Friday, February 22, 2019

Acquisition Site Assessment Objectives

Acquisition Site Assessments are a lot like Monitoring Visits on the Stewardship side of things. Typically organizations will have a checklist of things they look for during their initial site visits or environmental hazards reviews. Until now, there was no way to capture that data in LANDSCAPE, however.

I'm happy to say that Site Assessments now have their own Objectives. Just like Monitoring Visits, you can create pre-defined lists of objectives for certain kinds of Site Assessments in Settings:

Add a new list, name it, then add objectives to the list:

Site Assessment Objectives also have Groups that allow you to organize your objectives on a merged report template. You can define the Groups in the List Items section of Settings:

Back in the Acquisition's Site Assessment record, you can add objectives by choosing your list from the menu:

Once the objectives are added, you have a form view that you can use to enter your data:

If you need to add objectives that aren't included in the saved list, you can by clicking the plus button at the top of the list. If you need to tweak the objectives that are there, you can click the "Show Definitions" link to switch from the data entry view into the definitions view. From there you can change the objective properties.

If you use the LANDSCAPE Mobile app to collect Site Assessment data, the latest version will allow you to collect the objectives' data as well.

Reporting on Site Assessments

You can now query and report on Site Assessments directly as well. This allows you to create report templates specifically for Site Assessments. So, just like Monitoring Visits, you have direct access to the photos and map data of the Site Assessment without going through the Property Acquisition first. You still have access to all the Property Acquisition data in your templates though.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Export Directly to PDF

Modern web browsers have the ability to "print" their contents to a PDF file instead of paper. Since the launch of LANDSCAPE, this is the feature that the software has relied on to create digital documents directly from the reports that you generate.

There are some issues with this approach though. First, each browser has a different look and feel to its print window. Some offer options for controlling margins and other layout features. Some handle the printing of "background" graphics (such as those used in maps). Some allow you to add just page numbers, while others require you to take all the header and footer information they give you. All of these variables often mean that you are forced to fiddle around in the print window to get the output you want. Further, if you wanted to generate a single PDF for each result in a query you were out of luck.

Today, I'm pleased to announce that you can generate a PDF file directly from LANDSCAPE without using the browser's print window. The option is available in the Print Preview view on the top menu:

When you press the button you will have the option to create a single PDF for all your query results, or separate PDFs for each. Additionally, if you are using a Monitoring Visits template, you'll have the additional option of automatically attaching the generated PDF to the Documents section of the Monitoring Visit.

The PDF creation takes a bit of time, so the software will email you with a link to download your files when they are ready.

You'll notice that page numbers are automatic. There isn't currently a way to turn them off or change their style. If enough of you need this feature, we can add it to the to-do list.

I hope you find this new feature a time-saver.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Merging all Tract Boundaries in Stewardship Activities

When you are managing a collection of properties that were acquired at different times as a single preserve, it makes a lot of sense to add all the Tracts into a single Stewardship activity. Doing so is nice because you now have all the Tracts' boundaries on the same map. Sometimes, however, especially if there are a lot of Tracts, the interior boundaries of all the Tracts can be distracting.

Now, there is a setting you can use to have these boundaries automatically dissolved on Stewardship maps:

Now, that map would look like this:

All the interior boundaries have been removed leaving a nice, clean outer boundary. This dissolve operation is only visual. All the original Tract boundaries are still fully intact and you'll see them in other maps within LANDSCAPE.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

More Flexibility for Stewardship Obligations

Thanks to some good feedback from my friends at Sierra Foothill Conservancy, I'm pleased to announce a new suite of features in Stewardship activities that add a ton of flexibility to Monitoring Visits.

Have you ever wanted to record something as a monitoring visit, but not "count" it as your annual monitoring visit? Until now, there was no way to distinguish one monitoring visit from another. And, if you were querying out Stewardship activities by Last Monitored Date, then these extra monitoring visits could throw off your results.

Do you ever have multiple types of "monitoring" visits that you have to do on a single property? This comes up a lot for land trusts that work on mitigation projects.

Monitoring Visit Types

Now, Monitoring Visits have a Type field. By default, all of your prior visits have been given the type "Annual Monitoring," but you can put in whatever Types make sense for your work.

