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Outreachy Final Blog : An awesome Journey

by lekhidugtal | over 2 years ago | 6 | 6

Here in this post I would be summing up my contribution for this summer. We do have this one single link to checkout the whole contribution in project -


What was the aim ?

My project was about revamping the design of various sections pages, sidebar etc. Me and gautamig did it together. We divided an issue of one section into small checklists and get ourselves assigned with those small parts and then starting working on it. We have covered Tags, People,Profile,Individual tags, Questions pages along with sidebar. Along with that, it included various bug-fixing.

What I did and What I learnt ?

The first section we covered in the summer of code was people's section as we had already begin working on the major parts. I started off with my parts which were addition of cards for the list of users which included info and other stuff. #5740. It was great experience with review process and working on responsiveness (@~_@~). After that I moved forward with small fixes of responsiveness. #5754. Then till now, we had a card with details like user info but not tags the user is associated with. So I added in the most recent tags by user on its card #5765. image description image description

Gautami completed her portions and then we went to next section.

Yay !! Done with one section. (✖╭╮✖)

The next Section was Questions section , I created a new shadow page for questions page and added first section which included few info #5787. The idea of shadow thing still looks so COOL !!! (⊙⊙)(☉_☉)(⊙⊙) image description

After that I added featured Question part #5861 for which I took bit of time as it included changes in lots of cells (^_^;). I need to check the whole path of calling and adding a shadow function in back-end for popular questions only. We needed to show two features questions and this was third section for questions part. image description

Yay !! Done with with another one (✖╭╮✖)

Then we went to Individual Section page. I started off with #5903 absolute fixing of wikis page if included for that tag in background and if not then add default grey with the addition of followers to that particular tag. I guess this PR of mine did create lots of bugs and broke many major things. (. _ . )( . _ .)(⌣̩̩́_⌣̩̩̀) image description

Then we went onto to next, I moved forward to as per new design draft changing navs, tabs to dropdowns and vice versa. One of that included distincting between notes questions [#5925] (https://github.com/publiclab/plots2/pull/5925). I wrote my very first extra-small screenshot test here after checking out the code written by jywarren. (✖╭╮✖) It was of getting redirected to tag page, clicking the button and getting a screenshot of dropdown. image description

This is another design change of side-vertical search results 5851 image description

And then then then, I moved to next part which was actually something major #5948. Its not one or two anymore but changing the design of all the cards with all the info for that particular page. I did this kind of work into parts before. But here i went for all in one go. (︶︿︶) And it also included changing the UI test as per new design. image description image description Woah !! Done with another one (✖╭╮✖)

And Finally we came to profile section. I tried something completely new here. _へ__(‾◡◝ )> I tried building whole profile page in one single go #5990. (︶︿︶) No taking small cases anymore. It was long review process with a lot of requested changes. As it was building up whole section in one PR , so lots of bugs and problems were there (~ _ ~;). And finally after 26 days, It was merged :'). Hurray !! ♪ image description image description image description


Me and Gautami tried to do various portions altogether. As the portions were dependent on each other and we had to wait for some parts. till that time, I went for sidebar. It was addition of toggle icons 😄 #6011, We can't leave our sidebar out when all his siblings sections are upgrading with new designs ¯(°_o)/¯ image description

Ohk !! trying to build profile page in one go left some features (⌣̩̩́_⌣̩̩̀) and bugs. Then addition of some buttons and info required as per new design #6079. And after that addition of popular tags by that user to be shown on its profile section was added #6120.

I did few small bug-fixes of bootstrap upgrades : 5755,5756, #5767, 5772 (˘⌣˘ )

Also, few of the bug-fixing because of the new designs - 5766

And more than that, I somehow created lots of bugs ¯(° _ o)/¯, And thus created many first-timer and other bug issues for others to get them fixed. (҂⌣̀ _ ⌣́)

First-timers are: First-timer only issues link

Otherwise, we have lot more issues - Click to see issues

And some of the recent PRs which are still under revewing process (・_・;) - #6103 One of them is fixing the mismatch working of subscribe button as earlier we were subscribing to related tags but not that particular tags. And having dropdown for related tag. And if a user is subscribed, then we should have post option. image description

#6217 And another is addition of all the extra info of questions,notes,wiki to sidebar into ... image description image description

What is left

So Right now, we have one main section left which is Dashbaord. I'll keep on contributing. So My next target is dashboard now. (@~_@~).

