IBP is hiring software developers. Please see here for further details.

What's new?

Over the last few months we have run some targetted campaigns to increase participation. With these there are close to 25,000 observations on the portal. We have added more than 4000 new species pages and 10 map layers.
On the development front, we are working on revamping the species pages with enabling expert on-line participation and creating a name curation interface for Indian species.

Campaigns
Neighborhood Trees Campaign :
We recently ran the Neighborhood Trees Campaign - an event that lasted over a week where netizens across the country participated in documenting and uploading observations of trees onto the portal. This was our first attempt at running a campaign of this magnitude and there was significant response and participation with over 500 users signing up to upload over 2000 observations. A full report on the event can be read here [http://treesindia.indiabiodiversity.org/page/60].
Vembanad Fish Count :
The Vembanad fish count is a yearly participatory fishery resource inventory (census) of the Vembanad lake, involving scientists, naturalists, students, fishermen, and interested people.
The 7th edition of the fish count was held this year on 29th & 30th May. The data uploaded can be viewed here .
The portal is now officially a partner of the Vembanad fish Count and all data gathered from the count yearly will be aggregated on IBP and will remain accessible to all.
National Moth Week :
The India Biodiversity Portal is now a data partner for the National Moth Week - an event that will be held across the world between 19th-27th July. Participants can log on to the IndiaMoths group [http://indiabiodiversity.org/group/indianmoths/show] on IBP and upload moth observations to help aggregate information on the moths of India. Moth experts from across the country will be participating to help identify observations and build on the information on the group.

Species page online create and edit
We have added a feature where new contributors can directly create a new species page or add content to existing pages online. Contributors can only add pages for the taxa that they have been given rights for. If you are interested in being a contributor please request for contributor rights here .
Existing species page contributors can add and edit their content online. Within species pages, we also have the ability for contributors to source images from observations submitted by users.
We currently also have the ability for administrators to bulk upload species pages on behalf of a user. If you send us a spreadsheet with species pages content, we will be able to create species pages and publish them without delay.

New Species Pages
We have deployed our largest ever batch of curated species pages with contributions from various sources. We have added 4708+ species pages content, taking the current number of species descriptions on the portal to 13,000+. Explore them, comment on them and volunteer to curate species page.
81 endemic birds of India - Contributed by the Zoological Survey of India
40 endemic mammals of India - Contributed by the Zoological Survey of India
214 endemic reptiles of India - Contributed by the Zoological Survey of India
482 endemic fishes of India - Contributed by the Zoological Survey of India
2566 fishes collected from Fishbase.
113 Amphibian species held at the Western Ghats Regional Centre, Calicut, contributed by KP Dinesh and Radhakrishnan C.
213 Ferns of the Western Ghats - Contributed by K P Rajesh.
149 species of plants -Contributed by Kailash BR.
A list of ant species of India provided by Dr. Himender Bharti, with images from antweb.org.
Tamil names for 70 common bird species by P. Jeganathan
45 species of orchids of Sikkim-Himalayas -Contributed by Naresh Swami
299 species of plants -Contributed by Kailash BR.

New Map Layers
Locations layer of ZSI amphibian specimens in WGRC Calicut . Radhakrishnan, C and K.P. Dinesh. 2013. A Catalogue of Amphibia in the collection of the Western Ghat Regional Centre, Zoological Survey of India, Calicut. Rec. Zool. Surv. India, Occ. Paper No., 339: 1-71.
Distribution of Amphibian Species along the Western Ghats contributed by Brawinkumar, ZOO/WILD
Large Mammal Sightings in Biligiri Ranga Hills Honnavalli N. Kumara and S. Rathnakumar, Distribution and Abundance of large mammals in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Technical Report, submitted to Karnataka Forest Department, Chamarajanagar Wildlife Division, Chamarajanagar, Karnataka, India
Large Mammal Presence in Biligiri Ranga Hills Honnavalli N. Kumara and S. Rathnakumar, Distribution and Abundance of large mammals in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Technical Report, submitted to Karnataka Forest Department, Chamarajanagar Wildlife Division, Chamarajanagar, Karnataka, India.
Distribution of Odonate Species along the Western Ghats Contributed by Brawinkumar, ZOO/WILD.
Location of Lion-tailed macaque troops . Location of Lion-tailed macaque troops in Uttara Kanada. Contributed by H. N. Kumara, SACON Community Reserves in Uttara Kannada
Location of Community Reserves in Uttara Kanada. Contributed by Balachandra Hedge, Sahyadri Wildlife and Forest Conservation Trust India
Fishes Distribution from Fishbase . Created with occurrence data from Fishbase accessed via GBIF.
Survey of India Toposheet Index 1:250,000 . Survey of India Toposheet Index Scale 1:250,000
Survey of India Toposheet Index 1:50,000 . Survey of India Toposheet Index Scale 1:50,000

