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$2,661 pledged of $20,000 goal
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By Jessica Herron
$2,661 pledged of $20,000 goal
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About

After completing a UX design job for a corporate research center, I took a trip down to Karanambu Lodge in Guyana where researchers are working hard to track jaguar and caiman populations. I was startled to find that these researchers still used handheld GPS units and pads of notebook paper to record and organize their data. In their offices, I saw bookcases stuffed with old manila folders and field notes, their computers filled with conflicting excel spreadsheets peppered with digitization errors, and their process of sharing data tedious and frustrating. Curious if other environmental research groups were being hampered by cumbersome data tracking methods, I visited a wide range of non-profits, research organizations and hobbyists, and found the problem to be widespread.

So I took a look around at what tools were available and found nothing flexible or rigorous enough to serve their needs. Here were dedicated people trying to track our planet's biodiversity and there were no well-designed, functionally rich tools to make it quick and easy to input, upload, display and share their data.

Green Heron Works was established to meet this need in Providence, Rhode Island. I began meeting with professors, scientists, students, birders, hikers, non-profits, government environmental organizations- everyone I could in order to understand their needs and come up with a proper design solution. A talented software engineer was brought on board and by now, we've built a prototype, the designs are taking their final form, and we're gearing up to do some serious development over the coming months, with a projected deadline of December 2013 for release on the iPhone, complete with a web presence for analyzing and sharing your data. (See our stretch goals for more information on Android, iPad, and Windows Phone) With your support we can continue to focus on building the Glance app as swiftly and function-rich as possible!

Jessica Herron: Designer and Founder  Jessica has a BA in Film/Animation from the Rhode Island School of Design and worked at Microsoft Research in Seattle doing UX (User Experience) design on big data visualization and interaction design methodology for web and mobile apps. She returned to the Providence area to start Green Heron Works and Glance, and is working part-time at Brown University's Graphics Lab doing UX work on various corporate-funded projects. She loves hiking, biking, running, diving- anything that gets her in the outdoors, and she carries that passion into her efforts to create the best possible tools for the scientific community.

Alexander Hills: Developer and Co-Founder Alex has a B.A. in Visual Art, a B.S. in Computer Science, and a M.S. in Computer Science, all from Brown University. He did research in Human Computer Interaction for four years while in school, and since receiving his Masters has been working as a Program Manager on User Experience for the Windows team at Microsoft. He will be returning to Rhode Island at the beginning of July to help start Green Heron Works with Jess. He has a passion for good games, good company, good swimming, and good beer, and is thrilled for the future.

Beta Testing Pool: Due to iOS's limitations on beta-testing, we can only support a limited number of testers. Because of this, we're having a pool that we'll draw from to pick testers! The more you donate, the higher your chance will be of getting picked. And if we reach our stretch goals (below) we'll be able to add more beta testers.

Light Membership: a light membership will be free, but you will be limited to storing datasets locally on your phone and joining datasets that are supported by other organizations and users.

Full Membership: Estimated cost: $5 a month. As a full member you'll be able to create cloud-stored datasets and customized data collection forms. Your datasets will be shown in online interactive maps - which you can set to public or private - and share with others to explore. You'll also be able to let others join and contribute to your datasets!     

Basic t-shirts: 

Naturalist t-shirts:

Lotus t-shirt:

If we can raise more than our goal, here's what we'll use the money for.

We'll be able to double our number of beta-testers as well as make the first version faster!

We'll be able to triple our number of beta-testers, as well as work towards supporting the Android and Windows platforms. We'll also use this money after the first version is released to jump right into development of plugins for new features as well as support for other kinds of environmental data (ie: air or water quality). 

We have a site where you can join our mailing list, or you can follow us on Facebook, or tweet to us at @TheGreenHeron, or follow my blog.

We'd love to hear from you, so feel free to contact us or leave comments.

Risks and challenges

We're a well-rounded, small team of highly motivated workaholics, passionate about this project and the impact it can make on the communities we're designing and building for. We have experience with designing complex, interactive educational experiences and are commited to being closely tied with our users to be on top of every bug and glitch that comes along the way.
This project is ambitious and has difficult design and technical aspects, but we'll be working hard -and listening hard to our users- to make sure we make the best product possible.

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Funding period

- (30 days)