Resighting is software as well as being a website running at resighting.com and the distinction between the two is important for understanding all the possibilities, as Matthew Neale explains below.
There is quite a lot to resighting.com, a lot more than at first meets the eye and I wanted to talk about a few uses that you may not have thought of. The resighting.com website as you see today is a place to store… well – places! At the simplest level this amounts to a description with a latitude and a longitude attached, and optionally a photo as evidence of the Sighting.
For me it is where I bookmark places that I have been – restaurants in which I have eaten, bars which I have enjoyed, and things which I have spotted while out-and-about which have made me smile. Occasionally it is a place to record somewhere I would like to go. It is a kind of journal and I love looking back over it to see where I have been.
As with all web services today though there isn’t really one use case, if you have something which has a description and a location then you can store it at resighting.com, and I bet there are some use cases which don’t involve either of these two, and I’d love to hear what they are.
Personal uses like mine described above are one side of resighting.com, but there are also possibilities for businesses, especially small businesses, government, charities and non-profit organisations who increasingly need to collect and store location-based data generated by their customers. For example:
- Local Authorities who wish residents to be able to photograph and submit the location of abandoned vehicles or dumped waste.
- Small businesses who would like their potential customers to report Sightings of their products in retail outlets as a promotional tool.
- Restaurants who would like their customers to sight their premises to provide feedback on their experience.
These are all examples of crowdsourcing but this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, resighting.com can be used internally within businesses too with employees as the users to capture necessary business data. Remember that at its heart, resighting.com is software to gather and search location-based data.
If you, business or individual has a need for resighting.com which is more than the kind of personal use that I covered earlier, there are a number of options for you.
Option 1: Use resighting.com
The first option is simply to use resighting.com as it is. Create a Locator or Locators for the types of Sightings you wish to collect and then ask your customers to make Sightings on resighting.com and submit them to the Locator. A Locator is a collection of Sightings of the same kind or theme and on resighting.com you are free to create as many as you like. For example a Local Authority who wishes customers to submit Sightings of rubbish and waste could create a Rubbish/Waste/Abandoned Locator.
The disadvantage of this option is that your customers need to sign-up to resighting.com, and if as in the example above they are only going to be making perhaps one Sighting, this might well sound like quite enough trouble to dissuade them from making the Sighting at all. Also, the Sightings they submit are all publicly visible on resighting.com and there may be good reason to keep them private. Luckily we have two other options which don’t have these problems.
Option 1 is free and easy to set-up and is summarised as follows:
Option 2: Use resighting.com as a repository for your data
In this option you develop some pages on your existing web portal to allow your customers to make the Sightings you need. You design the pages to capture the data and because of this you can hide-away anything you don’t wish your customers to see. You can also choose whether or not you wish your customers to login to your web portal, all of that is under your control.
When your customers make Sightings, your web portal can make calls to resighting.com using our API, therefore offloading the storage, indexing and retrieval of the Sightings onto us. When you wish to get the data back our API is available to retrieve the Sightings.
With this option it is best to create one account on resighting.com and store the Sightings for all your customers under this one account, an account for just your business. If you don’t wish these Sightings to be visible on resighting.com you can have a private account under which all Sightings and Locators created by your user are invisible to other users and are not displayed on the public pages at resighting.com.
In summary, in this option the combination of a private account and our API means you can store your Sighting data in resighting.com but only allow access to it via your own existing web portal.
Option 3: Deploy your own resighting.com
Our website resighting.com is a website which runs our software, the Resighting software. Is there anything to stop us running the Resighting software on another website? No. The third option then, if you wish your data to be truly away from resighting.com yet you need all the features and power of resighting.com, is to deploy your own Resighting website. This way you get your own Resighting with all the features that it has, and all of it private for you only, or public if you choose it to be.
Note that once you have chosen this option, there is also the possibility of a hybrid between options 2 and 3. The API comes with the Resighting software, so your can run your own Resighting software and at the same time add pages to your existing web portal to submit and retrieve data from your Resighting instance. With this option everything really is up to you.
The Resighting software and resighting.com can provide simple and efficient storage and retrieval of location-based data for personal as well as for business use. If you are interested in any of the business-related options above then please drop us an email at email@example.com, we’re always interested to hear about your ideas. The cost of using resighting.com as storage for your business-related location-based data using option 2 is free up to a few thousand Sightings per year. We don’t apply any hard caps on accounts but if you are going to be storing more than a few thousand Sightings per year then we’d like to hear from you so that we understand what you are doing and can ensure we have the capacity available to support you.
The cost of licensing the Resighting software so that it can be run separately just for you is extremely reasonable. If you’re interested in this then again please drop us an email and we can discuss how we can help.
On top of all that, we’re here on the same email address for help, queries, enhancements and improvements. Just let us know how we can help you.
Private Accounts is not an option which is currently available for selection yourself on resighting.com, if you would like a private account please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.