WGP-1.10 Update - 8th Nov 2013
 
In this iteration the portal has been further enhanced with the following features:
 
  • Group enhancements
  • List analytics
  • Value addition to Observations
  • Featured Observations
 
Groups
 
We believe generating reliable biodiversity information for India is a mammoth task and requires the active participation of a large community of experts, amateurs and civil society.
 
Towards this aim, we have built a groups infrastructure where interest groups can create their own micro-site pulling in resources from species pages, observations, and documents; add some static pages; and build a social network on the site to create and aggregate content of its interest. These groups will be independent units with its own founders, moderators and members, who will and manage the micro-site.
 
All data on the portal is public and open. Group members can include any resource available on the portal ie, species pages, observations and documents, into the group.
 
We currently have about 15 groups on ButterflyIndia, IndianMoths, Dragonflies of India, and others. Over the next few months we have plans to initiate other groups like IndianTrees, MappingInvasives, FrogWatch, etc. We request you to visit the groups infrastructure on the portal and, if you have an idea, suggestions and feedback, please get in touch with us.
 
List analytics
 
We now have about 70,000 distribution records of species and it is growing. These records are used to show analytics in the right panel.
 
The map shows the geographical distribution of the observations; the number of observations in each species group and the unique list of species in the list.
 
You can also zoom into an area on the map and update the observation list to show all observations in your area-of-interest.
 
Value addition to Observations
 
We have added value to observations by deriving and adding more content to each observation.
 
The map now shows not only the location of the current observation but also the distribution of other observations of the species. We query our existing map layers to display infromation on the Taluk, the soil type, the forest type, temperature range and rainfall range for that region. We also show an analysis of the temporal distribution for that species.
 
Featured Observations 
 
Users will now see a featured item on an observation, document or species list pages. The content can be featured by group dministrators, founders or moderators, with a brief note on its relevance. All featured items show on the respective groups in which they are featured as well as on the main portal.

WGP-1.9 Update - 2nd Aug 2013
 In this update, the India Biodiversity Portal and the Western Ghats Portal have been enhanced with the following new features:
  • List upload
  • Occurrence records from lists
  • New location picker
  • New Data

List upload:
The ability to contribute lists have been a long standing feature request that we have now implemented. Users can submit a list either by uploading a file or inputting text. Lists are taken in with one row per species and any other attributes. The species group, location, date, and attribution are common for the entire list. Once a list has been uploaded, users have the option of adding supporting media to every row. Users will also be able to click and edit details for each row separately. We welcome your feedback on this feature.

Occurrence records from lists:
We have now tightly integrated checklists with observations. This has enabled each species record in a list to store a location coordinate, enabling lists to contribute to occurrence records for a species. Approximately 50000 species records have been harvested out of the pre-existing checklists to enrich occurrence maps. Newly added lists will now dynamically add occurrence information for species and are visible as green dots on the occurrence maps in species pages.

New Location Picker :
We have completely revamped the map component used for picking a location during creation of observations, documents and lists. The new component allows marking an accurate location using a full screen pop-out. For lists, associated areas and polygons can be marked. The new interface also records and retrieves recent locations from saved history.

