New feature for Admins: Assign Tasks to Volunteers, Vendors, Agencies and Staff

We’ve added several new Roles for Users. Now, along with Registered Users and Admin Users, we’ve added Volunteers and Vendors, which can be assigned Tasks, External Agencies, who can be assigned Reports via Tasks, and Staff who can do most of what Admins do, but do not receive all Admin notifications.

Admins and Staff can now Invite users. Users receive an email inviting them to register, and their assigned Role is automatically added when they complete the process. Those users with Roles can see Tasks on their Profile. Admins and Staff can assign Tasks for them. If a user has the Role External Agency they can view an assigned report. This makes it easy to share Reports with trusted agencies with adjacent or joint jurisdictional areas.

There is a screencast tour on your Profile if you are an Admin, explaining the process further.

As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on these new features!

Posted in Uncategorized

Mount Tamalpais now in ParkWatchReport!

Woohoo! We just added Mount Tamalpais State Park to ParkWatchReport. There are lots of trails to explore online, thanks to the California State Parks GIS folks.

Mount Tamalpais ParkWatchReport

Mount Tamalpais is a major San Francisco Bay Area landmark rising from the Pacific Ocean to the west and descending to Mill Valley to the east, punctuating the Marin Headlands. The Panoramic Highway winds over the top connecting to California’s Highway 1 at each end, making a magnificent loop. But don’t just drive, get out and enjoy the trails!

This is the third State Park to join as a pilot program, so if you like it, be sure to let them know so we can complete PWR for all the State Parks!

Posted in Features, Mobile Apps

New Feature for Admins: Add a Map to a Task

Add a Map to a Task:

Now, when you create a new Task from a Report, the location coordinates from the Report will show on a map in the Create Task screen.

  • If there are no coordinates, or if you create a Task from the Profile screen, you can easily create a map. Just click the “Show Map” button and it should center on your boundaries.
  • If you are at the site where the Task is targeted, you can use “Locate Me” to find your location, or just move the marker around the map to the location related to the Task.
  • If you want to clear the location info, there’s a button for that, too.

As always, your feedback is welcome!

Posted in Uncategorized

Holiday gifts: New fixes and improvements

Today we released some small improvements, and started working on some big ones!

These early holiday gifts are for Admins, only: If you make a task on a report, when you view a task, there’s a link to the related report automatically added to the Task. It’s highlighted in blue, so you can’t miss it. Also, now when there’s a report created by a user where the location data is absent (no latitude/longitude) instead of showing you a map centered on the U.S., somewhere in Kansas, no map will appear. Instead it will say “No coordinates supplied” right under the location name.

We started working on three improvements, due early 2016:

  1. Pick your favorites, and get notified of Alerts: As we get a longer list of participating clients, our menu gets longer. Soon you’ll be able to see your favorites in the menu, first. And, you’ll be able to get notifications as email and/or as text if there’s an alert posted by the client.
  2. Volunteer: Along with Alerts, you will soon be able to volunteer with participating clients. Our volunteer management tools will make it easy for admins to find volunteers, coordinate work groups, and more. Volunteer groups will be able to coordinate among themselves, as well.
  3. Vendors: Soon Admins will be able to invite Vendors into the system. Once registered they will be able to receive notifications by email of new Tasks, mark task status, comment on tasks and view partial reports. Tasks will be able to have maps generated from coordinates, as well.
Posted in Features

We’ve added Orange County Parks & Trails… and more!

Our latest releases of the website and apps bring several improvements and new parks.

Orange County area parks and trails have been added (22!), along with Chino Hills state park. Chino Hills alone has 30 new trails.

Our App platform provider fixed the image upload on Reports.

We’ve improved Twitter Buttons on News and Alerts pages.

We’ve improved the menus on the App, with more improvements to come.

We’ve made it simple to transfer Reports between Clients.

Coming soon:

  • Favorite Places
  • Alert Notifications (email and/or text messages)
  • Vendor User Management (so you can assign Reports, Tasks and Comments to vendors)
  • Mt. Tamalpais State Park

 

 

Posted in Features, Mobile Apps

Updates and Fixes…

Recently our app publisher made some platform changes which caused the Report image upload to fail on some devices. We’ve been working with them to solve the problem, and expect results soon. In the mean time we’ve been working to re-engineer our mobile software to be more resilient to these types of changes.

