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Rolling out new features - our Q1 story

With the migration from version one to version two wrapping up in January, the HumanitarainResponse.info team is now able to focus much more attention on introducing new features and functionality. In that regard, the first quarter has been an exciting one for us. We have started working on the requests most frequently demanded from the field and the results are starting to appear. Today we are sharing some of these new features.

  1. Improved Calendar design including a printable PDF version

    Looking across our sites, we know that the calendar is the most commonly used feature. Yet, it was probably the ugliest part of our site. So, we have improved its design and have provided a PDF export functionality fitting nicely on A4 size paper. The calendar can be accessed by day, week or month. See the Iraq weekly calendar in PDF as an example.

  2. ‘view more’ links

    When displaying lists of documents, maps, events or blog posts on a page, site managers could specify certain criteria and show a certain number of matching items (dynamically) on the page. However, they did not have a way to let the site visitor view more content like the list. We have now added this ability and believe that it will enable site visitors to more quickly find the content for which they are searching.

  3. Clusters/Sectors become their own sites within Operations

    In the past, clusters/sectors had little more than pages on an Operation site. A cluster/sector now has sole ownership over their content (including uploading, tagging and editing), the ability to customize their pages and the ability manage their own users.  They control their space, but only their space. For example, a Health site manager can customize the Health cluster pages, but cannot add content or modify the WASH pages.

  4. Adding content using Reliefweb API

    As an easy way to provide access to ReliefWeb content on our operational sites, we have leveraged their API. Now site managers can easily display content such as reports, trainings and disasters with nothing more than a few button clicks.

  5. Adding content using RSS Feeds

    With the number of sites and platforms that appear during an humanitarian response ever increasing, the demand to show content from these sites via an RSS feed has become a regular request from the field. The ability to configure and display this content is now available to our site managers.

  6. Dedicated @humanitarianresponse.info inboxes

    As we rolled out version two, we also started providing dedicated email inboxes for each migrated or new site. In the past, we simply had virtual addresses that would forward through to specific individuals. But, as staff moved on (especially in the early days of a sudden onset), we found it hard to ensure these addresses were always correct. Now, all email about a given site is stored in one email inbox and can be handed over from user-to-user over time.  As we move forward, we will also consider the same feature for each cluster should we find the necessary demand.

  7. Humanitarian.ID integration

    In March, Humanitarianresponse.info became the first website to use Humanitarian ID as its sole and standard method for user login. To find out more, please see the HID blog post HID Authentication Service goes live.

    Shortly after that, we also integrated HID contacts into the Philippines operational site as they began to pilot Humanitarian ID.

  8. HR.info API

    We have launched the “application programming interface” (API) for Humanitarianresponse.info. Using this API, developers can easily pull HR.info’s operational data such as documents, maps, calendar events and assessments.

    We have also exposed most of our taxonomy (standard terms) and we have encouraged the developer community to build their tools using these standard terms for better interoperability (i.e. information exchange) and future integration. 

    If you are techie and want to use our API, see API Documentation!

  9. Interactive cluster map

    Using the interactive cluster map, viewers can geographically locate active clusters or sectors around the world. The map pulls the information directly from field-managed operational sites on Humanitarianresponse.info. The map can also be downloaded in variety of format i.e. PNG, JPG or PDF. Using the HR.info API, this map can also be embedded in other websites. Check out the live cluster map.  

  10. Where is the map’s data?

    One of the common complaints that the HR.info team hears about maps (in general) is that they do not provide access or links to the data used to create that specific map.  So, we have just recently added an extra field (Data Sources) for content contributors when uploading maps. If they know the online source of the data, it can be added allowing site visitors to quickly find and use the data themselves. We still have a bit more work to do on this feature so you will hear more about it soon.

It has been a really thrilling month and we expect Quarter 2 to be very similar. Stay tuned for more!
 
Rolling ahead,

Your HR.info Team

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United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Created date

16 Apr 2015