New Data:


WGP-1.8 Update - 17th May 2013

The India Biodiversity Portal and the Western Ghats Portal have been enhanced with the following new features:

  • Document manager
  • Image rating
  • Enhanced user profile with participation statistics
  • Sharing with social networks
  • New data
  • Document Manager

We have deployed a beta version of a document manager to facilitate sharing ecological datasets and documents. The metadata for this confirms to the ecological markup language, eml-2.1.1 standards, developed by the ecology discipline and for the ecology discipline. The metadata can be shared and searched globally; and has been adopted by the global DataOne project. We would like comments and suggestions from users to further develop this function on the portal.

Profile Page Enhancements

  • What is your contribution to the portal?
  • How many species have you helped identify?
  • How many observations have you posted?
  • What is the geography from where you report?
  • Your interests and much more.

These profile page enhancements will be used to evolve a reputation system on interests, expertise and contribution. Do take a look, update and build your profile on the portal and provide feedback.

Rating Content on the Portal

We have two kinds of rating. Now you can rate the content with a 5-star rating system in observations, species pages, images and others . The ratings will help promote good content and flag poor content for improvement.

You can also like an observation or a species page because of its content uniqueness or description and show your appreciation. Do rate content and provide feedback to improve the rating system!

Sharing with Social Networks

You can share, appreciate and post content from the portal onto your social networks. We have now integrated social networking buttons on observations and species pages to facilitate easy sharing with social networking sites. We currently sport Facebook, Twitter and Google plus buttons. The interface has also been redesigned to accommodate the new and existing action buttons.

New Data


WGP-1.7 Update - 5th April 2013

The India Biodiversity Portal and the Western Ghats Portal have been enhanced with the following new features:

  • Upload Video Observations
  • View Usage and Content Statistics
  • Follow/Unfollow pages
  • Checklist Download
  • Remove Species Recommendation
  • Observations Carousel in Species Pages
  • New Species Pages

Upload Video Observations            

As video content is increasingly becoming popular on the web, we have enabled creation of observation using videos uploaded on YouTube. The observation interface allows you to use a Youtube URL to pull in video content and add metadata to add an observation. YouTube links in comments and notes also show up as embedded videos.

 View Usage and Content Statistics

 We now have a analytics module that shows content contribution and user participation. The module currently depicts activity over time; most active users over the past 7 days; identified and unidentified observations by species group and content richness in species pages. These stats are available for the portal as well as for different groups.

Follow/Unfollow Pages

  Users can now follow observations, checklists and species pages using the new follow button from these pages. This feature can be used to keep track of individual pages that the user is interested in. Once followed, users will get notification mails for any activity that happens on the page. Users can also selectively unfollow pages using the unfollow button.

Checklist Download

You can now download checklists as CSV files or as PDF files. Just as with observation downloads, users will need to be signed in to request a download. The download links will be available from a user's profile page.

Remove Species Recommendation

Based on user feedback we have incorporated the ability for a user to revoke his own species recommendation/identification after it has been suggested. Identified observations are now also linked via icons to species pages on other sites such as IUCN, GBIF, EOL and Wikipedia.

Observations Carousel in Species Pages

 The species pages and observation module are now more closely woven together. Images of identified observations now show up as a carousel of related observations with notes, on their respective species pages. There is also an explicit link from identified observations pointing to the species page.

New Species Pages

  •  5295 Dicots of the Western Ghats. Contributed by G. Renu, Sanjana Julias Thilakar, D. Narasimhan, Centre for Floristic Research, Department of Botany, Madras Christian College, Tambaram
  • 4431 Flowering plants. Contributed by Dr. N Sasidharan (Dr. B P Pal Fellow), Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi
  • 346 Forest plants of the Nilgiris. Contributed by Keystone Foundation.
  • Images for existing Bryophytes and Mosses species pages. Contributed by Manju C.Nair.
  • Images for existing Plant species pages. Contributed by Ankur Patwardhan, Amruta Joglekar, RANWA team, Pune

WGP-1.6 Update - 5th March 2013

We have several exciting updates in this iteration. The India Biodiversity Portal and the Western Ghats Portal has been enriched with further functionality and data contributions.

