If you read my previous post, you already know that the PlantCatching homepage will soon get a facelift. While acclaimed for its simplicity and especially because it carries the original concept of PlantCatching, it has several drawbacks that prevent you to quickly determine offer and demand in your area. After having described the Requests side, let me now analyze what happens on the Offer side.
When PlantCatching first appeared, the Requests feature was not existing. Therefore, the map was only made of green markers for the offers and it was very easy to notice when a new one had poppe up inside a given area. Now, at some crowded places, like in Montreal, you have to zoom in outright to be able to identify a new opportunity in the middle of other green, red and blue markers. Moreover, since a marker defines a geographical location and not a single offer, it's possible to miss the appearance of a new donation made by a gardener at the same location. It's only after clicking on the marker or by analyzing the search results at the left of the map that one can realize that something new was just offered.
To solve all these drawbacks, I'm introducing the new "Local offers" toolbox:
Like Local requests, here is a humble little box that contains the necessary information to help you. A small banner displays offer counts in all categories (including Incredible Edible containers). Now it's easy to know if seeds are available locally. Underneath, a simple list shows offers sorted by publish date. Those that are less than a week old are red. The top of the list therefore displays the most recent entries. Unlike local requests, I though that the freshness of an offer was more important than its distance to you inside a 10 kms radius. Yes, when an item appears on the map, it doesn't stay long there most of the time and one has to hurry up to pick it up. As for Incredible Edible containers, it's impossible to miss the last added one in a city.
I didn't mention it in my last article but, like for requests, clicking on an item in the list will center and zoom the map on its marker. You just have to read its details in the left column and that's it.
This tool should simplify your life. However, please remember: all the possible refinements added by me won't create new offers on the map. It takes motivated and passionate gardeners for this to happen. Be those ones and spread the word about PlantCatching in your relationships and with fellow citizens in your city and country.