Tomnod Feedback - One Change Wish List


Well as you all know: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

We were just blown away by how helpful your feedback was on the Tomnod Tinder prototype (I’m waiting for my cease-and-desist from Tinder to stop calling it that :wink:)

We are wondering - what if you put on that same hat, and told us about the current Tomnod? I know that the pros and cons and bugs of our dear system have been much discussed. So, to put a different spin on it:

If you could change one thing about Tomnod, what would it be?

(and of course feel free to add any other comments, even if they have been discussed before. Like your main, recurring pet peeve - I’m sure we can all think of a few)


Please Re-Format The Search Maps

No competition there, for me, it would have to be showing the full number of digits in your campaign count, rather than showing 1k, 2k, etc. :smiley:


If I only look at the Tomnod user interface from a users view I really only have one suggestion:

  • I’d like to have as big unobstructed picture as possible; that means that I would like to make it possible to minimize the label description at the upper left area.

I have two suggestions of lesser importance:

  • Change the symbol for Tomnod Forum – to make it even more obvious that there are nice people on the other side, that are more than willing to discuss any problems, fun finds or anything else that you want to share – e.g. two faces turned to each other.
  • Change how my campaign progress is displayed (e.g. the number of completed polygons, the number of tags dropped), so that the complete number is displayed (10,010 instead of 10.0k), at least in the window that pops up when you click on the number in the upper right corner.

I sorta disagree. I think the exact count-counter will add to the slowness issues.

My pet peeve… 1 - Need for speed!

A couple years ago, back when the Tn engineers took away the small side map we had, we all complained that we knew the hour and minute that Tomnod Staff got onto their computers in Colorado. Happy explained that they and nodders use the same computer, and hence, the platform slows to a black ant crawling on asphalt! It is really bad during CO work hours. So I work a lot in the evenings and night until about 5 am. Up until 8-9 am eastern is good, but I’m too tired.

So can engineers figure out what slows the platform to molasses?
.Part B: I understand computer networks are costly. But… can DG’s new owners afford a separate computer for Nodder-Todders to do our “work”? Sparkly new, with red bow please.

Pet Peeve 2 - Zippity Do Dah, as related to speed issues I suppose?

Scene: You are carefully moving right to left, row by row… You know to “Swipe Slow” because… well… we don’t like Zippity Do Dah. Everything is going fine, except bit of drag… Then all of a sudden, you swipe to next tile and---- oh no— you get zipped right-left-up-down-left-down-down-right-up in the worst Zippity Do Dah ever! Danggit! You are OCD, so you must do -1, -2 -3 -4 to see where you are NOW, but slowly, very slowly! -1… count to 20… -2 count again… and so on, because Zippity can and does strike more than once. When you find your new place, decision: scroll back to where you were, or oh heck just start from the new spot?

Zippoty Do Dah is THE most aggravating issue, especially when combined with “Let us load thee to black, thou nodder!”

Zippity began back with the very first Poly campaign, when we were jerked around the map like little pups clinging to mum’s fur! I got whiplash! In fact, my neck hurts just writing about it. Over time, it got to be a funny quirk of Tn… but it’s a quirk that makes me, in frustration, quit tagging for hours or days.


Oh, and not about the platform but as a Forum Mod, and with the understanding that

  1. Our Tn liaisons get busy and
  2. Tn tries to protect Nodder info

why can’t Tn allow Forum Mods some limited access to Nodder email addys so we can send out Community Emails, like, inviting folks to visit the Forum? If mods send mails out in small groups of less than 25 in BCC* messages, it shouldn’t raise email-provider flags. * Blind carbon copy

I only ask because we were told Tn has thousands of members… but they never make it to the forum.


I FULLY agree with @cageycat in her reply to Helen. Also, I am a compulsive searcher so would like the option of being able to finish a map. If you sign out and close your browser you lose the map you are working on-drives me nuts! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I don’t think adjusting the counter display will affect the slowness issue, it’s already keeping that count for us, I’d just like it to display the true figure rather than the condensed version. I think that the slowness is somehow down to the database having to keep track of all 50,000+ tiles that some of us can view in the search campaigns… for each user.

I totally agree with this one! It can be most annoying… (along with the “Jump to random position” occasionally taking you back to somewhere you’ve already viewed and tagged).


In the rare event of me actually closing my browser, I tend to bookmark the spot that I’m searching in, so that I can return to it when I’ve done the necessary browser restart.
I also have the browser set to remember the last set of open tabs, when it opens up, it brings me straight back to where I was.


Since I’m working on the Hurricane Maria Campaign for Puerto Rico… if I was to change something, it would be to split up the maps we work on in smaller chunks. One night by random chance I landed on a map 1/5th the size I normally see - and it ran FAST. Super fast. I could move left right up down, tag, untag, go back to previous and current views super-quick. I actually finished that map in two nights, went back to it and got it done (via bookmark before I shut down).

The map size for Hurricane Maria size makes my super fast computer slow way the heck down to the point where some nights I just say “ohh forget it!” after trying to load the campaign for 90 minutes or more. It feels like I’m on dialup circa 1983. Yes I’m old. :blush:

Perhaps there’s a way to deliver the graphics to us in a different method, allowing the software to not groan under the weight of the tens of thousands tiles searched already, plus the tagged objects.

Other than the huge maps and loading speed which many have mentioned already, I think that’s it! Really appreciate all that everyone is doing out there! :grin:


You began this thread with:

I might add, be careful what you ask–LOL!

Many people may not know or may not remember that in the original platform (minus any fixes) we had platform profiles which included our long numbers. (There was another place where ALL campaigns we participated in were listed, I dearly miss that part.)