The following is the list of new features and updates in this newsletter:

  • Filepicker
  • Data Download
  • New Groups
  • Advanced Search
  • New Species Pages

File Picker

There is a huge amount of biodiversity related content on social networking and image sharing sites like flickr and facebook. To enable users to gather such dispered resources from across the web onto a common biodiversity platform on the portal we have enabled the popular Filepicker.io plugin.

Users can now connect with their accounts on  Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Google Drive or Dropbox and pull in images already uploaded on these sites, to create an observation on the portal.

Data Download

Crowd-sourced observation data can be downloaled as CSV or KML and used for analysis. The observations can be filtered using any filter critera to customize your query and the resulting list can be downloaded. The data can be used for further analysis and to generate lists or maps. All download queries will be listed on your profile page.

New Groups

Several groups have started functioning on the portal, including Butterfly, Moth, Birding and Environment education groups. While participation has been slow on some, others are rapidly growing. Groups are in beta testing. We are getting feedback and refining and adding features. Please contact us if you would like to start a group.

Advanced Search

Users can now perform advanced searches on observations, species pages and checklists, and create lists to explore. The advanced search can be used to generate a specific query to match a criterea of interest and download the observation data using our data download feature.

New Species Pages

  • 21 species of birds of prey: Contributed by Chitra Ravi, Content Facilitator, India Biodiversity Portal & EOL Rubenstein Fellow 2012.
  • 148 species of butterflies: Contributed by Rajkamal Goswami, Content Creator, IBP-EOL Species Page Project, 2012. Chitra Ravi, Content Facilitator, India Biodiversity Portal & EOL Rubenstein Fellow 2012.
  • 112 species pages of Indian molluscs: Contributed by Chitra Ravi, Content Facilitator, India Biodiversity Portal & EOL Rubenstein Fellow 2012 and N.A. Aravind Madhyastha, Sandeep Sen and Ramya Badrinath, Content Compilers, ATREE, India.
  • 523 species of aquatic plants: Contributed by Sanjay Molur and others, IUCN and ZOO.
  • 178 fish species: Contributed by Sanjay Molur and others, IUCN and ZOO
  • 30 species of common mammals of India: Contributed by Thomas Vattakaven, The Western Ghats Portal.

WGP-1.5 Update - 28th Jan 2013

This is a major update to the portal. The India Biodiversity Portal and the Western Ghats Portal has been enriched with more functionality and data contributions. The portal is evolving to be a platform for biodiversity informatics

 

The following is the list of functionality with this update:

Groups

  • Groups can be created on specific biodiversity themes and projects
  • Groups can have their own microsites with their own branding
  • Groups can include species pages, checklists, and maps
  • Groups can set their rules of membership and contributions
  • Members can socially interact and communicate
  • However all data on the portal is open and under creative commons licenses

The groups framework is in Beta. Please provide feedback and contact us if you would like to create and manage a group.

Activity Feed

The portal now has an activity feed to encourage social groups to interact and communicate with each other. Posting observations, species calls on observations, interactions on observations, and conversations within a group are captured on the activity feed. Interactions on other modules, like species pages, checklists and maps will also be captured on the activity feed.

Profile Page Enhancements

We have enhanced the profile pages.

  • You can upload a profile image.
  • You can choose your species groups and habitats of interest
  • You can write a note about yourself
  • You can see all your postings and postings by others

We will expand the profile page by building a transparent reputation system that will recognize your contribution to the biodiversity portal and identify experts based on their contribution.

New Species Pages

New Maps

 


WGP 1.2 Update - 07 September 2012

Updates to the the Observation Interface and the map component with the addition of measurement tools.

