Friday, November 5, 2010

I received an Internal Error message trying to save my record!

If you are saving a wildlife health event report and encounter this message, it may be caused by a number of things. The server the application is hosted on could have encountered a problem (not your fault!) or a cached version of information in your browser may be conflicting with the request to save your event.

To get past this issue, we recommend within your internet browser, clearing the cache. This may help clean out any 'dust' that may be causing the problem. Here are step-by-step instructions for clearing the cache in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

Internet Explorer
  1. Click on the 'Tools' menu in the browser. This should display an option to select called 'Internet Options' at the very bottom of the menu list.
  2. In the first 'General' tab of options, select the button marked 'Delete...' about 1/4 down the dialogue window in the section called Browsing History. 
  3. A new window will appear, with a series of check boxes. The one that is important is the Temporary Internet Files option. Click this box (at least) and then click the Delete button at the bottom of the screen.
  1. Click on the 'Tools' menu in the browser. Select the Options option.
  2. Under the 'Privacy' tab of options, click the link marked 'clear all current history' - which will open another small dialogue window.
  3. In the new small dialogue window, check at least the 'Cache' option and click the 'Clear Now' button at the bottom of the window.

  1. Press CTRL+SHIFT+DEL to open the Clear cache dialog. Alternatively, click on the "Wrench" icon in the upper right hand corner of the browser (when you hover over it, the tool tip 'Customize and Control Google Chrome' appears) and select the Tools -> Clear Browsing Data option.
  2. At a minimum, check the box next to the 'Empty Cache' option and click the 'Clear Browsing Data' button at the bottom of the screen.
  1. Press CTRL+ALT+E to open the Clear cache dialog window.  Alternatively, go to the Edit menu, and select 'Empty Cache' from the list of options. 
  2. Click the 'Empty' button to complete the task.
After your cache has been cleared, go back to, log in, and attempt to submit your report again. 

If you are still encountering problems after clearing your cache, drop us a line at for more assistance.

Monday, November 1, 2010

WHER help documentation updated!

To reflect the most recent changes and modifications in the WHER application, the online help document has been updated. If you have any questions or problems while you're using WHER, check out the new document, as well as the FAQs posted to this blog.  If you don't find the solution to your problem, try the Feedback Form link at the bottom of each WHER page, or email us directly at

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What do I do if my confirmation email link is not working?

Like most web applications, if you sign up for a WHER account, you will receive a confirmation email which contains a link you must click on to verify your identity and desire to sign up for an account.

If you open that email, click the link, and nothing happens...  try copying and pasting the URL into your browser rather than depending on the click to work.  Different programs handle links differently or may erroneously handle email links altogether.

If this doesn't solve the problem, drop us an email and we will be happy to help you get your account set up successfully.

Does your group or agency have alternate mechanisms for reporting?

Does your agency or group have a similar mission to WHER?  Would you like to share a message with WHER users about specific events you would be interested in them reporting to you in an alternate means?

Upon submission of an event, users are presented with a pop up thank you window as well as a follow up email with a few details about the event they just reported.  Built into WHER is a means for us to include follow up information for the users at a state/province/administrative unit level.  Here is an example for Alberta, Canada:

Example pop-up confirmation window. Click to enlarge.

Other details you might want to include are what makes an event special that you would like to know about. Such as a certain number of animals involved, or those that involve a certain species like birds or amphibians. Other suggestions include:
  • A short, informational message
  • Preferred web link(s)
  • Email address(es)
  • Telephone number(s)
  • USPS mail contact information

Can I be notified when events are reported?

If you, your agency or group is interested in receiving timely updates about reports submitted within the WHER application, you can subscribe to one or more RSS feeds which will help you keep informed to what people are reporting in the system.

The RSS feeds we provide can be added to feed readers which aggregate all your favorite feeds for easy browsing, or you can subscribe to a daily email alert which sends you the latest posts from the previous day. 

Feeds are currently set up at the administrative unit level (state/province) for all of the United States and Canada, but can be set up for any administrative unit (to request a unit - email As additional reports are made in other countries and administrative units, we will expand the feeds to include those areas as well. There is also one all-encompassing feed which covers every report submitted to WHER.

We also include geographic coordinates in the feed items, so users can utilize the RSS feed as a GeoRSS feed as well.  The GeoRSS feed can be plugged into Google Maps or other online mapping applications, or used in your own mashups.

Monday, October 25, 2010

WHER news release from USGS

The US Geological Survey (USGS) has issued a news release describing WHER and it's companion mobile phone application, "Outbreaks Near Me."  This can be found here:    USGS WHER News Release

WHER is now open for public use

The Wildlife Health Event Reporter is now available for public use.  Based on two years of development and testing, this version is still considered an experimental tool and will continue to be improved and refined in response to comments and feedback submitted by users of this public Beta release.