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The new PlantCatching homepage

Posted on June 21, 2013 • Comments:

It's time to finish this series of articles about the imminent changes on the platform. After the local requests, the offers nearby and the close horticultural and urban agricultural events, you certainly wonder what happens with the main tool of the homepage, i.e. the map.

Too many markersWhile I finetune the last details of this update (and I can assure you there are many here and there), let's revisit the current map. It has been made roomy to give you the clearest visibility on what is offered and requested in a given area. Unfortunately, some locations now lack clarity. I am of course talking about Montreal where the platform was born and where it is therefore more used. Many red markers (requests) appeared and they often hide green markers (offers) and vice versa. That's why I had to organize things differently.

I could have used what is called marker clusterers. This technique allows displaying a single marker when one is zoomed out and a number indicating how many actual markers (items) are hidden underneath. One has to zoom in to expand the super marker into several ones. Right now, I'm not so enthusiatic about this idea. This is a new tool to learn coding and it removes the direct access to information. No way, in a single click on such a marker, to instantly know what is the offered plant. So, instead, I prefered to categorize the results. You will have to click on the Offers tab to see them and only them. Requests and events of course work the same.

What is noticeable is the new tab for the Incredible Edible data. Although the IC network web site handles a worldwide map of local initiatives (per city), PlantCatching is able to present a map of all the containers that are published by their creators. Moreover, the marker icon changes shape to adopt the IC logo. Gardeners of this movement, as well as witnesses of how well it goes (like Media), will have a great pleasure monitoring where edible containers are located and their content.

All these things allowed to reduce the map size so that all the tools presented in the previous articles could be inserted on the page. The address textbox has been moved inside the map and the category counters migrated to the tabs. The whole page has been enlarged so that finally all the informations are displayed in an harmonious way. At last, the header has been modified. It's shorter to again give more screen estate for the important content. Here is what it gives:

New PlantCatching homepage

I remind you that this page will be visible to those who have a PlantCatching account. If you visit the site occasionally without an account, you will continue to see the page as it exists today.

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