The following maps were deployed on the portal:

  • Vegetation map of Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve
  • Western Ghats Geographic Regions
  • Trees species on Bangalore roads
  • Western Ghats World Heritage Sites
  • Location and distribution of medicinal plants in Maharashtra
  • Location and distribution of tree species in transects in Maharashtra
  • Tree Species distribution in the Chandoli forest of Maharashtra
  • Location and distrubution of plant species in the rocky outcrops of Maharashtra
  • Tree Species distribution in the Koyna protected area forest of Maharashtra

WGP-1.1 Update - 20th April 2012

This update launches the Observation Module. Observation Interface where users can upload species observation; collaboratively identify species; and contribute to enrich our understanding of biodiversity. The objective of the Observation Interface is to crowd source biodiversity information from scientists, amateurs and naturalists dispersed across various geographies.

What's new in this version?

What can users do?

This crowd sourced information will be aggregated into species distribution maps and enrich species pages on the portal.

Users will be able to upload a photograph of a species; choose an associated creative commons license for the photograph; provide a species name; mark the location for the observation; write some notes on the observation; and thus create an Observation.

Others can agree with the species identification or suggest a different species name; and comment on the observation and can interact with their facebook social network.

Design principles for the Observation Interface

The design principle for the Observation Interface is to build an attractive and easy to use interface that will spur large scale participation and in fact go viral. The interface should be self-evident and should not require any help.

The Observation module should be based on crowdsourcing information. It should have features that help aggregate and curate data by participation.

The Observation module should be open and democratize biodiversity information.


WGP-1.0 Update - 23th January 2012

This update has made major changes to the species pages module. The user interfaces have been improved, with better navigation, filtering and searching capabilities. We have also added curated species pages content for 499 species. Species lists have been collected from authentic public databases and species pages stubs have been created along with the taxonomic hierarchy. We have provided links from the species pages and species lists to various public sites that contain species information. With this update, the portal has total of 1083 species pages with curated content out of a total of 39,777 species lists with species stubs, taxonomic hierarchy and external links. The detailed list of changes are given below:

What's new in this version?

1. Species pages on the flora of the Nilgiris of the Western Ghats has been added. These are 262 tree species in this list contributed by the Keystone Foundation, Kotagiri.

2. Species pages on the bat species of the Western Ghats have been contributed by Zoo Outreach Foundation, Coimbatore. This contains 50 bat species of the Western Ghats.

3. Species pages on the endemic birds, mammals and amphibians of the Western Ghats. This dataset consists of 187 endemic species, of the Western Ghats giving the taxonomic hierarchy, distribution and habitat of the species. The data has been curated and compiled by Care Earth, Chennai, project partners for the Western Ghats project.

4. About 40,000 species from GBIF with occurrences in India; about 5,400 species from IUCN red data list for the Indian region, and 2,500 species from FishBase, have been used to create species list stubs along with taxonomic hierarchy and with links to public databases like EOL, GBIF, IUCN and Wikipedia.

5. User interfaces of the species pages have been improved. Species lists are sorted by the available content and can be filtered by different high level groups. External links, and IUCN conservation status, and group are presented in the summary section of species pages.

6. The taxonomic browser has been enhanced with the facility for multiple hierarchies. A combined taxonomic hierarchy is used to allow navigation of all the content via a taxonomic browser. Different taxonomic hierarchies can be selected from the drop-down list of available taxonomies for the species.


WGP-0.9 Data Update - 10th December 2011

What's new in this version?

This update is focused on adding map layers to the portal. The following map layers have been added:

1. Western Ghats Bird and Tree Transect Data, contributed by MO. Anand, CEPF Grantee.

2. Rainfall Data for the Kerala Western Ghats by the French Institute at Pondicherry

3. Distribution of Endemic Species of the Western Ghats by Care Earth, Chennai, Project Partner.

4. Western Ghats Bats Distribution by Zoo Outreach, Coimbatore, Project Partner.


WGP-0.9 Update - 30th September 2011

This update is focused on adding more map content on the portal and creating better interfaces on the portal.

What's new in this version?

