Thursday, September 15, 2016

Impervious Surface

I was doing a demo for a land trust out east the other day, and she asked me how to track changes to the the impervious surfaces on a property over time. I had to think for a second and then realized there really wasn't anywhere in LANDSCAPE to do that.

It struck me as very odd that I hadn't thought of it before. I come from a land trust with a conservation portfolio that is about 50% farmland easements. Tracking impervious surface changes is something we have to do a lot. And, like this land trust I was doing the demo for, we track it with a bunch of spreadsheets or Word documents sitting on the server.

No more!

Last night I put an end to that. There is now a dedicated place to track impervious surface changes in LANDSCAPE.

Take a look at the Monitoring page on the left side of the window in any Stewardship. At the bottom of that page you'll see the new place for impervious surface:

Click on the Total number and it will open an edit box for you to set the total amount of allowable impervious surface. Then, click the plus button on the left to add new impervious surfaces to the list. 

Now, why didn't I think of that?

Friday, April 8, 2016

New Workflows

Simple task lists have now been replaced by workflows in Acquisitions, Dispositions, Monitoring Visits, and Management Activities.

Workflows allow you to organize your task lists into logical groups and set triggers when all the tasks in the group are complete. For example, in Acquisitions, a completed task group could trigger a change in the Stage of the Acquisition. Likewise, a completed task group in a Monitoring Visit can change its Status automatically.

Another nice feature is the ability to add default Assignees to tasks in saved workflows.

Take a look at this fairly thorough knowledge base article for details: Managing Acquisition Workflows and Task Groups

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

New Project Layout

You'll notice that the activities within projects are displayed differently now. Gone is the constellation of boxes connected by lines. Users told us this layout got too messy in complicated projects and the random placement of the boxes made it hard to navigate between projects and their activities.

So, there's a new layout in town. All your activities are organized in groups by Acquisitions of a particular Property Interest. We think this layout is more useful because it keeps all the activities related to a specific Acquisition together and there is more information displayed about the status of each of the activities.

If you want to read more about the new layout, take a look at this knowledge base article here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Project Views are Powerful

A couple months ago we enhanced the Projects list with a more flexible interface that allows you to create a list of anything in LANDSCAPE. These are called Project Views and are basically a list of results based on a query and a set of fields you want to view.

Project Views can be saved so now it is easy to have custom lists at your fingertips of things you frequently search for: Active Acquisitions, Open Tasks, Easements to Monitor, etc. Project Views are so flexible that we have removed the top-level Funding tab because it was essentially redundant; Project Views can be created to show the very same information if you want to see it.

Now, Project Views are even more powerful. In addition to being able to view all of your data in various ways, you can now do batch updating of that data.

So, let's say you just went out and monitored 5 easements and you are back in the office taking care of the paperwork. If you have a Project View showing your pending monitoring visits, you can select the ones you just monitored, click the Actions button, and set all of their Visited On dates to today in one fell swoop.

Some types of activities have special batch updates available to them. For instance, a Project View showing Stewardships has the ability to add a new pending monitoring visit to each. A Project View showing monitoring visits or management activities has the ability to add personnel to each visit or activity.

Project View results can now be exported to a spreadsheet as well. Just click the Actions button and choose Export.

Here are a few knowledge base articles related to Project Views that will get you started:

Batch Updating Data from Project Views
Editing Project Views
Exporting Results from Project Views

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Got Terrafirma?

If so, you'll like the new fields added today.

First, each Stewardship has a new check box under Edit Details named Insured.

Change Insured to Yes or No.

You can use this checkbox to query for Stewardships that have or haven't been added to your Terrafirma insurance policy. The good news is that for most users Stewardships = Terrafirma properties. Tracts under easement that get subdivided will each have their own Stewardships. Contiguous Tracts owned in fee and managed as a single preserve will have one Stewardship. So, the counting is done for you!

Now, when you want to track and report out issues to Terrafirma, there are a couple new fields in each Monitoring Issue - Reported On and Issue Type.

With Reported On, you can keep track of the day you reported the issue to Terrafirma. Issue Type can be used to match the "Challenge" types that Terrafirma uses. By default, these types have been loaded in for you, but you can add and tweak as necessary in Settings/Customizations/Stewardship.

Now, it's time to call up Terrafirma and ask them to support an automated way to file your reports!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Maps, New Map Features

The next time you use LANDSCAPE you'll probably notice the maps look different. I'm now using a different technology to display the map data. Here are the differences you'll notice:

  • The toolbar is along the left side.
  • The toolbar icons have changed (though all the same features are there). For example, import and export of data is still there, but the icons have changed:
  • The basemap chooser is in the same place (upper right corner), but it looks different.
  • The basemaps themselves are different. The topographical map also shows roads and building footprints where available.
  • The default basemap is now aerial imagery.
  • Markers are styled differently.
Take a look at this Knowledge Base article if you want to learn more about editing maps.

Measuring Features

There is a new feature on the map toolbar - Measure Feature.

When this tool is active, clicking on a line or polygon will pop up a window telling you the distance of the line or area and perimeter of the polygon. Be aware that very large polygons may not accurately report their areas because of the algorithm used. However, it should be accurate enough for most practical uses.

New Map

Projects now have a Map tab. This map will show the boundaries of all the Tracts in the project. You may find this map is very useful for projects used to organize many individual properties.