Thursday, August 27, 2015

Android apps for canal users - Part 2

While we were on the Trent and Soar a few weeks back, Sandy on NB San Fairy Ann told me about a couple of apps she uses, and I was amazed, amused and delighted that someone had conceived of the ideas. Such simple solutions to a couple of similar problems. Both involve simply reporting an issue to someone who can take action that the user can't.

Trolleywise. The screenshots tell it all. Not only do we get rid of discarded shopping trolleys, the bane of boaters' lives whenever they pass through towns and cities, but we get trees planted, too! I love it.

Canals and rivers are not unique in having a number of pernicious plants invading their natural flora. Unfortunately, it's true of our countryside generally. But waterways do have several very specific species which CRT and the EA are battling to get rid of. Plant Tracker enables users to identify plants, then photograph and report, incidences of them. The authorities are then better able to target their work of removal. Brilliant!

Th@s Invasive is a similar app, which I'm not currently using, but this deals with invasive animals as well as plants. It was produced as part of the RINSE project (Reducing the Impact of Non-native Species in Europe) which has now finished, but note that sightings are referred to the IWA (Inland Waterways Association? Not sure why. The issue isn't restricted to waterways, but I can find no other IWA).

I was rather surprised to see the very common Canada Goose appear in the list. "Non-native" it is, as are many of the birds we see in the UK. But "invasive"? Would I want to report it? Should I??

"Record Sighthing"! Sigh.

More next post...

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