1. The species pages now has an efficient solr based search interface. Species names and all descriptive text are indexed and are searchable. The search results are presented in a page with the image of the species. Clicking on the search result opens the species page. See Species Page

2. Map user interfaces have been enhanced with a better user interface to explore maps, apply symbology to maps, and show selected features. We will enhance these features with a filter option in subsequent updates. See Map Module

3. A URL link has been added to each layer that provides a URL to access the layer directly. Clicking on the link will directly take you to the map module with the referred map. Eg. Soil Map

4. We have created a demo theme page. The theme page is an is an integrator of content on the portal with an explanation and links to other resources on the portal. The demo theme page is on the vegetation maps deployed in this update on the portal. Over the next few updates we will write many more theme pages and present the content available on the portal through these theme pages. See Theme on the Vegetation Maps of the Western Ghats

5. We have put out species pages templates that can be used by contributors to provide species pages content to upload on the portal. In a future update, we will provide a facility where authenticated will be able to automatically upload species pages through the template. See Contribute section.

6. We have added considerable rich content on the portal. We have added 27 map layers consisting of vegetation, soils, hydrology and administrative units of the Western Ghats. All the vegetation maps have been contributed by the French Institute of Pondicherry. The list of maps added are given below:

Soil Maps

  • Western Ghats Reconnaissance Soil Map
  • Western Ghats Soil Carbon Estimates in 1977
  • Western Ghats Soil Carbon Estimates in 1999

Watershed Maps

  • Western Ghats Sub-basins
  • Western Ghats Watersheds
  • Western Ghats Rivers
  • Western Ghats Dams and Reservoirs
  • Western Ghats Watershed Basins

Vegetation Maps: Belgaum Dharwad Panaji

  • Floristic Types - Belgaum Dharwad Panaji
  • Forest Physiognomy - Belgaum Dharwad Panaji
  • Major Forest Types - Belgaum Dharwad Panaji

Vegetation Maps: Mercara Mysore

  • Forest Physiognomy - Mercara Mysore
  • Floristic Types - Mercara Mysore
  • Major Forest Types - Mercara Mysore

Vegetation Maps: Thiruvananthapuram Tirunelveli

  • Floristic Types - Thiruvananthapuram Tirunelveli
  • Forest Physiognomy - Thiruvananthapuram Tirunelveli
  • Major Forest Types - Thiruvananthapuram Tirunelveli

Vegetation Maps: Coimbatore Thrissur

  • Major Forest Types - Coimbatore Thrissur
  • Forest Physiognomy - Coimbatore Thrissur
  • Floristic Types - Coimbatore Thrissur

Vegetation Maps: Shimoga

  • Major Forest Types - Shimoga
  • Floristic Types - Shimoga
  • Forest Physiognomy - Shimoga

Other Vegetation Maps

  • Vegetation Map Western Annamalai Area
  • Simple Vegetation map of the Western Ghats
  • Vegetation map of Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve

Other Maps

  • Beat and Range Map of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and Gudalur Forest Division
  • Western Ghats Hornbill Survey

WGP-0.8 Update - 03 September 2011

The current version (augmented maps 0.8) was deployed on 03th September 2011. The code base is deployed on the social coding site github.

We plan to provide updates every month to the portal with new features and new data. We still have a long way to go to ensure full functionality of the portal. This beta portal is on agile development. We develop the portal as a set of web application modules and we plan to update the portal with each development iteration, so that the community gets good visibility to development. The development team also gets feedback on usage and utility of features.

What's new in this version?

1. The species pages has been enhanced with a basic taxonomy browser. The browser also provides the functionality of navigating and getting to the species of choice.

2. The species pages now has a look and feel for species pages with sparse content. If the content is sparse, we display all the content in one page, with the table of contents navigation. We hope this is helpful.

3. We have populated a brief help field for each of the components of the species pages.

4. We have rationalized the fields for species pages and the data entry options. We plan to have a sample spreadsheet and an xml that will be deployed on the portal. These can be used to create species pages on a format that can be directly uploaded on the portal.

5. We have created an occurrence table of all known and reported species occurrences on the portal. This has been generated from the checklists and the map data that have some species data. This table forms the basis of the occurrence maps on the species pages. Currently, the occurrence records have over 1,12,127 entries with distribution locations of 13,991 species. This table will be innovatively used to crowd source species occurrence records through maps, checklists and species pages and displayed attractively.