I bring up fixing our profiles because

  • it could solve some issues with giving us back full counts, etc.
  • it would give Nodders ownership over their participation
  • it would serve as bragging rights to family and friends!
  • if you don’t use a black background, you could help it be saved or printable so Nodders can save/print it, frame it, make a Christmas brag-card with it

I can foresee that it might be a headache to write scripts or code to capture all of that. However, I remember Happy saying that Tn captures details of our platform behaviors, whether we go L or R or up/down … and more. So why can’t Tn use the “behaviors” collection of info to fill in some of our profile numbers, the campaign name, campaign dates (begin-end), etc.?


@Shaul and @Samantha have listed my two main wishes

A button to switch these off/on to give an unobstructed view of the map. Some of us tend to use the keyboard more for voting/scrolling and the mouse for tagging. All of these could be switched off until as and when needed; leaving us our unobstructed view :grin:
For the Weddell campaign I have to have the browser set at 125% zoom level, so naturally these become more of an issue as “everything” is enlarged thus leaving me with even more of an obstructed view as the top/bottom of the polys can disappear off the edge :frowning: So I guess this would have to be my number one wish…for the moment :roll_eyes:

That Notification bell at the top right corner could go…can’t even remember the last time that was ever used for notifications and they were pointless anyway.

Now this was achieved in the last several tagging campaigns HappyMapper was involved in (however they managed to achieve that) and it was brilliant…super fast, speedy loading/scrolling because there weren’t as many opened tiles and tags to load/retain Grin%20roll Of course, map size v speed is not an issue in poly campaigns :wink:


I agree with @EmeraldEyes @Shaul, I would like a clear screen or at least everything on one side of the screen. A panel above the campaign identification with all the information located there would be good too. If there is an issue with a tile, copying all the information at once and passing it along would be much easier! I would also like to mark what I see on the poly…a circle, an X, anything that shows the area I have found debris on the sea, or a seal, depending on the campaign. Also, is pink the best color for a poly for eye strain,etc, for identifying objects on white snow/ice. I live in the north, blue/green/gray are usually the colors that help us see on the snow. These are used in your googles for snowboarding/snowmobiling/skiing …so I was just wondering about the pink. That’s all I have for now! Thanks!


One more detail:
In the Weddell seals campaigns it often happen that I have to go back to the previous polygon, as I spotted something interesting at the same second I decided that I didn’t see any seals. My “go back to previous web page” arrow is at the upper left corner, so I move the pointer there. Then I have to zoom in, to check any interesting details in the polygon. That means that I have to go to the upper RIGHT corner, to click on the plus sign. I usually use the “1” key to register that I’m seeing seals in the polygon, but the other alternative is to go to the left edge to click on “Seals”. That is A LOT of moving the pointer from right to left to right and back to left.

I’m suggesting that the zoom icons be moved to the left edge, so that all places we need to click on be concentrated to a small area.


I can offer a partial explanation about this. The data that the satellites send back from “a scan” actually forms long strips. The first thing that DigitalGlobe staff must do is “stitch” the strips together to make a map like this | | | | but with an uninterrupted view (no spaces between). @Mel_Nod also explained recently that the strips must be “laid” on the spherical globe, because if not, the pictures would not look to us like we would expect to see. This is all very complicated, to me! Fascinating, too.

I do not know actual distances, but 1 strip represents a very long # of miles. For simplicity, let’s say 1,000 miles seems too long to us. But it would cost time for DG to cut the height of a strip. | like this + Cutting height would mean more times they have to stitch all the shorter strips together width-wise to make “a map”.

Mel has also explained that DG tries NOT to image open water. So Puerto Rico or other islands, as such surrounded by water, will have either shorter tasked scans or more “clipping” and “cutting” (or covering up, masking) for what Nodders see. These factors make smaller sized maps.

However, most stitched strips aren’t smaller areas. Antarctica with strip lengths and stitched widths is what we normally have. Even if they covered / masked parts, the full map would still be present so it would still at some point get sluggish.

Maybe TN can invent something to automate taking a lengthy strip and chopping it, then stitching all the shorter strips together to make small areas. I wouldn’t hope too much for this as a solution, though.


As long as we are discussing peeved pets and issues; FOCUS is mine, specially since I had vision issues most of last year. Nice sharp clear images. Magnification that does not fuzz the pic. Oh, I know I’m a dreamer of such things, but if they want us to FIND things, good sharp crisp edged pictures would help. Whimper.


That is a good one, Bev. A lot depends on what the satellites deliver. Clouds and wispy fog gets us all the time. Maybe someone extra smart (not me) will find some innovation for “us with old eyes”. Gotta hope. :smiley:


Ahhh yeah I understand about the long strips. I have seen quite a bit of evidence of clipping or slicing or trying to make just the area we need to look at visible, so I know they try.

I’d hope that some day they could clip them to make them smaller, but I’m sure it’s a ways off, if they even try to. I seem to have better luck using an incognito browser, loading the campaign, logging in, then popping back to the campaign.

I have no issues with the Antarctica seals campaign at all; it’s just that there’s only so much snow I can look at before my mind goes mush. grin I do pop onto there sometimes and do some squares, just not as much as I do the other campaigns.

Thanks Cagey Cat for the explanation! :tropical_fish::fish::fish_cake::fish_cake::fish_cake::fish_cake:


Oooooo fishies and food! Think my Explainer hat must look pretty good to get that reward! Thanks!!


You’re welcome! Enjoy the fish ‘n’ fish cakes!!


Everyone! @Samantha @cageycat @Beverly1 @Shaul @T_Boechler @EmeraldEyes @Helen @Wilms -
THANK YOU for this feedback. I knew that there would be much fodder for this discussion. I’m unfortunately only getting back to it now, and sorting through and creating a list.

Keep the discussion and suggestions coming.