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What new features would you like to see?

I've been rather distracted lately, mostly because of this. With that out of the way, I'm planning on making some upgrades to the site.

Some items on the drawing board include:

  • Mobile-optimized version
  • Improved search engine
  • Better tool for uploading multiple photos at a time
  • Method to attach PDFs and other documents to bridge pages and essays
  • Way to tag photos
  • Form for submitting news items
  • Expanded forum system

Anything else? What upgrades do you feel are the most important?

Comments  (17)

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 21, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I would love to have an edit feature that allowed us to correct typos in our comments after they are actually posted. I have found a few in my comments that I would have liked to correct.

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 16, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

One other issue. The "Add Related Bridge" feature needs another "Relationship" option for indicating a bridge or part of a bridge that was reused from another bridge. For instance we have multi-span Mississippi River bridges whose individual spans were relocated to various new crossings. It would be nice to show that relationship. Or to relate this bridge: http://www.bridgehunter.com/il/bureau/6324410738/ whose through truss span was relocated here: http://www.bridgehunter.com/il/bureau/bh48241/

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 16, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Building off of Bob Morgan's comment, it is my belief that it would be possible to provide a link that would dynamically generate Google KML files based off of search results. A KML file could be loaded into Google Earth or Google Maps. Such a feature would be useful to me.

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 16, 2011, by Bob Morgan (morgans212 [at] nc [dot] rr [dot] com)

Hey James-

Was wondering how hard it would be to have a function to search and then show on a county map/state map the bridges you searched for. I think that would be useful for those who like to go and see/stand on the historic bridges on Bridgehunter. It could kind of help you 'plan your trip'.

Bob

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 11, 2011, by Jodi Christman (masterofchaos [at] comcast [dot] net)

I mentioned: Functionality that allows you to cross states easier in case you are hunting around a state border. It would be helpful for this to also happen within counties. Right now you have to go into each county to see the map or the NBI table. Maybe it's too much data to not have it broken down this way, but it would be helpful to be able to "filter" all the NBI (not sort) state, county, bridge type which returns a table and a choice to see it on a map.

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 7, 2011, by gtg362i

I think it would be cool if when you browse to a state then county using the map, that when you get to the list of bridges in a county you could sort it by time updated or time added, or at least have that info available.

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 5, 2011, by Jodi Christman (masterofchaos [at] comcast [dot] net)

1) Improved, Expanded Forum...something like MegaBBS or vBulletin that will allow us to have categories and threads, email notifications, and internal private messaging.

2) Improved search engine

3) Better tool for uploading multiple photos at a time

4) Improve adding bridges functionality to avoid duplicates, and if that;s not possible, a better way to flag duplicates or some way

5) Functionality that allows you to cross states easier in case you are hunting around a state border

I've been quite pleased with viewing the site on my Android (I don't upload or use the forum on the go.

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 4, 2011, by Kim Harvey

I would say better mobile web features as I often use my cell phone to browse the web when I'm not home.

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 4, 2011, by Craig Philpott (cphilpott [at] puc [dot] edu)

Ah the dream of improvements to this grand site. Addressing duplicates is an issue. AND, the "exhibit" feature for an entire state is really cool, would there be a way to "drive" to the next state in the exhibit mode? When visiting bridges on a given highway or route the road crosses state lines but the web tool does not. Man, I do not have any complaints, carry on everyone, congratulations to the Cardinals!

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 4, 2011, by Robert Thompson (rkt [dot] engineering [at] gmail [dot] com)

How about a means of flagging duplicate entries? We currently have three separate listings of the same Michigan Street Bridge in Sturgeon Bay WI.

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 4, 2011, by Nathan Holth

Concerning making the site mobile compatible, I agree with below comment and also would hope that any changes to the site in this manner would not be made at the expense of aspects of the website that are optimized for an old fashioned computer that uses a keyboard, mouse and full size monitor. As mentioned, some websites detect the browser type that a visitor is using and auto-load the mobile or full-size interface accordingly. Other websites simply create a mobile version of the website at a different address. I think the former is probably better in terms of maintaining high and consistent search engine ratings. However it might be possible to add a link on both site versions that would allow a user to toggle between the two interfaces.

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 3, 2011, by Long time lurker

About mobile optimization...

I've only ever visited this wonderful site using one type of phone or another. I'm currently using an older version of Dolphin browser for Android which thankfully offers both mobile and desktop agents. The only problem I've ever had is with the street views and maps. With the mobile agent I only get a satellite view instead of the street view, but I can move the embedded map around with no problem. When I use the desktop agent, the street view is a box that covers bridge details until it loads (can take a while), but then it's fine. The desktop agent doesn't let me do much with the map though, except zoom and change to satellite view, no movement.

I personally hate most mobile sites and have always been happy with how this site has behaved as compared to others. I hope that any changes made for mobile browsers are optional with a minimal amount of fuss to switch versions, as some sites tend to force their mobile version if they detect a mobile browser. Thanks to having a desktop agent I can get around that, but it gets frustrating at times to keep backing out to change agents so they load the full version.

The other ideas sound great, and I can't wait to see what you guys can do with them. You do an awesome job keeping this site fresh and informative and I'm glad to have come across it a couple of years ago. Been checking the updates at least every other day since. Keep up the good work :)

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 3, 2011, by Michael Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

One tool I would like to see is the ability to connect one bridge to another. The main reason for this tool would be make it easier to track the history at a certain crossing.

For example: If Bridge A was replaced by Bridge B, then one could link the replacement bridge to the original and vica versa.

There might be a pull-down toggle similar to the covered or movable options now. You select something like “bridge was replaced with a historic structure”, and then you select the bridge from the list of bridges in that county. Then a link appears stating replaced by Bridge B or replaced Bridge A.

That was one of the ideas I was thinking about.

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 3, 2011, by J.P.

I Agree with the builders comment so we avoid duplicates, I usually go and look then copy and paste the builder so I know it lands into the category it should be in. Also the ability to add categories while editing the page would be awesome.

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 3, 2011, by Daniel Hopkins (chimera [at] clovermail [dot] net)

I agree with search options! For example multiple-entry word search if I type in 'covered bridge' and another key word/date like '1845' I should get only bridges of that type for 1845 that are covered; I do that now I get 900+ bridges but not all covered :p

Also another nice feature - the linking of categories could be improved like if I go to Tall Bridges and then go search for bridges over a certain height it would be nice if say anything over 900 feet would show up and what else might be nice is if there were an auto-linking tool added in when you first start a new bridge so you do not have to save and then open back up to add categories.

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 2, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Improved search engine. Expanded options, greater control over search options.

Another suggestion is provide a way to add categories to a bridge directly from the edit page, by providing the option to choose from a list of preexisting categories, in addition to the blank text box method. This would help make it easier for people to make sure they check for preexisting categories before creating a new one, and eliminate problems like when someone enters "Worden and Allen Co. Milwaukee, WI" when the category "Worden-Allen Co." already exists, which inadvertently creates a new duplicate builder category.

What new features would you like to see?
Posted November 2, 2011, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)

Please fix the upload from a URL part. It's not working for me when I try to use a bridgehunter URL (I'm trying to import pictures imbedded in comments the easiest way possible.)