birdsearch.org mobile

Posted on Dec 12, 2016 in birdsearch.org, Open Source Projects | 0 comments

bs-mobile

I just released a first draft of birdsearch.org for mobile devices. You can find it at birdsearch.org, just like with the main site. The website is now responsive and shows a different layout based on the device size you’re browsing it on.

Still a few bugs to work through, but it’s basically there. I decided to target iPhone 6-size screens and higher. iPhone 5 was just a little too small to handle well, and it seems like for better or worse, small screens are going the way of the passenger pigeon.

Form Tools next!

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birdsearch.org 2.0.5

Posted on Nov 26, 2016 in Birding, birdsearch.org, Form Tools, Open Source Projects | 3 comments

Alrighty! I just released another small update to birdsearch.org, the latest of a series of bug fix releases. I believe this release now fixes all the significant errors, so I’m going to be putting the site largely aside for a bit. The next task for that site is to add mobile support – something badly needed! But first I want to return to Form Tools for a little while.

btw, I’m off to Mexico for a week so sorry if I don’t respond promptly to anyone.

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birdsearch.org 2.0.2

Posted on Nov 6, 2016 in Birding, birdsearch.org, Open Source Projects | 0 comments

Couple of small updates to birdsearch.org this last week:Map styles

  • Report Sightings link added to the top header
  • Incorporated feedback from a few people to improve the UI in the few places.
  • Settings tab updates to include a new “Map Styles” section that lets you customize the look of the map. There are now six styles, chosen to be either quite dark or light to ensure the map markers show up clearly.

Next version is going to be for bug fixes only. There are a few small things I’d like to patch before letting more people know about the site.

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It’s aliiive!

Posted on Oct 30, 2016 in Birding, birdsearch.org | 0 comments

Wbirdsearch1ell, for a project that was supposed to just take a few months, this sure took the cake. But it’s live at last: check it out! birdsearch.org.

I created the site 3 years ago, and even though very few people actually use it (I should probably have let people know it was there) I’ve found it invaluable for my own birding. This new version was a complete rewrite in React, Redux, react-intl with a Node backend. It’s still in beta – I’ve got a running list of bugs and enhancements to fix on github here. But as a first draft I’m very pleased.

I’ll write a separate post about the technology behind it all, but feature-wise there are lots of nice improvements:

  • Better UI / user experience. The site now welcomes you with two easy options: Search Nearby and Search Anywhere. 9 times out of 10, I found I used the site to keep track of what was being sighted in my neighbourhood. This let’s me get that info at the touch of a single button.
  • Simplified search. I moved all “advanced” features to a settings section. That’s where you find the option to search Notable Sightings,
  • Extra stuff removed. I removed the option to search for nearby hotspots. It didn’t add much, and the eBird website offers this functionality in a far better format.
  • Wikipedia links for all species. This is a rather nifty option. When you browse the sightings, each bird species shows a Wikipedia link. Clicking it takes you to a wikipedia article about the species. When I use the site to browse birds in far-off places I’m going to be visiting, I find this feature particularly useful.
  • Misc UI improvements. Sightings now link to the original checklist on eBird; all data is sortable (species name, location, sightings count, etc); you can filter locations and results by a search string to pinpoint exactly what species/location you’re interested in.

So yeah, check it out.

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birdsearch.org update

Posted on Oct 28, 2016 in Birding, birdsearch.org | 0 comments

birdsearch.org will be down for a little while this weekend while I move it over to its new home at Digital Ocean. Just a heads up. I’ll make a post once it’s all complete.

10pm Sat Oct 29th: yikes, not going fabulously. The site’s going to be offline for a while while I sort this all out.

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birdsearch.org rewrite

Posted on Oct 1, 2016 in Birding, birdsearch.org | 2 comments

Just a heads up that birdsearch.org will be updated in the couple of weeks. Rather than do a safe roll-out of a beta.birdsearch.org subdomain for the new beta, I’m just going to switch out the entire site. The site gets so few users, if there are bugs it won’t inconvenience too many people, but more significantly, I’m switching hosting providers for the site and it isn’t easy to have both running at once.

The new site is a HUGE improvement. I’ll be extremely excited to release it! The site is a complete rewrite in react, redux, react-intl, react-router and node. It also features a snappy new UI and design. I’ll post when it’s all done.

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birdsearch.org rewrite

Posted on Apr 15, 2016 in birdsearch.org, Blog | 0 comments

In what little spare time I’ve had of late, I’ve been reworking my old website, birdsearch.org. It’s a tool for searching bird sightings around the world which I’ve found staggeringly useful these last 3 years. I was originally just going to add a few new features (search filtering especially), but decided what the heck, let’s catch up on the latest React ecosystem, so it’s all being re-written in redux, react-router, react-i18n and other fun stuff.

No idea about a release date yet, but I’ll post when I get a beta out the door. Oh, and you can see how things are progressing on the github repo here.

Here’s a couple of screenshots of the spiffy new interface (behold: colours!)

birdsearch1

birdsearch2

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birdsearch.org

Posted on Aug 27, 2013 in Birding, birdsearch.org, Open Source Projects | 0 comments

birdsearch

The last month or two I’ve been revising ebirdsearch.org, and today I’m very pleased to announce its successor: birdsearch.org.

Other than being rebranded at the new domain, I also added a number of nice new features:

  • In addition to searching bird sightings, you can now also search notable sightings. Notable sightings are those that are flagged as unusual in a particular region and date. For birders, this is often the most useful and interesting information to learn about.
  • The tool now also lets you search for popular birding locations, and has the option to limit those results to locations that have had recent sightings (1-30 days).
  • Multi-language support. Right now, only English, French, German and Spanish.

I still have a long laundry list of features I want to add (like mobile support…!) but thought I’d release it now that this milestone was reached.

The entire codebase is found on github, here. Feel free to fork the project and do whatever you’d like with the code.

Check it out! :)

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eBirdsearch.org updates

Posted on Jul 27, 2013 in birdsearch.org, Open Source Projects | 2 comments

The last little while I’ve been working on revamping my eBirdsearch.org site. There are a few new features in the works: mobile support, searching notable sightings, linking to returned data sets for easy sharing of information and listing hotpots (popular birding locations) in a region.

Even though ebirdsearch.org is by far my least popular open source project, I’m still delighted by the damn thing! I check it daily to see what’s been seen in my area, what birds are found each month – and whenever I travel outside of my usual birding zone, it’s an invaluable resource to find new places to bird. So despite it’s unpopularity, I think it’s worth investing more time and effort.

The new version is completely refactored. It wasn’t a particularly big script, but the code had already gotten pretty unwieldly. The new version is modularized using requireJS and underscore for client-side templating. It’s much better now (albeit admittedly a little over-engineered at this stage).

btw, this weekend I’ll also be releasing a new generatedata.com version – I’ve had some pull requests that need to be rolled out.

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