velacreations wrote:There are several community mapping sites on the web, and I have built several as well. Basically, we just need a form to capture point info (content, title, coordinates, icon, etc) and then it gets compiled on the map. The question is not HOW to do it, but what to actually map. Do we map user submitted guilds, or user's gardens, or what? Maybe native zones of species? or Guilds?
I was thinking that every observation and photo would have a location - which could be a zip code, GPS coordinates, or a marker on a map (which is in reality GPS coordinates). I have seen this done before with tools such as ebird (http://ebird.org/content/ebird/about). In fact ebird is already doing what is very close to what we are talking about here. If I may make a couple of observations about ebird that may be relevant here:
velacreations wrote:The GPS system is pretty easy to put together. There are several community mapping sites on the web, and I have built several as well. Basically, we just need a form to capture point info (content, title, coordinates, icon, etc) and then it gets compiled on the map. The question is not HOW to do it, but what to actually map. Do we map user submitted guilds, or user's gardens, or what? Maybe native zones of species? or Guilds?
I think everyone involved with permaculture would like that.
It is amassing one of the largest and fastest growing biodiversity data resources in existence. For example, in January 2010, participants reported more than 1.5 million bird observations across North America!
The observations of each participant join those of others in an international network of eBird users. eBird then shares these observations with a global community of educators, land managers, ornithologists, and conservation biologists. In time these data will become the foundation for a better understanding of bird distribution across the western hemisphere and beyond.
Take a look at the maps in ebird. e.g. here is a map of White-winged Crossbill in Wisconsin: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?cmd=quickPick&speciesCode=&bMonth=01&bYear=1900&eMonth=12&eYear=2009&getLocations=states&states=US-WI&parentState=US-WI&reportType=species&speciesCodes=whwcro&continue.x=77&continue.y=11&continue=Continue
Could you give a couple of links of more sophisticated mapping sites?
Yes, what kind of content to include would seem to be the logical starting point. If y'all could have your way what info would be included?
Ideally, I'd love to start out with a general overview map of all participating sites, just a way to get a broad view of who is where. Clicking on one pin would popup an overview of the site, including a list of tags.
Then I would want to be able to search the map by species, combination of species or other tags, and have all the locations growing those pop up.
Thanks for that info. Maybe you could give us some insight as to why the project failed or is no longer active? Maybe we could learn a lot from what you guys have done.
That is an awesome offer to help! I am proficient in PHP and MySQL, which is what I normally use. Here is what we can run, software wise:
PHP 4 & 5 (w/Zend Optimizer)
Ruby on Rails (Ruby 1.8.7 & Rails 2.3.3)
Python 2.3, 2.4, 2.6 & 3.0
What is required to set that project live again? Could I help you out?
Are you talking about migrating this system into our new project? And if so, would you require payment? And if so, what sort of payment are we talking about?
I think we really would like to focus on documenting the connections and guilds between plants, not necessarily the individual plants (that has been done elsewhere very well). But any and all help, especially building the backend is appreciated.
My original thoughts were to install a CMS or Wiki software package, and start simple, organizing things according to plant guilds, and then letting folks link individual species to other databases (like PFAF). So, it would be a very simple, basic catalog of guilds that can be searched, sorted, etc (like any decent wiki system)
Then we started thinking about also mapping the data, like people could place a map point that corresponds to a plant guild (wiki entry).
But I think folks don't like how wikis work, so maybe something more straightforward, similar to forum software (I've since reviewed several wiki software packages, and many are a lot better than MediaWiki, Wikipedia's software).
So, anyway, as you can see, we kinda want to take the basic database idea, and expand on it a bit.
We would love to have your experience with this project. Feel free to PM if you want to discuss specifics.
almost all of the effort will be in porting to Python 3.0 as I think we were using 2.3/2.4
Wouldn't having a free form field make it more difficult to search for a particular plant? People will put in common names and they will misspell the plant names. So if I want to find all guilds that use elderberry (example) I'd have to search on "elderberry" and "elderberries" and "elder berry", wouldn't I and I would probably still miss some?
Use a Wiki for this instead of a relational database. Finding someone(s) to create and maintain a Guilds database
using RDB software could be expensive or very tie consuming for a volunteer, that is if you intend this resource
to be free and open to the public for usage and input.
A wiki may be an inferior platform to a true database but it is a reasonable solution to getting information out and receiving
Also, the Semantic Web may provide the best long term solution, possibly better than a RDB. A combination of Mediawiki and Semantic Mediawiki may be the best and certainly the cheapest and least burdensome way to go for the long haul. I have both these packages installed (courtesy of the staff of ibiblio) at http://www.ibiblio.org/permaculture. I have not started configuring the wiki yet but am moving in that direction. I intend to integrate Wordpress, BBPress and SMForums with this wiki/smw. Right now there is only a website.
In any event I would like to develop a robust guilds resource in this wiki as well as an in-depth section on permaculture design (see my next post to Permies). Another interest of mine is gathering knowledge of permaculture design and putting it out for public use as a companion to Bill Mollison's Permaculture Designers' Manual (a truly brilliant work!).
I would like to see this Guilds resource develop and plan on contributing to it as often as possible.
I think the best approach to this proposed project is to keep it free and open to all (no anonymous input from anonymous users, though = SPAM).
As you can see I've reared my ugly head again. This time maybe the idea can get a little more flight time.
This is the the only thing I will argue with you about and you do offer the solution.... if the content is publicly submitted then the content cost is nil. Pcplantdb/permaculture.info was every idea in this thread and more (no one mentioned root profiles and microbes yet right?). I'm currently trying to reconstruct everything from back then in my free time... it's going well except I have no free time.
Yeah, maybe both can work together. Although they have differences they can interlink effectively.
Thanks for commenting. I agree with most of what you said.
Open and free are the necessities here, as well as easy submitting and editing. That is why the wiki format is appealing.
I think a bit of both worlds will be the best solutions. Wikis for personal accounts, relational databases for strict data.
Folks, someone has already done the job. Unfortunately it's in Dutch not English.
It works on a plant family basis, i.e. all brassicas are lumped together.