Building a collaborative conservation platform, Week 4: Navigation, Security, and an Exciting Data Update!

Hi everyone, and welcome back for week 4 of building my collaborative conservation platform! This week has been a whirlwind of progress, a detour that turned into an exciting opportunity, and some key milestones achieved. Let's dive in!

Building a User-Friendly and Secure Platform

This week, the focus shifted towards crafting a user-friendly and secure experience for our platform. I successfully implemented a navigation menu with clear links to a user's profile, a dedicated space for note-taking, and, most importantly, a sign-out button! By leveraging session objects stored through NextAuth, the platform now welcomes users by displaying their usernames, and for future functionalities, even identifies administrators.

Security remains a top priority, so I implemented route protection. This ensures that only signed-in users can access specific pages within the platform, preventing unauthorized access. Additionally, authenticated users are redirected away from login and signup pages, streamlining the user journey. These features contribute to a more secure and robust platform.

The Homepage and the Future Dashboard

The platform already features a homepage that displays the map for all users. This provides a general overview into elephant data. The exciting development this week is the creation of the dashboard page, which will be the central hub for authenticated users. This dedicated space will offer several functionalities:

  • Adding Sightings: Users can contribute valuable data by recording elephant sightings directly on the map.

  • Linking Notes: Users can create notes and link them to specific sightings, providing additional context and details.

  • Data Visualization Powerhouse: Once I have a dataset secured, the dashboard will transform into a hub for insightful data visualizations, allowing users to explore elephant conservation data in compelling ways.

A Data Detour with a Positive Twist!

I received some news from the IUCN regarding data access. While permission to use their data directly wasn't granted this time, they kindly provided a couple of alternative resources for elephant conservation data – a great lead! While this was an unexpected turn of events, it's definitely not a roadblock. I am actively exploring these new resources and remain confident in our ability to find the perfect dataset to fuel our visualizations. In fact, this opens the door to potentially using even more comprehensive data sources!

The Future Looks Bright!

Despite this detour, the project is moving forward at a steady pace. With a secure foundation, a user-friendly interface, and a renewed data exploration plan, I am on my way to building a valuable tool for elephant conservation efforts.

Next Steps: Profile Management and Data Acquisition

Even though I don't have data to display just yet, I'll be moving forward next week! I'll focus on completing the profile page, where users can manage their information, and explore building the edit profile functionality. I might even kick off development on the notes user interface to get a head start. In parallel, I'll be reaching out to the groups shared by IUCN to see if they would be willing to share their spatial data for elephant conservation. I am hopeful that one of these leads will pan out and allow us to bring our data visualization dreams to life!

Feel free to leave a comment below and share your experiences with user authentication or building secure web applications!