As we quickly approach the end of 2014, the Conserve.IO team would like to thank all of our partners for a year of strong growth. We’ve been working on a number of improvements to both the Spotter Server and Spotter Pro App and wanted to let everyone know what we’ve been up to.
Recent Server Improvements
Deployed in conjunction with Whale Alert 2.0 in September, the Spotter Server supports a number of new features to help managers collect and manage data. Organizations can now designate ‘admin’ users for the Spotter server with permissions to delete sightings and/or trips. Whale sightings from the public facing Whale Alert app are now available for each organization based on their regional boundaries. Managers can set species specific or general e-mail alerts based on Whale Alert sightings within their region whenever a sighting meets their criteria.
We’ve posted a Server user guide at the following link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Rk5IBqTrZgw_z0iGQviKLcSDZ5C6xrpKG5nhpTb6OKk/edit?usp=sharing
Upcoming App Updates
We are hopeful that the pending Spotter Pro app update will fix the two most common issues with the Spotter App. First, the app will now properly track trip data by user, so if a user needs to re-login via the app to upload data, any existing trips will be preserved. Second, we have identified and fixed the issue we believe was causing the app to slow down during extended offshore trips. This fix should insure the app remains responsive for quick sighting entry under all conditions.
As part of the app updating process, we are also bringing the Spotter interface up to iOS 8 requirements. This requires that we drop support for iOS 5 and 6 so Spotter will no longer work on iPad 1 devices as of the next Spotter app update (again, projected for mid to late November). This change will allow us to simplify future feature extensions and eliminate a number of potential performance issues when trying to retain compatibility with older devices.
Help Us Design New Features
Here is a look at some new features that are on our short-term development list. We welcome your feedback on these as well as suggestions for any improvements we can make to the Spotter system to align it to your organizational needs.
Integration of Whale Alert sighting photos (and by extension the framework to support attaching photos to sightings in the Spotter App)
Data export filters for date ranges via the Spotter website
Universal Species table (to index species across projects by scientific name) and allow for more advanced analysis, filtering, and grouping. We’d like feedback on what we should include, metadata wise, for each species
Direct tagging of all GPS points in a trip track as ‘on’ or ‘off’ effort
Direct tagging of all non-sighting point events (behaviors, weather, etc) with GPS location in addition to the existing time-stamp
Reticle widget to directly calculate sighting location via reticle, bearing, and observer height (we will record all inputs to the calculation as well in the case of later reprocessing)
Option to include an Effort ‘Toggle’ switch in a project to track effort status over the course of a trip
Improved sliders, buttons, and other UI elements for easier use on moving platforms
he easiest way to provide any and all feedback is to go our contact form and jot down your thoughts. We greatly appreciate your time and help and, please, enjoy the update!!
-The Conserve.IO Team