During the next days, I will write a few articles about some new visual features that will appear on the PlantCatching web site homepage. Indeed it will be revised to better serve the local needs of gardeners and to create even more relationships between them.
You know it, PlantCatching now works around 3 axis: offers, requests and events. All search results appear on the map of the homepage as multicolored markers. It has several drawbacks and today I will write in detail about those concerning the requests.
Although you are certainly curious about what people offer and therefore you check here and there (sometimes quite far) what plants are shared, requests are by nature very local. You would like to have your requests be visible and fulfilled by others in your neighborhood and you will certainly like to give what people really need in the same area. However, it won't never cross your mind to give something that someone requested at 50 kms from you, a request that anyway you would never try to discover on the map.
On the current map, requests appear in the middle of all other markers and their textual details are displayed, sorted by distance to the center of the map, only if you click the requests tab. And did you notice that the red markers have a smaller size, as if they were second-class citizens on PlantCatching? Even worse, you have to frankly zoom in around your home address to get a clearer view of the local requests. Anyway, do you really watch and analyze them? I don't, or not very often. No reflex, no time. Therefore I had to find a way to make these requests express themselves in front of you and in a short radius around you.
Here is the visual tool that will fix all these flaws:
This humble little box, to be able to show some content, needs your home address that you will be able to add in your account settings. This is easy and it will be kept confidential. Remember, I always said that PlantCatching could be used without a user account. This is still true and it will stay like this so that gardeners can use PlantCatching occasionally and without constraints. But to get more than the casual use, there is no choice other than getting an account.
But let's get back to this new box. It's quite self-evident in fact. At a glance, you see, sorted by distance from your home address, the local requests inside a 10 kms radius. Even better, the recent requests (less than a week) will be displayed at the top of the list, in red: a good way to track the new and modified ones.
Personally, when I visit this page, I now look at these active requests, while red ones draw my attention. I can't prevent myself thinking about what I could offer (is my ground-cover big enough to give a division to this person)? I hope that you will get this new reflex too and that sharing between gardeners will become even more abundant and varied.
In the next article, I will address the case of local offers. Now that you saw the changes about local requests, I think I gave you some clues...
And don't forget, this web service is only the tip of the iceberg. Whatever the tool, the rest is in your generosity, in your wish to see the world change even in a slight way and in your passion for gardening and cultivating!
(Do you see some english mistakes, please contact me with a fix).