The Invasives Tracking System (ITS) was developed by COMAP for the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) and will be launched in the fall of 2010. OFAH has been Ontario’s ‘hot-line’ for the reporting of invasive species for the benefit of the Ontario ecosystem conservation community of practice since 1992. The ITS is intended to be a hub for citizen scientists and professional organizations involved in invasive species issues. The goal of the ITS project: to monitor of invasive species presence and to track invasives control projects in support of appropriate decisions with regard to restoration priorities and techniques.
To access the Invasives Tracking System click here
An editable field guide of invasives species is provided with a complete listing for all invasive Algae, Fishes, Invertebrates and Plants.
The ITS provides the user with the ability to search fore all invasives sightings in Ontario using highly resolute airphotos. The user can select and search with combined parameters (species common or Latin name, waterbody, ‘geographic’ county, Ministry of Natural Resources district, Conservation Authority, tertiary or quaternary watershed, drawn polygon, rectangle or circle search area, sighting date or sighting date range, confirmation status) and then list and map all requested sightings. The mapping service, supporting the sightings search facility, uses a novel application of Ajax technology whereby any parameter will list and map immediate results within a selected geography, without leaving the web page. The map bounding box and hence the selected zoom level is a search parameter. Additional parameters selected will further constrain the results.
To encourage self-organized learning networks COMAP is developing user activated subscription services for content contributed by other participants. These services permit users to find out about activities that interest them and to learn from the members of their online community of practice that lead these activities. Users are able to create subject based forums and invite selected members to discuss ideas and challenges.
The Invasives Tracking System (ITS) technical committee wanted a social network that is only open to the experts and related agencies. They reasoned that the general pubic may be confused and misconstrue volunteered content (such as species identification and remediation information) as being official content. Consequently, the ITS deploys a social network enabled online community system, consisting of groups, forums and authoring services, that the agencies can use to share their experiences, as a learning network and to collaboratively author and publish official and authoritative information used to help identify and control invasive species.
COMAP has developed a system with tools that permit the public and the ITS conservation community of practice to access an invasives species field guide, a sightings reporting facility and query service for approved sighting information. Only the ITS conservation community of practice, however, can report on a restoration project and export contributed tabular and spatial data.
The right to participate in the ITS application community of practice social network and contribute invasives control project information is distributed to participating community of practice organizations. System security is managed by the content custodian OFAH. OFAH distributes the right to publish and secures agreement from rights' recipients to conditions necessary for system security and integrity. Minimum conditions for the right to publish are: Agreement to appoint an organization's group moderator and maintain, in good standing, an organization's group membership and information for those members that publish on behalf of the organization.
Registered participants are consequently able to (or enable their membership or affiliates to) access ITS project content publishing. Groups and agencies, in turn, will have responsibility for:
·granting access to their membership and affiliates to tools for publishing on their organization's behalf; and
·for maintaining the access rights of their membership.
A member of the general public will access the ITS via the OFAH web-site. She/he can access an invasives species field guide, sightings information and create a password to register and report a sighting.
To use the Report a Sighting service, the user will need to register and create a UserID and Password. Registered users can be invited by ITS social network Group Moderators to participate. Only the custodian OFAH can create a new Group within the ITS social network and appoint a Group moderator from a list of registered users. Once an ITS Group is set up, its moderator and members can access and participate in the social network services (group forums, private messaging, bookmarking and notifications) and publish ITS project information.
Once a Group is set up, its Moderator can invite members from the ITS registered users list. It is anticipated that each Group in the ITS will represent an organization that participates in the ITS community of practice and that a Group membership will publish with the authority of the participating organization.