Tomnod Feedback - One Change Wish List


@Mel_Nod You are most welcome! Thank you for doing what you do! :grin:


Hi @Mel_Nod, As @Shaul said it would be nice to have all the icons on one side, however I think there would still be too much moving up and down if the icons were in a row going down, especially as some of the campaigns have more items to select from than the seals campaign. Think it might be more efficient if the icons were in an “L” shaped block in either the right or left upper corner. Upper corner is more visually effective as we are already looking straight ahead (at least on a desktop-not sure what would work better with a laptop.) Ideally it would be nice if we could pick which side of the screen the icons appeared on. I am right handed and the way I hold my mouse favors the left upper corner. However there are left handed individuals who might prefer the opposite. Likewise for anyone with a disability. It would be doubly nice if we could select what keys we used for keyboard items. In looking at my keyboard which is the cordless I-mac board I just realized that I could very easily rotate the keyboard if I needed to.

Oh and one must never forget the Star Trek movie “The Voyage Home” in which Scotty attempts to talk to the computer and is told to “just use the keyboard” :grin:


Hi @cageycat. I’m finally putting together a master list of these comments. I’m not sure I understand the Zippity issue :smiley: Can you clarify for me? Is the issue ONLY with validation campaigns and that you don’t like being shown polygons in random order? Because you lose the context of where you are with each vote?

Or did I miss it? Thank you!! To you and all who commented here.

Also - love the idea of fixing the profile page. You guys are a vault of information!!!


Hmmm! I wonder what they were doing differently there. Do you remember the names of any of the fast campaigns? Maybe I can dig in there a little.

Oooh @Wilms, could be interesting to have the labels/zooms/etc in one block that could be docked differently around the screen, or shown or hid!! Thanks all, such great ideas. On monday I’m passing this list along to some engineers - we’ll see what we can do. It probably won’t be on the scale of weeks, but might be months and we could see some improvements.

Thanks again, all.


I don’t know a proper name for it. I nicknamed the behavior as “Zippity Do Dah”.

It occurs when a user moves (by choice) to a new tile, or is moved (automated) to a new area for polys.

It also occurs/occurred when there is very close work on high content tiles, such as the 2017 hurricane campaigns. So I would move, say, to tag damage along the edges of a tile — and suddenly, I was moved rapidly to “somewhere”, landing dozens of rows away and not even in the same column as I’d been. The most common version of Zippity Do Dah is being whisked away in this manner.

If in a poly campaign, of course we do not have the grid to refer to as proof that we were “moved” rapidly and without reason.

However, (for either regular campaigns or poly campaigns), I can see a rapid “flipping” or changing from 1 tile to a next and that no tile “settles” into the frame until the “Zippity Effect” lets go. I can so-briefly see a bit of other tiles as Server Johnny flips his bytes and sends me zipping (fast movement) across the map until the map tile settles into the [frame], the 4-lined area of what we see. *Other users have also described being rapidly moved in a weird manner that takes them far away from where they’d been, or that they could see tiles partially loading but changing before any tile settled into place.

One other part of the behavior is the moment it occurs, that being::

As I “grab” a piece of tile to move the image, whether on the same tile near an edge or trying to move to the next tile in the row, for a second or two the [frame] changes to black. It is a long enough delay to be noticed as different behavior, not a usual smooth gliding going from one image to the next. For me, it is long enough difference from norm that I actually say "Oh nooooooo! at the beginning of the “zip”.

Zippidity Do Dah has nothing to do with disliking being shown polys in random order. Zippidity is a behavior that should not happen in any campaign as usual Tomnod server behavior.

As an analogy, hold a deck of cards and run your finger down the side while watching the cards … you’ll see a portion of many cards, but only for a second, and that visual movement of many cards continues until the flipping effect stops. I hope I’m explaining this well enough. LOL If not, ask again and maybe other Nodders can try to explain what they’ve seen.

I still think that Server Johnny gets tired and confused (especially when the campaign is under load from many users), so he throws some bytes, and just starts a rapid roll through dozens of tiles before getting under control and stopping his confusion.

The polys in random order issue…
It just makes more sense to brains to move to the next area we see. Also, like with Weddell campaign, we see so much nothing on tile after tile, then suddenly spot seals— outside of the poly! So NOT going there next gets SO frustrating. *Why do polys need to be presented as a random behavior? Any reason for that? * Instead, why can’t a tile be divided into 6, 9, or 12 areas as big polys and move us to vote on each area… then, move to next tile and again vote on its polys?


I’m certainly in favour of being able to move the labels etc to a more convenient place on the screen, or docking/hiding them completely. It’s not a problem on a large PC screen, but I did find the seal campaign almost impossible on my mobile device due to the large area of screen covered by the labels.


