LOST ON THE NEW ISPOT? - Southern Africa : In case the new format seems a little unfamiliar, here are some links and hints.

In case the new format seems a little unfamiliar, here are some links and hints.

The old southern Africa iSpot can be found by clicking Explore Community - > Home
(url shortcut for links - http://www.ispotnature.org/communities/southern-africa)
- Oh: not southern Africa? - then first click on Communities > southern Africa.

- The big differences are:
** There is now such a page for each community (us, UK, Chile, Hong Kong, and Global)
* * The unidentified carousel is global (we have asked for this to be changed)
* * You now have your own home which you can tailor to your needs
- - - http://www.ispotnature.org/your-ispot (it is a little slow to load as it collects a lot of statistics)
- - - your MySpot is now your YourSpot (dont ask - some grammatical issue)
- - - You can also go straight to a project (but projects don't have an unread carousel): just point to its url (or bookmark it)

Most of the old MySpot features are now in the Left Hand tab below your name.
You can do almost everything you could do on the old iSpot twice: once for yourself (under your name tab) and once for a community (Explore Community).
I recommend that you use Yourspot mainly for setting up your preferences on iSpot, and your community for exploring data.

The two other tabs on the iSpot bar on top are Add (to add a project, observation or forum post) and Identify (to make a quick identification)

Before you get started:* Go to your profile (http://www.ispotnature.org/user) and set your default community (probably southern Africa)
* In your profile (http://www.ispotnature.org/user) decide whether if you log in you want to see
- - your community home page
- - your own special home page
you don't have to save, these are stored as you choose them.

To set up your own home page:go to Your View http://www.ispotnature.org/your-ispot/filter/map (or click on "Map")
and choose an area by zooming in on the map: what you see will be your view (imagine drawing a box on the edge)
- - unfortunately if you ever go to your view and zoom in it resets your view for all filters you might have: so while this is really great if you do want to change them all, remember to reset it if you dont. If you want to explore, rather do so in the Explore Community tab: you can set filters and maps and do all sorts of cool things there.
- - in either the "Gallery" or "List" views (see the tabs above your map) you can apply filters to narrow what you want to see.
- - You can save this filter: give it a name (but remember the mapped area is not stored with the filter so that you can change it any time if you want to - or dont want to). To make any saved filter your home view merely select the filter (open it by "switching it on" in the list of your saved projects) - as simple as that. You can change - or swap - your home view filter as often as you like.
Remember not to come to your home page to look at observations: do that in your community.
Unfortunately you cannot save filters in your community: But if you want to save filters and a your map extent, and share views with anyone and everyone, then simply create a Project. Projects are really cool: see - http://www.ispotnature.org/communities/southern-africa/projects/latest (or Click Explore Community > Projects)

Seems complicated???Yes all the added functions do make things a little more complex. But as a rule, do most of your work in "Explore Community" and use your "Your Spot" (under your own name) more to set up the environment for your home page.
Otherwise it is just the same old iSpot jazzed up, with some great new features.

A few things you should be aware of:* Projects: please make sure that you are in the southern African community before starting a project - unless you want a global project, then please change to that community.
* Filters: there is a bug in the habitat filter - please dont combine it with other filters at present as you will get an empty result.
* Community and YourSpot > Observations: iSpot will remember and load the lasts filter you used. Cool if that is what you want, but dont be surprized when you dont see ALL the data: clear your filter and zoom to your area if you want to see everything.

WHERE IS MY DATA? (8 December: all data are now loaded and visible - these is retained as an archive)
Hang Ten. It is still uploading and should finish over the weekend (06-7 Dec). Until then your data are on the system but invisible. All the data need to be on before the links and indices are activated, so sorry about that. You can still upload data and see the data from the Global site (some in southern Africa) in the meantime.

WHERE IS MY ACCOUNT?Did you not read the notices for months of October and November asking you to check your accounts? If your user name was already on the Global site then your user name has been changed. As you wont be able to log on, click on the request a new password and type in your email address: iSpot will send you your details to the address if it recognizes it. If not, please use contact us for help here www.ispotnature.org/contact

03 Dec 2014
Tony Rebelo