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Major EarthRanger Release Expands Mobile Compatibility and Improves Performance

01 Jun 2020

As millions around the world are feeling the impact of Covid-19, we here at EarthRanger know that conservation efforts can never take a break. Our protected area partners span from the SouthEast corners of Africa and all the way to Asia; regardless of their physical location, they continue to rely on our technology in their daily work to protect species and habitats. In turn, we continue to make improvements to our software to keep in lock-step with their demands. 

EarthRanger Summer 2020 Release Overview

The team is excited to announce the EarthRanger Summer 2020 Release, which marks a key milestone in the evolution of the product. "Our team works incredibly hard to regularly deliver additional capabilities to users of EarthRanger. We usually release a new version every 2 or 4 weeks. However, the Summer 2020 Release required nearly a year's worth of effort and marks a significant upgrade in capabilities. We're hopeful that this will deliver an even more effective tool for conservation efforts using EarthRanger", says Jes Lefcourt, Product Manager of Vulcan EarthRanger. We are particularly grateful to the dozens of partners for helping us test and providing key feedback to improve EarthRanger for everyone.

Key Features & Benefits

Improved performance to handle your larger scale data systems
Navigating through the map representation of your protected area is now visually smoother and loads faster. These improvements also allow for the handling of much larger datasets, providing better support for functions like viewing tracks from devices that transmit data every few seconds (such as LoRa networks), or viewing larger amounts of historic data. These improvements are thanks to an update to Mapbox GL, which provides faster performance than the previous version.

New mapping & visualization capabilities for analyses and planning
The Summer 202 EarthRanger release provides additional, advanced mapping and analytics capabilities. You can now tilt and rotate your view, allowing you to visualize a situation from different perspectives.  Underlying updates have also enabled us to bring you much requested features like direction arrows on tracks, or displaying the length of a subject’s displayed track - very useful for viewing things like patrol distances or the distance covered by a collared snow leopard over any given day.

EarthRanger for users on the go & location awareness for reports 
The Summer 2020 EarthRanger release supports devices of different screen sizes, including mobile phones and tablets. You can now check the location of your tracked elephants from your tablet, or view the feed of active security reports from your phone. EarthRanger can now leverage your devices’ GPS location information to associate your entered report data with your current position.  Your location is also shown on the map, allowing you to orient yourself relative to other events and tracked subjects.

ESRI feature service support
You can now point your EarthRanger implementation to an Esri ArcGIS feature service to get the latest definition of your park features. This enables you to now see boundaries, roads, ranger posts, and even geofences from your organization’s official GIS, keeping your EarthRanger installation up to date at all times and reducing administration needs.

Continued usability improvements
We continue to make adjustments to EarthRanger to make it easier and quicker to use.  This version contains a lot of visual improvements, including: 

  • new handling for filtering reports to make it easier to find exactly what you need, 

  • new process flows to resolve reports to reduce steps, 

  • more intuitive controls for track lengths to reduce confusion, and 

  • better awareness and explanation of filtered data.


WhatsApp-EarthRanger alert integration
In addition to text messages, which leverage cellular networks, we have now made all EarthRanger alerts available via WhatsApp, which is a popular application for protected area operations teams.  

Simplified administration experience  
We have made over 43 different improvements to the administration sections, simplifying the setup and management of your EarthRanger system. Most notably, features are now much easier to manage and can be used interchangeably - for example, a river can now also be leveraged as a geofence.

Team spotlight
And last, but not least, our own team of engineers and designers has grown over the past years, including 4 working remotely in Kenya and Uganda. We are as passionate as ever and we are all here to support our partners and continue to improve EarthRanger for everyone. 

Next steps
If you’re interested in learning more about EarthRanger, our website is a great place to start. 
To connect with us about a new EarthRanger implementation, please reach out to info@earthranger.com.
If you are an existing customer, you can always send us your feedback to feedback@earthranger.com 

 

Spotlight: African Parks

At African Parks, we are really excited about the new EarthRanger Summer 2020 release. This new client allows for much better ER compatibility on mobile devices. Our managers can now use ER on their phones and tablets while on the move.

The new release also handles large data sets much more efficiently. This is especially useful as IoT is increasingly being used in conservation and tracking points are generated at a much higher frequency. Icon scaling and smooth zooming in the new client also allows for a much better ER user experience. The Summer 2020 release allows ER to grow as we increasingly integrate and rely on technology in conservation
.

Geoff Clinning, Technology Development Director, African Parks