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Virginia Working Landscapes

Virginia Working Landscapes (VWL) collects real data about the state and health of local ecosystems. Volunteers from across the state survey plant and wildlife, providing a wealth of information for scientists and researchers. How are native bird populations faring? Are invasive plant life threatening local populations? The citizen scientists -- VWL's volunteers who survey land throughout the state -- collect data that could be early indicators of important trends on how all the life around us is faring. VWL has put a lot of hard work in fostering an organization that brings in all this information. Sadly, it's tough to process any of that data with the tools they have.

That's where you, the Ruby for Good contributor, comes in.

Virginia Working Landscapes wants help with how their staff collects all the information provided by volunteers. They deserve a better reporting and analysis system so they can pull meaningful results out of their years of survey information.

I'd like to see VWL after Ruby for Good have an application that can provide them with years of insights they would struggle to see otherwise.

Contribution policy

For any changes, please create a feature branch and open a PR for it when you feel it's ready to merge. Even if there's no real disagreement about a PR, at least one other person on the team needs to look over a PR before merging. The purpose of this review requirement is to ensure shared knowledge of the app and its changes and to take advantage of the benefits of working together changes without any single person being a bottleneck to making progress.

Application Structure

See the GitHub wiki for this project for more information about application structure.

Installation and Deployment Notes

This is a Ruby on Rails app that uses Postgres-specific features such as hstore. Any version of Postgres that supports hstore fields should be sufficient. Ruby and Rails versions are specified in the project's .ruby-version and Gemfile.

If you have Ruby and Postgres installed, clone this repository. Then run:

bundle install
bundle exec rake db:create
bundle exec rake db:migrate

You may also want to run bundle exec rake db:seed to add an initial username and password for Active Admin, or bundle exec rake db:seed_fixtures to add some sample data to get you started.

Other notes on how to access and use parts of the application will be added to the GitHub wiki.


Collecting counts of local wildlife for research and reporting







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