://www.ispot.org.uk/latest_observations
My adopted 'role' in iSpot is not as a contributor (I live in New Zealand) but as an expert confirming or otherwise other people's observations. So I am scanning this page looking for potential mis-identifications so I can add my comment. To do that I need to see the scientific name. At the moment neither the observer's scientific name or common name appears on that browse list - just the title they gave the observation. And don't just put the common name there. As a mycologist we don't really use common names. Sure heaps have been invented over recent years, but they don't mean anything to us. My blood pressure rises when I see 'little pink fairy bonnets' or some such rubbish.

3) if there is a consensus about the correct name for an observation, i.e. a winning vote of 'revisions' as you call them, then let that identification float to the top as the 'iSpot' identification for that observation.

4) then contribute those consensus observations to the NBN and/or the GBIF network.

Jerry C

richard's picture

Thanks for the ideas

Hi Jerry,

thanks for these ideas. We've considered many of them already and are working on implementing new functionality all the time. In response to your points:

  1. We have talked about the need to have URIs for the observations and of course the URLs would double as these. We hadn't considered that these need to be more explicit for each observation but it should be easily added
  2. We're working on this and it's linked to point 3. But we're thinking of including the number of identifications for each observation plus the most probable ID
  3. We're considering creating a 'most probable' or consensus ID for each observation based on a weighting algorithm using the number of agreements, the agreers' reputations, and the reputation of the ID author
  4. We have talked about contributing observations to various recording schemes and are still deciding on the best way to implement this.

Richard G - iSpot technical team

cooperj's picture

adding observations

1) add the option to make the google map interface bigger. I ended up launching a separate instance of google maps and cutting & pasting the coordinates.

2) agree with other submissions that you need a spatial query interface, also based on google Maps, and perhaps ability to download to KML files for use in Googe Earth. In a similar project we've used cluster markers quite succesfully http://www.nzbrn.org.nz/fungi/uttag_google.asp?fromyear=2007&tomyear=2009

But don't forget, if you start exposing spatial data, that Google Earth/maps and the UK use the WGS84 datum and you need to say so. Here in New Zealand we use datum 49 which throws lat/lon sideways relative to WGS84 by several hundred metres. many countries do not use WGS84.

3) add the ability to upload a caption with an image - e.g. for comments on scale, context, photographer if not observer etc.

4) consider asking depositors to submit data according to a creative commons license - so you are harmonized with other initiatives such as Enclopedia of Life, Wikipedia etc ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_Creative_Commons_Attribut...

5) one for the distant future: Consider exposing upload/download functionality as documented web services. E.g. so I can build an dynamic interface to my own observation database because I'm not going to re-keyboard and upload my 7,000 records and 10,000 images, although you probably don't want all that!

Jerry C

richard's picture

Hi Jerry, Thanks again for

Hi Jerry,

Thanks again for more useful ideas.

  1. (2 also) We should soon be starting to focus a large part of our development efforts on overhauling the whole location side of the site and have various ideas to improve usability and increase functionality, we'll definitely take on board your comments and thanks for the example of your use of Google maps.
  2. Images can have various pieces of information added to them at present, although we are aware that this whole issue needs more work and we're hoping at some point to implement both watermarking and the ability to annotate images as well.
  3. I think the creative commons license has been discussed but I'm not sure of the situation on this particular point, I'll talk to the team about this.
  4. Again we are considering this and our plan is to develop an API for the site that can then be used by those who may be interested.

Richard G - iSpot technical team

andrewsavage's picture

Use of images

Would it be possible ( and liked !) if when posting a picture and information people could choose if they wanted to keep their images exclusive to them o other users would know not to copy the images, or/and vice versa so people could let other users know their images where available for general use.

Andrew Savage

andrewsavage's picture

Use of images

Would it be possible ( and liked !) if when posting a picture and information people could choose if they wanted to keep their images exclusive to them o other users would know not to copy the images, or/and vice versa so people could let other users know their images where available for general use.

