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.