I had an awesome collaboration with Gautami. Special shoutout to @warren for being such a patient mentor.(ø_ø) Thanks to mentors for solving and answering the silly questions I asked.

And Thanks to PublicLab for being such a wonderful community.

I guess I did miss various openhour calls sessions and was not much of active speaker if attended. (˘_˘٥)

I'll keep on contributing to PublicLab in future too. Thanks !!

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Bringing Public Lab’s multispectral image processing to Leaflet maps

by warren | over 2 years ago | 2 | 2

For a few years now, Public Lab's open hardware community has been developing not only DIY tools for taking multispectral photos, but also software tools to process and analyze these photos---the Infragram project, and more recently the Image Sequencer project. These have enabled many people to take multispectral (near infrared/visible) imagery and do NDVI plant health analysis at home, on a shoestring budget.image description

Above, converting a Canon A480 to take multispectral photos: https://publiclab.org/n/9985 (@chernabog)

Now we've released a standard Leaflet plugin, called Leaflet.Multispectral to make it possible to do image processing of multispectral imagery within a Leaflet map, in pure JavaScript:image description

(This library was made possible in part by NASA's AREN project)

We hope that this library makes it easier to get started for people looking to work with multispectral imagery, whether you're teaching it in a classroom, taking your own aerial multispectral imagery, or making use of NASA's amazing imagery resources.

The online demo demonstrates how you can use different colormaps, processing algorithms, and so forth, with your image overlay.image description

(Note I haven't aligned the above images at all, so they're just floating. Sorry!)

Learn about multi-band imagery and some of it's uses at this great blog post by Charlie Lloyd of Mapbox:


To get started, you can find some sources of multispectral Landsat 8 data here:


While this library is intended for NRG or near infrared images used as overlays, we have more plans for this technique---coming soon... Leaflet.TileFilter -- a project to apply the same principles to full map tile layers!

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Community Atlas: an "around the world collaboration" on MapKnitter

by warren | over 2 years ago | 4 | 7

Over the past six months, we've overhauled almost every part of the MapKnitter website, and I wanted to share a bit about all the people who made this possible. Between our Google-funded MapKnitter code fellowships and our Google Summer of Code (#GSoC) fellows, we've had contributions from five continents and more than ten people, all coming together to build this complex system!

In March, we put out a call for Mapping Fellows to help lead mapping events in their communities and give feedback on their experiences using MapKnitter.org to stitch together their aerial images. We partnered with Mo, who worked with youth asylum seekers and refugees to do balloon mapping in their new home in Nottingham. We also partnered with Sairam, who worked with community members in Bangalore to map local waste sites and analyze optimum sites for installing solar panels. Mo and Sairam provided detailed user interface feedback on MapKnitter's design, from the overall workflow to specific organization and styling of buttons and tabs. See for example this annotated screenshot, which we are using to refine the UI:

image description

Meanwhile, Cess Wairimu in Nairobi and our GSoC fellows Alax Alves in Brasília and Kaustubh Nair in Bangalore were hard at work tearing out and rebuilding the Ruby on Rails foundation of the application, upgrading it and cleaning up old code. Much of the code hadn't been touched in years, and things really got refreshed, restructured, and brought up to date.

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But the changes weren't only under the hood. Divya Baid of Jaipur was hard at work rebuilding image management, finding bugs and more, while our Providence-based coding fellow Rose Parker was going through, testing and resolving dependencies, one by one. GSoC alum and mentor Sidharth Bansal redesigned and launched a slick new login system that eliminated may unnecessary steps, while Sasha Boginsky of New York (also a mentor) took on dozens of bugs, UI issues, and new features in our map stitching JavaScript library, Leaflet.DistortableImage.

Meanwhile, Varun Gupta (a GSoC alum) in New Delhi and Sebastian Silva (our sysadmin) in Madre de Dios, Peru worked hard on a cloud-based exporting system to offload heavy image-processing jobs to a cluster in Google Cloud, implementing both Node.js and Ruby workflows, and linking MapKnitter to our new image-processing library, Image Sequencer.

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Stéfanni Brasil (a former Rails Girls Summer of Code fellow) joined in from Vancouver and brought our UI up to Bootstrap version 4, while Cess stepped in again to build on Stefanni's work in launching a new front page design that highlights mappers' work from around the world.

Finally, hard work by Ananya Arun in Hyderabad and Sagarpreet Chadha in New Delhi has made the new "tour" feature possible, highlighting MapKnitter maps around the world.