Andrew Savage

er2938's picture

Exclusivity

I wouldn't like that at all. I think the purpose and spirit of this website is about sharing observations, knowledge and learning. Within that spirit images should be available to use for everyone. In my opinion you shouldn't upload images here if you don't want other people to use them and are worried about copyright.

Erwyn

andrewsavage's picture

I agree

Personally i agree with you, however in the rules or equitte pages it says about copying images, this would be an easy way for people to know what they can and can't use.

Andrew Savage

Tuisku's picture

Next observation button

When viewing an observation, would be great if there was a 'next' button for viewing the next observation in full. It is so much fun browsing them.

RichLove's picture

Hi Tuisku This is some

Hi Tuisku

This is some functionality that we are considering implementing in the near future.

Thank you for the feedback and welcome to iSpot.

Richard L
iSpot - Technical Team

Tuisku's picture

Accidental agreements

Hello!

I accidentally clicked 'I agree' on identification. Can I undo that?

thanks :-)
Tuisku

er2938's picture

yes you can

Yes, click 'Remove Agreement' button that is in the same place.

Tuisku's picture

Need to reload page

A-haa, now I can see it! Thanks. I need to reload/revisit the page for it to show, so it was not obvious.

Matt Smith's picture

Location details and grid refs

When you enter a location into the site you have the option of entering lat and long in order to define your location or marking a point on a map. I'm essentially wanting to do the opposite as I want to extract locality details so I can add some of these records to the National Recording Scheme I help run.

As a feature when looking at a "Locality", I would find it very helpful if the GB Grid Reference for the locality (eg SU123456)could be diplayed.

Tachinid Recording Scheme

www.tachinidae.org.uk

TRS Facebook Page
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tachinid-Recording-Scheme/376652392364707

richard's picture

Locations set to change

Hi Matt,

The use of locations on the site will be under going some large changes soon, both with how they're added and also how they're shared. There will be some way of at least viewing the lat and long although we don't have any plans at present to convert these to a GB Grid Reference. However we may provide links to services that could convert them for you.

Richard G - iSpot technical team

Matt Smith's picture

Grid Refs and lat long coords

From a Recording Scheme point of view I'd have to ask "why" I-Spot only seems to be working on a "lat-long" basis and has no plans to provide UK Grid Refs?

I have seen an awful lot of records over the years and I can say with almost complete confidence that nobody in the UK records on a lat-long basis, the standard OS Grid Reference is used for 99.99% of records.

Given that the lat-long / grid ref service mentioned sees to be something that the publishers say is or can be integrated into web applications, it would seem sensible to investigate including this feature into I-Spot.

Tachinid Recording Scheme

www.tachinidae.org.uk

TRS Facebook Page
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tachinid-Recording-Scheme/376652392364707

Kiteman's picture

Grid references would be VERY

Grid references would be VERY useful, and much easier to match up with other sites.

Martin Harvey's picture

grid refs

Just to add my ha-penny-worth (which Richard has heard many times before!) - I think it would be really useful, not to say almost essential, to have grid references available in some way. Several other people have made similar suggestions to Matt's, and I hope we can find a way of doing this, given that it is integral to the standard methods for recording species in the UK.

----
Entomologist and biological recorder

lpearce's picture

National Grid References

I agree with Richard, it is a bit of a pain to have to convert the locations to grid references.
I have started adding them manually to the Location Notes, but it is long winded and would be so much better to have them added automatically .

Les Pearce
Photos- http://www.flickr.com/photos/assyntnature/
Videos http://www.youtube.com/user/assyntnature
Wildlife of Assynt

miked's picture

Just a quick note that one

Just a quick note that one way to convert to/from Ordnance survey coordinates is via Gridinquest
http://www.qgsl.com/?product=gridinquest
It can do coordinates a pair at a time or a file of thousands at a time.
Note that there are plenty of websites that claim to be able to do it too but some of them get it wrong.