Multiple Default Monitoring Objective Lists

There are now multiple Default Monitoring Objectives lists that are tied to particular Types of Monitoring Visits. By default, any Monitoring Objectives you had defined were moved into a list for "Annual Monitoring" visits. But, if you want a different set of Objectives for each Type, you can.

New Stewardship Obligations

Since a single Stewardship activity may have multiple obligations associated with it - not just a single annual monitoring visit - there is a new section called "Stewardship Obligations" on the Details page. By default, all Stewardship activities received a single obligation called "Annual Monitoring" which utilized any monitoring window and monitoring interval data you had set.

Stewardship Obligations will be "satisfied" by certain Types of Monitoring Visits. This is how you'll keep track of what properties require monitoring. When you complete a visit that satisfies any of your Obligations, the Completed On date will automatically be filled in for you.

After an Obligation date has expired, it will be reset to the next interval and the Completed On date will be reset. If you did not satisfy an obligation before the Complete By date, that date will be recorded in the Missed Obligations list in the details of the Obligation.

Transition Your Last Monitored Date Queries and Reports

You should begin to transition any queries or reports that utilize the Last Monitored Date to using these new Obligations. The Last Monitored Date field may be removed in the future. Here's what a query might look like for all the Stewardship activities that require monitoring yet this year:

Removal of Monitoring Interval and Monitoring Window

The fields on the Details page for Monitoring Interval and Monitoring Window have been removed. The data still exists in your Stewardship activities so any queries or reports that you currently have that utilize these fields still work. However, you should transition them as soon as possible to using the new Stewardship Obligations format.

Updates Coming to Stewardship Dashboard Widget

These changes mean the Stewardship Dashboard widget will also need some updating so it can display your new obligations in meaningful ways. Stay tuned for that!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Mapping View Results

I'm happy to report that you can now visualize the results of certain Views as a map. Just select Map from the View As dropdown list in the view editor:

Now, press the refresh button or close the editor and the results will be placed on a map instead of a table:

Clicking on a pin or polygon will display the details in a panel on the right. The fields you chose for your view will be the ones displayed in the table. The name of the result is a link that will take you to its main details page.

The map is currently available for Property Acquisitions, Stewardships, Dispositions, Tracts, Monitoring Visits, Monitoring Issues, and Management Actions.

If you display a map of Monitoring Visits, Monitoring Issues, or Management Actions, you will also see their specific geography in addition to the Tract boundaries. Because some of your results may share the same Tracts, if you click on the Tract in the map, the details pane may show multiple results:

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

LANDSCAPE Mobile 2.0!

I'm excited to announce the next version of LANDSCAPE Mobile is ready!

The big new features are the ability to add and edit Management Actions in your Stewardship activities and add and edit Site Assessments in your Property Acquisitions. But, there are number of smaller enhancements as well including:

  • The main lists support auto-loading of new results as you scroll to the bottom
  • The main lists have a search feature
  • Monitoring Visit statuses can now be edited and they don't automatically disappear from the list if you change to a "Completed" status
  • Issue list has a filter to show "All" or just "Unresolved"
  • You can know take photos directly into existing geography on the maps rather than relying on your proximity to nearby points
  • Numerous bug fixes...

I've whipped up a new training video for the app. It's a little over 20 minutes and the audio has a ridiculous buzz in it, but I hope you'll still watch it.

I hope you enjoy the new features and as always, please keep the feedback coming!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Merging Map Points

There are a few different ways to get new data into your LANDSCAPE maps. One of the easiest ways to create new points on a map is to simply import a set of geotagged photos. Doing so will create new points for each photo, but it will try its best to combine multiple photos into a single point if they are "close enough." However, GPS accuracy can be variable in the field when you are taking your photos, so even though you may never have moved from a certain spot as you took photos, the actual GPS location stamped into the photo may have moved around your general location. This can happen when you are taking photos in LANDSCAPE Mobile as well.

If photos that should have been grouped together aren't, they become a little cumbersome to work with in LANDSCAPE, but don't despair! There is now a way to merge points together.

With the pan tool selected, simply click on a point you want to combine with another and then drag it over to the other point. You'll notice the destination point will turn yellow:

Now, drop it and you'll be prompted to merge the two together.

That's it!

The destination point will obtain all the photos from the source point and the source point will be removed from the map.