6. The collaboration module has been enhanced with pages for the partners on this project. The partners will accumulate and curate species and occurrence information for various taxa and different areas of the Western Ghats. These pages provide visibility to the partners with the ability to participate interactively on the portal.

7. The portal has been updated with the following data:

  • We have added 90 Scarabaeidae (Dung Beetle) species contributed by Priyadarsanan Dharma Rajan's Lab, ATREE, Bangalore.
  • We had added 518 species of flowing plants of the Western Ghats, contributed by The Biotik Team, The French Institute of Pondicherry.

WGP-0.7 Update - 08 August 2011

The current version (augmented maps 0.7) was deployed on 08th August 2011. The code base is deployed on the social coding site github.

The Western Ghats Portal (WGP) is under development and in beta. We will enhance the platform with more features and data. With this release, we are entering an agile development phase where we will be responsive to user inputs and deploy regular monthly updates.

What's new in this version?

1. The map module has been re-engineered. It now runs with GeoServer 2.1.1 on a Java Application Server (Jetty). The look-and-feel has been changed for better usability. All maps including point layers are now served through the GeoServer. We have added a choice of styles for coloring and displaying each map layer. We have extended the GeoServer to allow embedding a fully-featured map into any other page. We will extend the map application and add more functionality in future releases.

2. We have added the first-cut of the species pages and populated it with two example species. Over the next few months we will add more species and enrich species pages content.

3. We have added a collaboration module which currently caters to Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF) funded projects in Western Ghats. This is being regularly updated by the project grantees as well as the Regional Implementation Team (RIT).

4. We have built a Document Management System (DMS) that allows uploading, annotating and tagging documents related to biodiversity and conservation. This is currently integrated with Collaboration Module.

5. The checklist module has been re-engineered into a drupal framework and redeployed with search and filter capabilities.

6. We now provide user login with either email id or user name.

7. Deployed on new hardware, Intel Xeon X3470 @ 2.93GHz Quad core Processors, with 8 GB RAM running 64-bit Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS operating system.

8. The following map layers have been added.

  • A Checklist layer with the location of the checklists available. This layer will be periodically updated.
  • Western Ghats bird transect data combined from various studies, showing the transect location and the species found at each location.
  • MODIS fire map data for the Western Ghats for the years 2000 to 2010.

Version 0.5 (15 December 2010)

This is a new release with a new look and feel; and additional features


Version 0.4 (23 April 2009)

The April monthly update has been delayed. It was deployed on 24th April 2009.

What's new in this version?

User interfaces have been improved. It has been simplified for the common user with advanced menus in the More... options. We have integrated flash components to allow a richer user interface. During this period we have also tried to make the portal code cleaner and modular.

The following are the list of features deployed with this release

  • Performance: deployed on physical host located in India, client side performance improvements to reduce client/server calls, use tiling for mapserver images
  • Automatic zoom: Enable automatic zoom-in for better usability
  • Data Upload: KML data upload functionality (beta quality)
  • Flash UI: Attractive flash UI for LayerSelector and LayerOrdering windows for better usability.
  • UI redesign: design changes in UI to simplify the interfaces.
  • Code re-organization: Separated core platform and applications(IBP, UAP) code, cleaned up database, UI and processing code for better maintainability

The following are the platform expansion activities during this release:

  • The India water portal has shown interest in using drupal and the map module as maplocate for its site. This will be a significant development in deploying an instance of the platform in true open source spirit. It will also help in maturing and generalizing the platform.
  • The code has been reorganized to make it more modular. The subversion repository has been reorganized so that we can release the source code as an open source project. It still needs to have packaging, build and deployment scripts worked out to release it as a usable open source project.
  • The Stockholm resilience center has contracted with the technology partners GSLAB for the development of the portal for the Urban Mapping project. This project will server maps of 12 cities of the world.
  • As a voluntary effort, a group of developers got together to try embed a light weight map component to an election information portal electionspot. The data for the portal was mined out of the election commission site and linked to the map.

