Monthly Archives: June 2015

DLIA Website Taxonomy Initial Impressions

Hi Todd,

To get going with reviewing the DLIA web site, here are a few initial thoughts on taxonomy for the site:

On the header:

DLIA should be changed to "About Us

"About Us" should be moved to the immediate right of "Home""About Us" Page (currently "DLIA")

Change "Science & Research" to "Science"

Change "Communications" to "Outreach"

Move "Presentations" from "Events" to "Outreach"

"Internships" should be moved from the top black menu bar to the lower "Education" menu bar.

"Photo Galleries" should not be used at all. Instead, a social photo service like Flickr should be used. This new service should be moved to "Outreach" along with the other social media (e.g., YouTube Channel)

For that matter, all social media accounts (e.g., Facebook and Twitter etc) should be featured under a "Get Social" tab on "Outreach" (currently "Communications").

FAQs should be moved from the top black menu bar to "About Us" (currently "DLIA" on the lower "gold" menu bar).

Change "2014 Events" under "Events" to "Special Events" (Really any DLIA event is special, right?)

Change "ATBI Conferences" to "Annual Conference"

Move "15 years of discovery" to "About Us" (currently "DLIA").

This publication is something I need to work on. I am not a fan of PDF documents. In particular, I would like to create a "Story Map" using ESRI The content "Great Stories of Discovery" is particularly well-suited to the "Story Map" format, although I’d need to seek out more detail for where exactly these "stories of discovery" took place.

Publications should be moved from "Communications" to "Science" (currently "Science & Research")

"Featured Critters" should not be on the main header.

  • It might be appropriate in "Outreach" (currently "Communications")
  • "Critters" should be avoided as it is the name of a 1980s horror film series
  • "Biota" is a more appropriate, less psychologically loaded term

This is really just a rough sketch from an information architecture perspective, and user experience perspective.

Most of what I’m saying is coming from a perspective of making things easier on the user.

For example, I’m not particularly opposed to "Featured Critters" and I think it’s kind of neat.

But I subscribe to the notion that "less said is best said" and the more streamlined a product we can present to potential site visitors, the more enjoyable their experience will be.

Actually I did not even noticed the information at the very top of the page – "About Us," "Internships," "Photo Galleries," "Faqs," and "Log In"

The step I really need to do is make a site inventory / site map.

That will help catch redundancies like where I suggest "DLIA" should be changed to "About Us" when there is already an "About Us" on the top black menu bar.

I’m also hoping none of these changes will necessarily change the URL (For example, changing "Science & Research" at <http://www.dlia.org/science-and-research> won’t necessarily change the URL to "<http://www.dlia.org/science>."

I realize I’ve written everything like "this should happen" but it’s all open to discussion and reflection.

Thanks,

Tanner

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DLIA – ATBI Biodiversity Modeling

a PARC website task assignment!

JJ,

The LCC CPA data’s long-term disposition actually looks to be the USGS ScienceBase catalog.

If the USGS ScienceBase team is good about working collaboratively, then hosting the data and metadata with them, then importing ArcGIS REST services into online mapping applications on our site, will save us time, increase data quality, and increase availability (via discoverability from other USGS collaborations with science.gov, etc).

On the other hand, if USGS ScienceBase Catalog is understaffed and not great working collaboratively, then they’ll end up costing time instead of saving time (nagging to post, etc).

Anyway, just something to think about from the data management side of the communication puzzle.

Scott, none of this is intended to sway you from exploring the potential of Mapbox – I’m somewhat biased to know more about ArcGIS online because I’ve used it before. I have no experience with Mapbox.

-Tanner

a PARC website task assignment!

Scott,

Two things to note about the “styling:”

Even if you upload “clean” HTML code as plain text into Joomla’s text editor,

My impression is sometimes Joomla adds the “styling” when you toggle from plain text to rich text.

I’ve also noticed a few instances where someone’s copied and pasted Microsoft Office Word document text into the editor, which brings in all of Microsoft Office’s instructions for formatting as messy HTML code.

Priya and JJ:

I mentioned to Scott that I’m very interested in the spatial data components of what you’re working on with the PARCAs.

I’ve done some specialization in GIS work as part of my Library & Information Science curriculum.

I’m aware that some PARCA data is already in Data Basin (e.g., http://salcc.databasin.org/datasets/41783296ce114953a3bd0bc14561c60f).

If at all possible, I do not think that PARC should foray into managing spatial data.

It is better to have a single, authoritative distribution point.

If PARC wishes to be that distribution point, ok.

But, if possible, I’d prefer to see our spatial data stored where other people are already looking for spatial data, like DataBasin or the SALCC Conservation Planning Atlas.

We can certainly provide views of spatial data for informational purposes; however I want to be sure that official, well described PARCA datasets are stored for the long term on sites that are set up for long term archival.

From the PARCA layers already in the SALCC, we can get KML files, example:

https://www.sciencebase.gov/arcgis/rest/services/Catalog/54ad59bee4b089352cd0c8be/MapServer/generateKml

KML files are something most people are familiar with from using Google Earth or Google Maps

ArcGIS Online is nice in that it permits us to upload ESRI Shapefiles and Google KML files in the same space, plus add other user content, including Web Map Services, such as the existing WMS for PARCAS.

https://www.sciencebase.gov/arcgis/rest/services/Catalog/54ad59bee4b089352cd0c8be/MapServer/

https://www.sciencebase.gov/arcgis/rest/services/Catalog/538786a2e4b0aa26cd7b5476/MapServer/

Here’s a map I made very quickly with ArcGIS online showing PARCAS with Pine Snake connectivity:

http://arcg.is/1cLGoty

I then made a web app:

http://www.arcgis.com/apps/Viewer/index.html?appid=0139ed3f892947e28dc2658eb4e942ec

Then I embedded the map as a Web App on the PARC “Year of the Snake” Page:

http://parcplace.org/parcplace/news-a-events/2013-year-of-the-snake.html

So, this is very easy and uses existing services: USGS Science Base, Data Basin, and LCC CPA.

