Last year I noted the handy new map on our website that showed deer harvest totals by county. Like elves in the workshop, our IT, Resource Science and Web staff have been collaborating to produce more new tools. Now hunters and anyone else interested can get maps of deer harvest and turkey harvest trends by county, as well as a Midwest mallard migration. But instead of going back to our website each time, a handy bit of code in the form of a widget can deliver it to your desktop or site.
Lance Jungmeyer, our digital media manager, said, “One of our key strategies is to get our information out to people who may visit other sites, to make it as easy as possible for them find it. Future widgets might include fishing reports, fall color reports—lots of things kept in a database.”
Widgets are one thing, but I also appreciate the magic of maps themselves…such excellent visual shortcuts to quickly communicating what’s happening where. It’s so easy to forget what it took just a few years ago to plot things out on a map, not to mention to share the finished map with someone. Now we can suck data into a graphic interface, pop it onto a screen, send it across the globe, and give you a widget to keep it showing up where you like. Seems worthwhile to pause and appreciate the speedy and massive flow of information that’s now just an everyday thing.