Version 0.3 (04 March 2009)

The monthly update version of the portal was deployed on 2nd March 2009. This release comes in quick succession of the previous release. There are incremental changes to user interface. And two new features; "Download data" in various formats and "Get Map URL"; have been added.

What's new in this version?

The following are the list of features deployed with this release

  • The home page has been separated from the map page and now launches in a separate tab.
  • User interfaces of the map pages, like icons, map pop-ups have been changed.
  • Code reorganization to progress towards an open source project. The platform code has now been separated form the user interfaces and the data layer.
  • MapLocator is the name of the platform for the generic map-based content management system integrating with Drupal.
  • Download data from certain layers in various public formats including kml, kml, shape, and txt files formats.
  • "Get Map URL" feature added. This allows a user to get the map URL with multiple layers turned on and with a specified zoom extent. The URL can be copied and pasted on any page so that it provides a link to the portal with the layers turned on.

Version 0.2 (16 February 2009)

The monthly update version of the portal was deployed on 16th February 2009. This release focused on improvements in user interfaces and deploying on-going improvements in the participation workflow and provide URLs for maps data on the portal, so that search engines can access the data list for better indexing and search hits.

What's new in this version?

The following are the list of features deployed with this release

  • Home page is now more information rich, and the map page has been moved inside
  • Full screen map with a toolbar and text labels
  • Floating, resizable panels for selecting and ordering layers, legend and layer data
  • URL redirection to all layers to allow search site indexing by search engines.
  • Ability to extract information from other internet sites that maintain geocoded information and provide APIs to access geocded information. Currently photos and images from Flickr and Panoramio can be accessed from the site
  • Line layers can now be displayed along with features and popups have been enabled
  • Participation workflow improved

The following data additions and improvements have been done and deployed:

  • New BRT Vegetation Layer
  • New Mandla Drainage Layer
  • New Papagni Drainage Layer
  • Boundaries of all India polygon layers redone for better fit on base map

Version 0.11 (31 December 2008)

Critical and essential bugs were fixed in this patch deployed on 31st December 2008.

What's new in this version?

  • UI freeze sporadically. UI hangs sporadically with a "Please wait.." message, while doing some operations.
  • Layer name in the tree view flows to two lines when it becomes bold on selection.
  • Pop up of the highlighted feature on a layer stays on the map even when the layer is made inactive using "Layer Manager/Ordering".
  • Pop up doesn't get panned into the screen (close button remains hidden) when map is at minimum zoom level.
  • Legend of polygon layer shows only the Layer name on switching between "Search" and "Theme/Geography" tabs.
  • Tree view goes into inconsistent state on switching between "Themes" and "Geography" tab. A layer that is removed in one tab remains selected in the other tab.
  • Pop up doesn't show up for features on a polygon layer, when it is made active by removing another layer.
  • Pop up doesn't show up for features on "India Rainfall zone" layer.
  • Client screen resolutions above 1600 x 1200 pixels did not render polygon layers. This has been fixed.

Version 0.1 (15 December 2008)

The first version of the portal Version 0.1, was launched on 15th December 2008. This was the culmination of six months of development effort. Specifications for the portal platform was drawn up in May 2008 and development started in June 2008. Development was organized by the Agile method of software development with continuous integration and monthly deployments on a staging server. Simultaneously a team of GIS engineers started the data curation effort. And by November 2008, the platform with data were deployed on a test server. After testing, portal was officially launched to the public on December 2008.

What's new in this version?

The salient features of the portal are:

  • Geographical visualization using Google maps
  • Ability to serve custom layers and overlay them on the base maps
  • Ability to query a feature and show details on the feature
  • Comprehensive user management
  • Integration with Drupal content management framework
  • First cut of participation framework with ability to manage user-generated content

The spread of data on the portal include the following:

  • A total of 93 maps curated and deployed on the portal.
  • Maps from 13 geographical zone curated and deployed on the portal
  • Thirty maps covering themes on the Indian sub-continent have been curated and deployed.
  • Initiated 6 participatory layers