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online record submission form - feedback

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    Posted: 27 Feb 2005 at 12:36pm

Hi all,

I've been working on an online submission form for herpetofauna records for the Kent Reptile & Amphibian Group. I have a working example at:

http://www.kentarg.org/record_submission_form.htm

I would welcome any feedback regarding the form. There are some very obvious omissions such as air temperature, precipitation etc. but I was aiming for something that could be used both by the general public and experienced recorders. Met info can always be added in the further comments box.

Currently the form generates html formatted emails with each category and response listed in a clear format, most unlike the

speak=adder+soup&gibberishspotted=on&submit1=submit+query

rubbish that web forms often generate!

Any comments about additions omissions very welcome, the next stage of development will be adding a facility to upload images and send them as email file attachments... after 3 days of keyboard bashing I now know 'how' to achieve this but it will take re-writing all the scripts :0(

Any way on a positive note, just think of the potential of the fully developed form to county recorders and arg's. Not only could it be used on individual county web sites, but it could also be developed to send records via email to the relevant county recorder or arg from a single source (like RAUK for example).. perhaps if there is enough motivation out there this project might attract a few donations to move RAUK to an SQL server in time???

Any comments or interest in developing this project let me know.

Thanks,

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2005 at 3:10pm

 

I feel that an embroyic online NARRS system developing here - the Essex Field Club have online forms and they generate lots of records from Essex, Around the UK and the World!

So I would encourage this to the max!

JC 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2005 at 3:14pm

 

I have just seen the recording form - looks good - I would like to know if this could be developed as a National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme - hey that sounds like NARRS - I feel that this would be an excellent project - how about it?

The HGBI can be involved - errrr linked with the RAUK Forum - with our coordinator Gemma Fairchild!

well done Gem

JC

PS Sorry for getting excited - but this is just what the UK Herp conservation movement needs!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calumma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2005 at 3:32pm
Gemma,

Actually that looks pretty good as it stands!

Some comments.

It may be better to have a blank first entry for species and lifestage. Otherwise, folks may accidently send a form of a grass snake adult. The pop up could read 'select from list' or something.

Is it possible to have 'other' as a category. That way people can add more information about unidentified observations (e.g. unknown snake, bullfrog, other escapee etc), without being too constrained by the choices on offer. Could it work that if 'other' is selected a selection appears that asks the user to type the name? I've seen this sort of thing in other online forms, but imagine it is horrible to code. Perhaps, there could just be an empty field for folks to fill in if none of the observations apply??

Look forward to this going live!
Lee Brady

Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2005 at 4:14pm

It is live! Being very impatient it is already accessible and functioning on the KRAG site..

Thanks for the suggestions, changes and additions to the form categories are straightforward at the moment, it is when I re-code the whole form to upload pictures so that they can be attached to emails, that things will be a bit hairy, hence why I would like to work on refining the basic form at this stage.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2005 at 5:35pm

I've implemented Lee's suggestions,

Below is the contents of an email generated from the form to give an idea of how effective it is..

Record Sent from KRAG Web Site



Species: unknown

Non listed species: looked a bit like a tortoise

Lifestage: Adult

Male:

Female:

Unknown: 1

Date: 04 08 2005

Time: 14 53

Town: Mundon

Site: My Garden

Grid reference: _ _ 00000 00000

Post Code: CM9 6PB

Method: Visual

Name: Gemma Fairchild

Address: -
My House
In My Street
My Town
CM9 6PB

Telephone: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

E-mail: gemma@herpetofauna.co.uk

Contact: yes

Comments: -
This is a silly test email to show how records generated by the online form are displayed in emails.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calumma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2005 at 11:03am
Gemma,

The site is really looking very good!

One or two more suggestions:

Is it possible to also provide a link directly to the pdf versions of the recording cards. Some people may not want to enter their details on a website, but would be willing to download a recording card and send it in.

Also, this type of online submission form is great for the odd record, but can be very cumbersome for folk who want to send in a whole list of observations. Could you therefore also provide a direct download link to a spreadsheet document that people can fill in and email back. The spreadsheet would consist of the same fields as the online version. Ideally the spreadsheet would be application independent, perhaps saved as a tab delineated text file? That way people will not be forced to use Excel (or any other program that they may not have).

Lee Brady

Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Mar 2005 at 12:46pm

Just to say a big

THANKS!

to Mike Phillips at Kent BTCV for starting the ball rolling with KRAG's first record generated from our new form!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calumma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Mar 2005 at 5:49pm
Gemma,

One further addition that would be useful is 'County'. I know the site is aimed at folks based in Kent. However, you are likely to attract a number of records from other people who come across the form. Not everyone will type in a grid ref or postcode.
Lee Brady

Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Mar 2005 at 6:48pm

hmmm I think that could be slipped in, so it reads site name, nearest town or village, county, grid ref etc. under 'where'. I have added the grids for the rest of the UK (I hope) if I've missed any please let me know people!

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