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Update: changes and tracking functionality - from the iSpot Team

Yes. Post observations.

meanwhile they are writing us some CHANGES and TRACK.

And when they pull their fingers out of … then maybe they will fix the “Edit” for the comments and we will be able to do decent work again.

(except the stupid preview pane is a pain: why can we not type it up and then preview it for the full page as it will display. These programmers do not care about the use of what they do - in fact, the last update of the comments just made it worse: it was like they were punishing us to trying to get it to work reasonably).

because it reeks of Social Media along with all those, in my opinion utterly useless, oh, ah, like, wow, like, great, spectacular, like,like,like, which I feel are superficial, nauseating, and seldom really meant.

iSpot was something different, a magnitude above the rest, the academic banter was refreshing, the contributors keen and enthusiastic, the emphasis on correct identification a worthwhile goal,

In my opinion the core virtues of iSpot were the exchange of comments and the fact that posts were not simply archived and forgotten but that experts would review older posts and communicate. They’ve promised Changes will be revived but my other great loss to the site is all those years of postings, and the cross referencing which I spent time on, that have been lost and in particular in my case a few of my posts have been requested by outside people who now have useless url addresses and can’t assess the data they wanted. and in its place we get really useful like,like likes

The following have - after much complaining - been restored.

  • The urls from the old site should now mostly work and map to the current site.
    We are trying to get them to honour the urls from the old site, which they conveniently lost so that these no longer map (since the rewrite) to the current site…
    So your cross-referencing will work (when the old za is fixed), and your outside people and websites should therefore still work.

But please complain about the loss of the old ZA links.

  • and we have been promised that CHANGES and TRACKS will be rewritten.
    That remains to be seen - out of 500 bugs so far less than 20 have been fixed: so I wonder how many more the CHANGES is going to introduce…

OK - I know what you mean - I also do Facebook (you groan!!) but sometimes that’s all that is required. And I think the intention here at iSpot is to acknowledge “I agree”.
By the way I frequently look at your posts and would like to add :heart: and all I can do is mark it as a favourite, but you’ll never know!
My Flickr site tells me when someone “sends a message” , “faved your photo”, or “is now following you!.” which is really gratifying and one is able to turn off the email option.

I see that I have at least 600 lichens posted on iSpot and there are days when I loose heart and think “does anybody care?”; I get very little feedback .
Meanwhile the new iSpot is not as bad as some people think. Here 's an example (submitted to iSpot in July 2012):
I generally included the url back to iSpot and it works with ALL the comments. Take a look.

The new iSpot is working or getting better; the promised “file name” is working. And I’ve found that links from other sites are not lost.
See my message to Tuli (today)

A sample of one - hah ha! - But this was random:
I sometimes kept a record of the url changes
(You’ll say, has she got nothing else to do with her time?)
Now 2017
AND also the link from Flickr works.

Now iSpot is complaining that I should link these comments -
They should be pleased that I’m not winging but COMPLIMENTING their achievements :champagne:

you are right, we have positive progress, when I follow my Mma Spider link to her earlier dalliance I do indeed find her and no longer get connected to a UK snowdrop as was the case last week

1 Like

Janice, I am so pleased to hear the news on Changes & Tracking. Thank you.

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While I rarely forum, Tony, an issue has dragged itself into my attention which is possibly as annoying (for those of us in countries where not every outhouse and dead tree has a google-listed name) as the absence of the changes… location titles, which are still required, don’t seem to link me back to my previously used location titles.

I’ve accepted that to find half of the places I want to post obs I’m going to have to do some creative scrolling (And occasionally give up and click a point roughly the correct distance from a likely-looking road or river)(No, I don’t G.P.S.), but when I’ve found somewhere once, named it, and then go back to post the second of many observations from the same place and have to find it all over again, it really feels like a waste of time.

Your ‘URLs working again’ seems like a distant glimmer of hope on this point, so I’m hoping that this might be resolved as part of that issue; if it is not likely to, where should I complain, and if there is no immediate plan to do so, would it be unethical for me to set a SAW-style timed trap for the redevelopers which requires them to repeatedly map the location of Kundabwika falls without a GPS reference before their slow, expensive and patchy internet connection gives out on them?

one workaround of this extremely annoying lack of functionality, suggested somewhere in these pages, is to note down the co-ords first time round and then insert them each time but be warned there appears to be a possible rounding up/down error to this route which will move your point a little

These are documented bugs. Hopefully they will be fixed.

  1. Locality names: previous names not reusable. (I suspect that whomsoever drew up the specs did not know about this even thought it is clearly stated on the pages and on all the instructions for adding observations (except edited out of the very latest update. But it is a major loss of functionality, and desperately needed)).

I do worry about the corruption of data, both directly via the rounding off but also by just making it so difficult and stupid to use that people will give up trying.

  1. The rounding off bug is serious, but I cannot seem to get the OU team to agree. I think it might be more of a southern African thing - but it is corrupting data: both the actual coordinates and DEFINITELY the locality resolution. Another aspect of iSPot that the current programmers do not seem to understand or care about.

I think programmers should be fined unless they fix all the data corrupted by their bugs. They seem to think that fixing bugs is good enough, and tough sh1t about all the corrupted data submitted in the meantime.

  1. URLS. Sorry. Apparently they are here forever. Links from the old URLS to the new ones will be provided. But someone has forgotten that this same was done in the Sept 2014 update, so they still need to go and provide new links for those links from the old southern African site.

Great so my long term (4 year) static light trap is not static any more!! Do we put that down to Plate tectonics?
The suggestion [quote=“Tuli, post:30, topic:240”]
note down the co-ords first time round and then insert them each time
is a reasonable alternative, but if we wished to add all our infill data for the last 4 years (organisms occurring on a daily basis) this may just become a tad tedious.

demand that your add a locality by using an existing locality functionality is restored. After all we WERE PROMISED that no functionality on iSpot would be lost in the rewrite and this is clearly very useful functionality that is missing!

a SLIGHTLY easier workaround for static sites:
enter nearest town, learn approximately where your site is on the initial map and pin it,
change to satellite & zoom in, relocate pin.

Still a time consuming pain but I’m finding it a little faster unless the zoom plays up

Popped back to see if iSpot’s been returned to something resembling fit for purpose… guessing from recent posts the answer’s no!

big update monday am. come back tomorrow evening …


Me too - so will see what tomorrow brings


You must be on a different iSpot to me …

Don’t think so