Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New Features: Project Views and Search Everywhere

The simple list of Projects that you used to see when you clicked the Projects tab has been greatly enhanced with new Project Views. Project Views are custom lists of the Projects and Project Components in your account based on a query and a set of fields you want to display.

There is one built-in View called "All Projects." It is basically the list you are used to seeing when you click on the Projects tab. This view can't be edited, but you can create new Views for the things you most want to see. Views you create are stored in your user profile and aren't currently available to other users in your account.

Here's an article in the Knowledge Base that describes adding a new view.

Adding a view is identical to using the existing Reporting feature.

Project Views now provide the basic interface for bulk actions on selected items. For example, in Project-related views (like "All Projects"), you can select one or more projects from the list and using the Project Actions button on the right side of the window, delete them in one action.

Currently, Project Views based on other types of components (like Acquisitions, Stewardships, etc.) don't have bulk actions, but stay tuned for new features there in the very near future.

Also new is the Search Everywhere box on the Project Views window. Search Everywhere now searches through Projects and all other components for your keyword. This makes it a lot easier to navigate into a specific component of project.

Search Everywhere also searches Contacts. So, this is the place to go if you just want to find the phone number of someone in the database, but don't want to go to a particular Project to find them.

Coming soon to Search Everywhere: Documents. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Exporting map data to ESRI Shapefiles

I'm happy to announce that you can now export your map data from LANDSCAPE to ESRI Shapefiles. Check out this FAQ for details.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lots of New Features

It has been a productive couple of weeks for LANDSCAPE as we enter the final stretch before the official launch. Feedback from some local land trusts and a municipality excited about using LANDSCAPE has generated some positive developments.

In no particular order:

  1. Edit History. Each major activity (Project, Acquisition, Stewardship, etc.) has an edit history that logs the last 10 edits made, when they were made, and who made them.
  2. Email Alerts. Alerts are now emailed to you directly. You can change your preferences for what alerts are emailed and when in your user profile. Links within the emails will take you to the activity that generated the alert.
  3. Bulk Import of Tract Boundaries. You can now import one shapefile with all your Tract boundaries at once! Make sure you have a field in your shapefile called 'TractId' and that it corresponds to the External Id of an existing Tract and voila! 
  4. Interactive Maps for Site Assessments. Site assessments in Acquisitions now have mapping data which can include routes of travel, points and areas of interest.
  5. Management Summary Report. Stewardships now have a built-in Management Summary report that shows the status of current management projects and activities.
  6. Big Maps! You can now expand maps to the full screen for more detailed editing and viewing. You can also get a print-friendly view of a map to make it fit better on a printed page.
  7. Added Custom Labels For Map Markers. The label on markers is now settable separately from the name of the Point of Interest.
  8. Tax Id Numbers in Tracts. Tracts can now have one or more Tax Id numbers.
  9. Subscription Management. You can now edit your subscription information, change payment methods, choose plans, and see your billing history.
And more...

Let the countdown to launch begin!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Picture This...

I have found that one of the more complicated parts of creating a baseline document report for an easement property is keeping your field notes and pictures in sync with each other. Our field kit for baseline day has always included paper maps, a gps unit, a camera, and a notebook. Our usual process then includes going out to a point on the map, taking a waypoint on the gps, spinning around taking at least 5 pictures of each direction from the point, then logging in the notebook the list of each photo we took and any notes we want to keep track of. It usually works.

Back at the office, hopefully the photos, the log, and the notes all line up. If not, I hope my memory is good enough to remember which direction I was looking. Then, I have to fire up ArcGIS and other tools to import my GPS waypoints and manually make a new photo point map.

Here's an alternative that removes some of the gear, steps, and guesswork.

With LANDSCAPE, I can go out to a property with my smart phone. I can take a bunch of pictures without worrying much about where I am on the map. If I want to, there are a bunch of apps I could use to voice-annotate my photos - no more notebook.

Back at the office, I can open up LANDSCAPE and upload all those photos directly into the baseline map of my Stewardship project. They will appear as points of interest that I can then name, describe, etc. If the points were close together, I'll get one point with several photos instead of several points with a photo in each. That's pretty cool.

There are other ways of importing geographic data into LANDSCAPE. You can find out more about it and other map editing tasks in this knowledge base article.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Dashboard and Knowledge Base

The Dashboard has gotten a lot more robust in the last couple days. There are more statistics available and their grouping has changed slightly. 

The purpose of the Dashboard is to put the most basic statistics about your conservation projects at your fingertips without having to generate reports or create queries. My goal for the Dashboard is to make it answer 90% of the questions you need to answer.

Check out the new LANDSCAPE knowledge base article on using the Dashboard

The knowledge base is still in its infancy, but it will start getting filled in over the next couple weeks. The knowledge base is accessible from the main support page here.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Customize It

There are now many more customizations at your disposal to make LANDSCAPE conform to the way you do business. Check them out from the Settings menu in the main navigation bar:

There is a ton of stuff in here you can change, from the names you use to describe your property interests to the checklists you use for your acquisitions.

If you like to think in metric, you can even change your area units to hectares... :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

LANDSCAPE Makes Its Debut

LANDSCAPE is ready for its first public preview! Until its official release in May 2015, you can try LANDSCAPE for free and discover a better way to manage your land conservation projects.

There is a quick Getting Started tutorial here, and the application will prompt you to load some sample data when you first start it up.

Over time, I'll be adding a lot more information to the support section. So stay tuned to this blog for updates.

If you want to get started on a preview account, here's something to keep in mind. If you are setting it up for an organization that might have multiple people who want to review it at the same time, just have one person register the subscription. Then, have that user create more user accounts under that subscription from the Settings menu. Then, you'll all share data and if you decide later to keep your LANDSCAPE subscription, it will be a simpler to keep going with what you've got.