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Our latest updates and a recap of releases in 2016

Details about our updates to dataset views and a recap of releases on koordinates.com in 2016.

Dan

Posted by Dan Newman
December 19th, 2016

Dataset Views

Over the last couple of months we’ve made quite a few changes to koordinates.com based on user feedback and our design research.

Dataset Views

Last week one of the “final” pieces of the puzzle was released with the update to dataset views, the pages of the application that display information about an individual dataset.

Previously if you visited one of these pages, it was most likely in a panel next to the map. If you wanted to preview the layer on the map, you needed to use the old ‘+’ button. However, during our research and testing we found that not being able to preview the layer was confusing for new users and many people only need to quickly review one layer at a time. To improve this, we now automatically load and preview the layer alongside the description. This change now makes it easier to view, crop and export individual datasets and improves the experience for people unfamiliar with GIS software.

If you’re still needing to view multiple layers together, you can use the ‘add to collection’ button and inspect multiple layers together in the new full-screen ‘collection’ view.

We’ve also made changes in this release to:

  • Make dataset views responsive for different screen sizes. If you visit a layer on a mobile or tablet device you’ll see a small preview of the map and if you simply tap it, you’ll get a full-screen view of the data to interact with.

  • Add back in the ability to crop and export individual layers, so you can ‘skip’ the collection if you only need one dataset. We’ve also tidied up the spatial query (when you select part of the layer on a map) to make it more useable on mobile devices.

  • Introduce the ability to ‘switch’ views that will help previewing the map on large displays. You can now choose to see the details about a layer to the left or below the map making it easier to see the map alongside a table.

Comments

With this release we’ve removed comments on individual datasets. Over the years, only a few datasets ever received comments and most of these could have been more effectively answered directly by our support team, or via a referral to the data publisher. If you have questions, you can still contact us and provide feedback, or see our new help site we launched earlier this year.

Recent Releases

Having released several updates over the last few months we thought it would be good to recap the different parts of the application we’ve been working on improving, as well as some of the other things we’ve been doing in 2016.

We started off in June with a new marketing site to help explain what we do and not long after updated Koordinates ID to improve how our users sign in and access multiple sites on the platform.

In August we introduced PDF downloads and in September we updated our help site.

In October and November we released the main changes to koordinates.com with improvements to how you export data, and changes to the navigation and notifications.

We then introduced collections and updates to browsing data in late November to make it easier to search, organize and inspect multiple layers.

A lot of the work this year has been focused on making the main workflows of finding and viewing data easier on mobile devices. The way our users work with and look for data continues to evolve, making it critical that we update Koordinates to keep up with these changes. If you haven't visited koordinates.com on your mobile recently, you should take a look and let us know what you think.

Finally, behind-the-scenes we’ve been creating a new pattern library that changes how we build the platform. The new design is made up of small components (patterns) that can work in a variety of sizes, meaning that the majority of koordinates.com now works across multiple devices. We’ll write more about our new pattern library early in 2017.

What’s Next?

There’s been lots of changes this year, so we’ll be watching our analytics closely and talking with more people who use koordinates.com to keep improving the platform. We’ll be iterating these new designs, and have much more planned for 2017, so we’d love to know what you think. Let us know on Twitter or get in touch via our contact page.