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It's been an amazing journey, and there's still a lot left to do through the end of the summer. But the launch this week of MapKnitter 3.0 (bigger announcement coming soon!) proved how input from so many folks can make for a really fantastic and cohesive project! It also shows the geographic breadth of the Google Summer of Code, Outreachy, and Public Lab communities!

Thanks to everyone who's helped make this possible, from fellows to students to mentors, as well as the Outreachy program and the Google Open Source office. We're looking forward to a new wave of mapmakers on this fabulous rebooted project, and the many Community Atlases they'll go on to create!

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Gulf Coast Educator's Workshop Summer 2019

by mimiss with liz , stevie | over 2 years ago | 1 | -2

The Project

Public Lab is excited to announce that with support from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Gulf Research program we will be working on building the scientific capacity of the next generation. To this end, Public Lab is partnering with educators along the Gulf Coast to pilot a curriculum designed to support students as they use community science methodologies to explore environmental challenges facing their community. This project centers students as knowledge producers, rather than knowledge consumers, on a path toward becoming scientifically literate citizens. As a team, students undertake problem identification, study design, data collection and analysis, and sharing results back to their community. Throughout the project, students will utilize Public Lab to connect to a larger network of community scientists, experts, and locals working in their field.

The Curriculum

Student-Led Community Science Overview This project utilizes four phases and a problem-based learning approach to allow students to progress from problem identification to sharing their story with the community. You can learn more about the project or check out lesson plans at the Student-Led Community Science Wiki or see an overview above.

Our team hard at work during our workshop!

The Team

In the first year of this program, educators @amallozzi, @jeanell873, and @fwagner will be working to adapt and refine the program for their classrooms. You can follow along on the projects progress by subscribing to the tag #student-community-science.

Educators mapping in the Bywater in New Orleans, LA

The Workshop

Over the course of three days in New Orleans, LA our team gathered to workshop lesson plans, discuss connecting classrooms to the larger communities, and share our experiences with student-led inquiry. We worked together to set goals for this year of our project. You can take a look at our goal setting in this document. These goals include:

  • Work in a Climate Context
  • Advance Student Inquiry
  • Aim for Accessibility
  • Experiment in Engagement
  • Refine Our Program
  • Unblock Youth Drive
  • Test Technology
  • Work Openly
  • Build Networks

Some shots of our Bywater New Orleans Mapping

Workshop Takeaways

Throughout the workshop, we began a list of things to share with educators who are facilitating student led inquiry for the first time. Here are some of our key takeaways:

  • Student-led inquiry is incredibly messy but extremely worth it. I feel this type of learning allows my students to think and solve problems in a way that they don't get the chance to in a traditional classroom.
  • Starting student-led projects involves a leap of faith. You've got to trust in the process but also listen to your judgement as you go.
  • The process is the process. There's going to be moments of failure in there, and that's part of the learning process. Stick with it.

Get Involved

Support Student Work

Our students will be asking questions, sharing their work, and looking for feedback throughout their projects. If you'd like to follow their work, provide help, or cheer them on, subscribe the tag #working-together. If there are specific topics where you feel you'd be most helpful, let us know in the comments and be sure to subscribe to tags.


Help us Refine the Curriculum

We're working to share our lessons as frequently and openly as possible. Share helpful feedback on lesson plans, or try them out and let us know how it goes. You can see the full lesson plans here.

Join our Second Gulf Coast Cohort

In the 2020-2021 school year we'll continue to refine this curriculum. If you're an educator in the gulf coast, let is know that you're interested by completing the form below.

I'm interested!

Aerial photo of the Bywater in New Orleans showing our workspace.

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MapKnitter UI evaluation 2: Mapping Nottingham's Urban Greening

by molangmuir10 | over 2 years ago | 3 | -1


Since my first evaluation post (https://publiclab.org/notes/molangmuir10/06-10-2019/mapknitter-ui-evaluation) I have encountered some different additional user interface experiences...

As with anything, mapknitter gets quicker and easier the more you use it!

I have made a screen recording video to highlight some of my key experiences and issues when using Mapknitter...

Summary of key issues from the video...

  • Not being able to reduce the size of the image beyond a certain point is frustrating and means I have to re-upload the image.
  • It would be more efficient if you could re-place a previously uploaded image.
  • Occasionally, a white blank space appears at the bottom of the screen (I could be doing something without realising?) This reduces the view area so can be annoying. It also means the zoom too for the map disappears.
  • Using the rotate tool can cause the image to skew slightly
  • When zooming out and then in on skew mode the line jogs. It seems like it is moving, although it doesn't actually move the border. This could be misleading/confusing.
  • The blue square came off one corner so it was uncalibrated. This happened a few times.
  • Red outline would appear at random - sometimes when transparency toggled and sometimes not
  • Download and help links did not work -- how can I download my map?