When it’s happened to me, it’s always been in a search campaign. And I seem to remember it always happens when I’m dragging/panning to the next map tile with the mouse. (I sometimes drag the map around with the mouse, and at other times move the map to the next tile with the cursor keys, depends on how my hands are feeling at the time)

Scenario is: Displaying map tile on screen, drop whatever tags are required, click and drag to next tile. Instead of moving to the next tile on the map, the display suddenly scoots you right the way across the map to a far distant tile, miles away from where you were originally looking. It seems to happen for no reason, and I’ve never been able to replicate the behaviour.


As another point about this–
Our brains are certainly faster than computers. To me, it seems we see “same as the last” faster than “ooo what’s that thing over there?” So we click “no”, and sometimes our creative side of the brain says “go back! what was that?” even though it usually has nothing to do with anything we’re supposed to be tagging/voting on.

Reminds me of dissociation in highway driving… most of the brain is on auto-pilot and can “drive” surprisingly well through an entire trip – until our creative brains get bored silly and is suddenly convinced it saw a cute doggie’s shadow standing behind a tree that we just passed! WAKE UP, the creative side says.

Have researchers discussed the dissociative effect of Nodding? (such an appropo name, considering this point) Have researchers thought about how to throw a treat to the Creative Brain during The Most Monotonous campaigns, or at least ways to break up our auto-pilot clicks? Back when we did the “oh no, more dirt” middle east campaigns, a couple Nodders suggested that Tomnod insert an unrelated pretty scene into boring campaigns, to WAKE UP our brains and keep the creative brain from having a meltdown because it is Sooooo Bored!


I agree about the pinkish-red polys.

I ‘work’ on another website where I use a tool to compare 2 items for similarities / differences. But it is black text with pinkish-red background… and I typically cannot SEE the black text against the background. Another tool uses a light lime colored background. Pink and Lime Green are the worst web colors, even without considering how differently monitors render colors.

Can we please get easier to see colors on polys?

As a side comment for this, the archaeology platform used red but in a very think line. That thickness, for me, was worse than the light pink polys normally seen on campaigns.


Or can we get to choose which colours we see? I guess everyone has their own preferences, and could select the best colour for their particular needs.


Oh heck, now you’re asking confused6 I can’t remember exactly which ones ones but I think with the likes of the Ghana-Child slavery campaign; Cocos Island illegal fishing; even the second phase of the Antarctica Weddell seals campaign were a series of smaller maps. Possible in that irrelevant sections of map were cropped away such as dense cloud, water cropped out when we were searching on land; and in the Antarctica campaign, the main land, areas of open waters and basically areas you just wouldn’t find seals were cropped away.

Ghana: Child Slavery Campaign

This was ideal for tagging campaigns as it reduced the number of open tiles the servers loaded on entering a campaign/map. Thus speeding things up a bit, which also reduced the amount of search time in a campaign. A lot of time can be wasted scrolling through dense cloud and open waters to find land.

I just can’t remember any campaigns where the overall maps were divided up into smaller more manageable maps quicker to load and scroll through, also less tags to store and load thus speeding things up a bit.


I vaguely remember the Indonesian fires campaign from a couple of years ago as one that got tweaked somehow to make it faster…


@Mel_Nod I’ve just been reminded of another glitch that sometimes happened in the search campaigns, especially after a large number of tiles/tags have been done…

Sometimes the tags I dropped would just disappear like popped bubbles. No discernable reason why, and it wasn’t replicatable.

Other times, if I was centred on a particular tile, but then spotted something just off into the next tile, being lazy I’d just drop the tag without recentering on the tile. Sometimes this tag will place OK, other times, it just disappears and I have to recentre the view on that tile before I can drop the tag.


Oh yes! @Mel_Nod I think you can search for “The Case of” or “The Case of the Disappearing” to find some threads about it. Sorry, I always think of weird names to call things, trying to add humor to frustrating bugs.

By the way, there are still many posts under Tech Support that are not marked as resolved. You could read through those and see if anything catches your eye.


I’ll put some URLs here for posts made last year…

This is from an advanced map person:
( Additional features & functionality wanted )


Isn’t this where we find all of those "Fun Finds? and POI? We look for something and our creative side finds all of these goodies. :wink:


That campaign did load fast, but there were some tiles with a lot of things to tag. Still, even with all of the tags, when zooming out to -5 to see almost all of the map, it zoomed out quite fast… same for zooming back in.


I had the same problem until I realized that I had moved the tile up, down or to either side (I was zoomed in) and had inadvertently gone into another tile while the one I had been working on was still “in focus.” Any tag I dropped faded away within a second. But when I moved that part up into the area of “focus,” tagged the same thing again and the tag stayed - and counted.


Thanks for this additional feedback everyone and for the links @cageycat ! I have been combing through past tech issues here on the forum; that is an interesting repository of ALL the things that can go wrong in a campaign!

I’m also interested in your experience of using Tomnod, and what might be better - ie the rounded counter, the issue of clickables on both the right and left…etc.




Were your peers “impressed” with all the Nodders’ ideas for changes? Bet the Staff were :wind_face: away!

~Smart Nodders~