I can see why we’d want to host our own content, but if we can get USGS / LCC Conservation Planning Atlas / Databasin to host the data for us, this is an approach with much less overhead.

-Tanner

PCO website

Welcome.

I have experience doing certain things –
It’s clear you know what you’re doing, the website has been looking great since you re-vamped it;

I personally enjoy what you’ve done with Twitter – and Flickr too? I see there’s a Historic Parkridge Flickr: https://flic.kr/ps/2q6zLt.

But I suspect you could use help pushing out updates and maximizing the value of the platforms to advance the community’s message.

More importantly than updates, what I was talking to Seanna about is a need for a communications working group or committee.

I think a communications strategy should be put together and I’m willing to contribute that way.

For example, Seanna and I were chatting about how the H-1 discussion might have gone differently online and in-person with a more "strategic" communications plan. There’s an art and science to it.

This ties in to my interest in the tone of the Facebook group – a communications strategy should be in place leading group members towards constructive dialog that contributes to the "well being" of the neighborhood.

It also ties in to the "new neighbor" welcome packet Travetta put together, and honestly even the recent friendly message David Anderson sent out on Facebook could use some messaging improvement.

For example, the message should never be about what PCO "needs," but rather about what PCO "provides." It’s the value added from an active, engaged membership.

Fourth and Gill has a communications committee and I’m friends with the chair. I e-mailed her to ask about how that works for the "Gillbillies."

Anyway, I see a lot of opportunities. Communication is somewhat of a personal and professional interest of mine; I’m interested in the processes and flows of information, including barriers to effective communication.

Also, I think it is a good idea to put my name in for consideration to fill Jerry’s short-term vacancy as Seanna suggested I might.

It’s not particularly important to me personally to be on the board to contribute to the neighborhood organization, but in terms of communicating a message, I think it conveys a key message that even neighborhood contrarians can be contributing members to community development and "well being."

-Tanner

On Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 9:37 PM Calvin Chappelle <mabryhazenhouse> wrote:

Hi Tanner,

Just let me know when you want to get together and go over the PCO website. I’m sure you have more experience than I do, and I definitely welcome help outside of the board.

Thanks again for reaching out.

Best,

Introducing Jenn Ballard

A follow up expanding on the potential utility of a blog feature on the PARCorg site.

-Tanner

Introducing Jenn Ballard

Scott,

Here is an idea I had proposed concerning a blog – this is something you might be able to coordinate.

-Tanner

Website regional map & Disease Team slideshow

Hi Scott,

Great you found some native extensions.

Just be sure whatever solution you consider preserves the photo credit and caption, as the disease task team was keen on that.

We’ve struggled with that issue in the past – at the depth J.D. and I had time to research the problem, we never found a way of preserving and publishing the descriptive metadata (other than what’s machine readable in the alternative text tags), and that was a sore spot for people who worked hard to obtain photographs of species and then weren’t visibly credited (This is why most of the images of animals on the site are from J.D., who works hard to find animals but is generous in sharing his work without concern for obvious credit).

Because of this problem with metadata, and the specific request from the disease task team to preserve the metadata for display, I never uploaded images from the Flickr album to the site, instead relying on Flickr and the Flickrit hack to preserve and display the metadata.

The images we did upload for the project (pictures of the task team members) are here:

/home/content/39/5094039/html/parcplace/images/stories

I never worked on the clickable map for the PARC regions, that might be something Daconia set up.

You’re talking about this right?

http://parcplace.org/parcplace/locate.html

Unless you can get a more simplistic, higher resolution image from Priya, I’d shy away from using the JPEG she sent.

My thinking is it’ll probably be difficult to interact with the clickable map on a small screen, like a smartphone’s.

I haven’t made an image map in a long time.

If you have the coding skills or time to figure it out (I have neither), you might consider this:

http://www.svennerberg.com/2008/09/imagemap-rollover/

Which linked to this example:

http://www.svennerberg.com/examples/imagemap_rollover/

Itself linked from this discussion:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5249502/are-html-image-maps-still-used

A scalable vector graphic would probably be handy:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BlankMap-North_America-Subdivisions.svg

Which unfortunately does not have the caribbean, but perhaps you could merge them?

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:SVG_maps_of_the_Caribbean#/media/File:Antilles_Map.svg

Anyway. Just another take on the image map.

-Tanner

On Wed, Jun 3, 2015 at 9:50 AM, Scott Hove <impudicus> wrote:

Hello:

Tanner: I was wondering if all the images the Disease Task Team want for their page’s slideshow are already imported into Joomla’s media folder. I have found a few native slideshow extensions I believe will work well…the functionality needed seems simple enough and there are several good candidates.

Tanner and JD: I was wondering if either of you helped implement the interactive/linking regional map on the Locate page. I see the map images in the media folder, but cannot find/access the module that houses them. I see a module entitled “Maps,” but this module appears to have user-level restrictions in place. The module is locked to me.

I believe that, with some graphic enhancement and cloning, I can generate the necessary image files to revamp the hoverable map utilizing the updated map Priya provided. If either of you has insights into how the original was produced, I would be greatly indebted.

Thanks again for all your support.

Scott Hove

11 Tom Brown Road

Black Mountain NC 28711

828.367.8366

impudicus