As well as the screen recording here are some general points from using mapknitter...

  • Sometimes it is hard to move the photo to the EXACT point on which you want it. If you could click the photo and use arrow keys to move the selected photo this could help with the accuracy. At the moment pressing the arrow keys moves the whole map. This is also a good feature. Keep this but add a way of clicking on the photo which selects it so you can then use arrow keys to move accurately.

  • It would be good to have a photo cropper -- some of my images had one bit that was off/blurred but the rest of the image useable. I know this can be done by cropping the original file and reuploading, but it would be much quicker if you could do this in situ.

  • It would be nice to have a save button. Feels scary closing the window without knowing what's happened!

  • I also was thinking if it were possible to make an off-line extension? Particularly for remote research areas or 'on-the-go'.

  • Uploading map through to Publiclab's page was straightforward

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Second Blog: My work for outreachy

by lekhidugtal | over 2 years ago | 2 | 2

Last month, I started my Outreachy journey with publiclab. It's been a great learning experience so far. Today, I'll be telling more about what tasks did I accomplish in the complete month.

So once again who am I ? Hey everyone, This is Lekhika Dugtal. An undergrad student at IIITA and currently an outreachy intern at Publiclab.

I'll be explaining What and How I worked for my project under Outreachy.

What's my Outreachy Project ? My main focus for Outreachy intern project is based on UI Redesign of plots2, which is public lab's main knowledge exchange platform based on ruby on rails. All the work is done collaboratively by me and other contributors of the project.

We have divided the project of outreachy into various parts on the basis of sections. As the project is knowledge exchange platform, So the various sections include ---

1. Dashboard section

2. Profile section

3. Tags section

4. Individual tags section

5. Question section

6. People section

7. Search Section etc.

In the last one month of outreachy, we have finished the following sections --- People, Question, Tags sections and the work on other sections is going on.

People Section ( Completed)

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Older UI

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New UI

The people section is list of all people registered in the platform. It gives a brief detail of when has person recently contributed in platform. And how much time ago, that person has joined the platform. Earlier the UI was a a simple table and list of people being shown in the form of rows. As per the style guide, the new design was card design. Cards are a convenient means of displaying content composed of different types of objects. And considering we have to show various similar objects whose size or supported actions can vary considerably, like profile photos or information of user. It was a good design and method.

Tag Section ( Completed)

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Older UI

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New UI

The New Tag section was a card based design. We followed Bootstrap4for it. The cards need to show all the recent Notes based on that tag along with author. It showed that how many people are discussing over that tag and much more information. There was a small section featuring popular tags. A second column of the page showed a stats graph showing the link that how often some tags are used with each other.

Questions Section ( Ongoing)

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Current UI

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New UI on shadow interface

For this section, we tried something new called testing on shadow page before pushing the code over actual production code. The New design was page on shadow interface with different route and was implemented side by side instead of directly replacing the older code. Later we can try out testing with users regarding the new designs. There can be self-tests or other stuff facilitated in real-time by a designer. New design which has been implemented right now in shadow interface

Individual Tags section (Ongoing)

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Current UI

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New UI which is being worked on

The Individual section had many bugs and breaks due to recent bootstrap4 upgrade for whole platform. Thus we decided to directly implement the New design over older one rather than testing it before on shadow interface.

Searchbar and Search Results Section (Ongoing)

image description

Current UI

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New UI which is being worked on

This part could be considered as huge section consisting of various new features. Feature like Google Custom Search is supposed to be added beside the already existing intra-search queries for enhancements and betterment of search results. The features results for search terms and related tags in the top of the search results will be implemented. This New Design is a step towards better display of search results.

The sections left are Dashboard and Profile Section. Both the section consist of huge information and massive change in Design. Thus they were left for later part of timeline of intern.

This work has been done under an awesome collaboration. All the section were divided further into smaller parts and those parts were resolved in form of Patches or Pull Requests.

I did came across problems and breaks. But there always been mentors and other participants forward for help in resolving it.

The team is amazing and support from mentors and reviewing team is immense. It's great to be a part of such amazing team.

Thanks for giving it a read ❤.

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