Today we pushed a couple small changes which will make life a little easier for Admins. Admins can now stay logged in between sessions, making it easier to respond to support emails and quickly access the publishing tools. A reminder, however: It is important to log out when not using PWR on any computer or tablet that is not secure.

In the next week we expect to complete more Admin features, such as supporting Vendor users and sending reports to Vendors and Admins from different clients.

Summer’s over, lots of changes and new Trails, Parks, and Places, are coming. Stay tuned.

Posted in Mobile Apps

The Town of Plymouth, MA has a clever way to get people to use ParkWatchReport…

If you’re patient with this video, and get past the story setup (the first 45 seconds or so), you’ll get a chuckle from the clever way Plymouth Network of Open Space Friends got the word out on ParkWatchReport.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

New features and improvements for Admins

If you’re a ParkWatchReport.com admin, managing reports just got a little easier.

We’ve added a “Delete” button to the Reports listing page. But deleted reports are not gone forever… they’re just “marked as deleted”. This is a bit like using your trashcan on your PC or Mac. If you need to restore, you can do that, too. Just click the “View Deleted Reports” link just below “About” (top-left). You’ll see a listing of all your reports that are marked deleted. You can restore by clicking the <i class=”glyphicon glyphicon-retweet” style=”display:inline;”></i>  “recycle” icon. There is a link to get back to the current reports, right where the link to deleted reports was: easy!

In addition, we’ve improved the sort order on most of the listing views so the most recent is at the top.

Finally, we improved the instructions (top-right) on these pages to be more useful.

Posted in Uncategorized

Updates! Change is Good.

Ok, we understand that change can drive you nuts, but it can be good, too! We’re always working to make our sites and apps more usable. That’s why you might notice some changes, today.

1. The sliding “Info” panel is gone. Now information about places has combined with the news. The news is renamed “About”. Click or tap “About” and you’ll see all the info about a place and then the news, either to the right or below, depending on the size of your device.

Why? We heard from users, especially on small devices, that having that panel slide out as an overlay was visually confusing.

2. Pictures line up a little better, and don’t overlap on the News/About layouts. In the news listings, the first photo is always at the top.

Why? Our web developer knows how to make HTML work. Our clients… maybe not so much. So we were finding pictures didn’t always look right. It isn’t perfect yet, but we’ll get there.

3. If you look at our web apps with a browser, but on a smaller device (maybe you don’t have the Mobile App, yet?) we put up a suggestion to, optionally, use our mobile version or download the app. Now, if you view that, it won’t bother you again for a couple days, or until you clear your browser cookies.

4. If you’re a fan of Folsom Lake’s trails, be sure to check out our new trail maps on the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area site. Remember, you can click on a marker and drill down to more detailed maps and location-specific news, events, and alerts.

Posted in Uncategorized

ParkWatchReport.org now ParkWatchReport.com

Northern California has long had a way to report trail issues: ParkWatchReport.org. It created a wonderful opportunity! In 2014, we set out to make a new site at ParkWatchReport.com that would serve similar purposes, but throughout the U.S., not just Northern California. ParkWatchReport.com is owned and under the new management of ParkWatchReport, llc.

Today [July, 2015], we’re pointing the old domain to the new one. And the old information site has been reborn as MotherLodeTrails.org. The site has the same look and feel and editor… but now the reporting is forwarded to this site, along with the ParkWatchReport.org domain.

Our mission is to serve – not just all regions – all trail users. Since everyone is served by communication of trail issues to authorities, and accurate data on trail problems, we want to balance all perspectives: Hikers, runners, mountain bikers and equestrians should all be cultivated to make our trails friendlier for all.

In the last year we rolled out, not just ParkWatchReport.com, but mobile apps for Android & iPhone. We created a general reporting system at https://report.parkwatchreport.com as well as targeted sites for the Town of Plymouth, MA, El Dorado County, CA, as well as the previously served Folsom Lake and Auburn State Recreation Areas and the Hidden Falls Regional Park near Auburn, CA. Rangers can receive notifications and then directly access reports, comment and add tasks, and export the data for analysis, on a park-by-park or multi-park basis.  But we’re just getting started… expect many more sites to be added in the coming year.

In addition, we have trails and park boundary maps right in our sites and apps, so you can plan routes and discover new ones. We’ve simplified the reporting form so you can get through it quickly… and we’re improving it with new releases frequently, as we get feedback from our users.

So enjoy both ParkWatchReport.com and MotherLodeTrails.org. We’re here to keep the trails friendly!

 

Posted in Uncategorized
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