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HerpetologyPro is a beta tool to teach people to identify reptiles and amphibians in their area. The end goal is that if people aren't afraid of wildlife they won't harm it. It is a react front end reading from a ruby on rails API. AWS S3 is used for image serving.

This is a largely largely crowd sourced project with users uploading their own photos and contributing to the pages on each species. The live version is hosted @ Get in touch with me if you are interested in contributing to this project. Or feel free to submit a PR.

This project is an exercise in wheel building for me, all forms, games, models, etc, except auth are homegrown.


  • Code should use specie vs species to differentiate the plural, I know that's it's not technically correct but rails heavily relies on singular/plural. Same for genus vs genera etc.
  • When variables are in an order use next and prev as prefixes.
  • Data is plural, datum is singular
  • Taxon is the general term for domain,kindgom,phylum,class,family,order,genus,species, and the plural is taxons


  • Restore species->genus->... relationships the taxon_id column seems to be nil sadly.
  • Make modal more accessiblew
  • Handle google auth failure when email already exists in the system
  • Quiz on venomous/not as well as name
  • Setup email
  • Variable zoom on zoom-in feature
  • Learn to spell venemous...


  • Create taxon / region info pages (April 7, 2020)
  • Tip approvals (April 7, 2020)
  • Tip submissions (April 6, 2020)
  • Build out a reusable modal (April 5, 2020)
  • Show tips on species picker after guess (April 5, 2020)
  • Define go to_hash method for reuse on taxon/tip to be ingested by js components. (April 4, 2020)
  • Upgrade to rails 6 (April 2, 2020)
  • Amazon SES for password emails (October 19, 2019)
  • React component for forgot password -- just used default form from devise instead (October 19, 2019)
  • Fix reports being for incorrect photos / species on learning page (October X, 2019)
  • Fix signup path for devise (October 7, 2019)
  • Google/reddit/fb/myspace/whatever social sign ouath (September 5, 2019) Oh Ya!
  • Learning mode signup prompt after a few questions (like comp mode) (September 5, 2019)
  • Learning mode persistent data with local storage (September 4, 2019)
  • Learning Mode (September 1, 2019)
  • Make sure we have accurate data on venomous species, this may be possible to do by hand (reports will help too) (July 10, 2019)
  • Add "Dead herp" to report options (July 10, 2019)
  • Admin Interface to handle reports (July 7, 2019)
  • Gamification (July 6 ,2019)
  • Scoreboard with most contributions + max 10 users + current_user + accuracy (July 6, 2019)
  • Daily scoreboard (July 6, 2019)
  • All time most accurate (July 6, 2019)
  • Menu / subregion areas with toggles (July 4, 2019)
  • Toggle showing photos of deceased animals (setting for signed in users) (July 3, 2019)
  • Reporting feature, types: (July 3, 2019)
    • Bad ID
    • No Herp
    • Venomous or not
  • React components for sign up / sign in (July 1, 2019)
  • Tag photos by dead/alive (June 31, 2019)
  • Fix genus species capitalization (June 31, 2019)
  • Style this shit (June 31, 2019)
  • Capitalize scientific names correctly (June 26, 2019)
  • Sort out very slow query in region.rb to find subregions with > 6 photograped species (June 25, 2019)
    • This ended up being one of those normalization vs speed problems and the data is quite denormalized now, upside is the queries are lightning fast (:
  • Seperate scientific name and common name accuracy (June 25, 2019)
  • Cache the regions a taxon in found in json so we can import with the seed w/o scraping herpmapper (June 24, 2019)
  • Figure out how to load all the herpmapper photos from a downloaded version so I don't have to keep re'dl'ing them (June 24 ,2019)
  • Build out admin roles for power users (June 23, 2019)
  • Properly handle when there is no common name (June 10, 2019)
    • Herpmapper had common names for all their species
  • Improve region picking (June 10, 2019)
  • Fix whatever in quiz#show is looping (appears to be database related, doesn't happen with sqlite but does with mysql)
  • Tag species by reigon from HerpMapper (June 7, 2019)
  • Streamline seeding into one command vs many rake tasks (June 7, 2019)
  • Start using UserSpeciesDatum model (June 1, 2019)
  • Show percentage correct on prior species (June 1, 2019)
  • Zoom in feature (May 31, 2019)
  • Ensure "photos" scraped are actually photos not html pages titled .jpg, lol that was a weird bug. (May 30, 2019)
  • Migrate to AWS and import herpmapper data (20k images!) (May 29, 2019)
  • Import data from herpmapper (May 28, 2019)
  • Publish alpha 1.0.0 (May 28, 2019)
  • Get in touch with herpmapper about getting data officially (May 25, 2019)
  • Restructure models to support more detailed taxonomy superfamilies etc. (May 24, 2019)
  • Import taxonomy (May 24, 2019)
  • Import images from reddit with rake task (May 24, 2019)
  • Use reddit api to search ALL of a given users posts + the posts url (May 23, 2019)


  1. Configure rb in .env
  2. bundle install
  3. yarn install
  4. bundle exec rails db:schema:load
  5. Request access to photos from herpmapper, modify their script to preface photos with a_ and d_ for alive/dead (configure imports:herp photos to match where you placed this folder)
  6. bundle exec rails db:seed (you'll need to configure herp_photos.rake)
  7. bundle exec rake imports:taxonomy
  8. bundle exec rake imports:herp_create_regions
  9. bundle exec rake imports:herp_regions
  10. bundle exec rake imports:herp_photos
  11. bundle exec rake imports:root_taxon_photos
  12. bundle exec rake maintenance:update_taxon_validity
  13. bundle exec rake maintenance:update_regions_root_taxons_table
  14. rails assets:precompile RAILS_ENV=production
  15. rails s -e production


A learning and competitive platform for identifiying reptiles and amphibeans.






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