If there was a sticker scheme for shops and businesses it would be straightforward to add an option to a map to only display those locations displaying the sticker.
I think the idea of using an app is fantastic and I for one would be happy to do what I can to help promote and use it.
I am sure a lot of people would be happy to go the extra mile to use the participating businesses and their welsh as often as possible.
Please let me know if I can help
What about resurrecting the map idea? Data collected for that could be fed into an app in the future.
I did think about a crowd sourced model, where anyone can add locations. An issue with that approach is the policing of stuff that’s added - think scabrous TripAdvisor reviews from a disgruntled punter.
But perhaps a crowd sourced then moderated model would work.
- Provide a simple way for anyone to suggest a location e.g. I went to this golf club near Betws-y-Coed and everyone there spoke Welsh and were super willing to chat to a learner
- An admin/moderator looks at the submission and then approves it or not
I can handle the tech side of things, but I need help when it comes to working out how this process might work, and then to run the day to day admin side of things.
@jamesmahoney Sounds good. Many of us can start adding to this straight away. If the site is mobile friendly, then it is almost as good as an app anyway. If mobile friendly, I can probably build it into an Android app without too much trouble.
On practical side, we would need to avoid duplicates, while perhaps allowing people to add reviews of particular places.
It’ll certainly scale down to smaller screens. I have it in mind that all the data will be accessible via an API, meaning you can build whatever you imagine with it, be it an app, or some other idea that no one’s thought of yet.
Hi @jamesmahoney, happy to help with this.
Sounds like you have a solution in mind, but if you’re not settled, and happen to be using Wordpress then I’d like to recommend something I’ve looked at in the past. A plugin called GeoDirectory. It allows users to add markers to a map, with various custom fields including images if available, but it also has built in review system, so other users can comment on places. Unfortunately it’s hard to fully appraise as the free version is too limited. Might be worth looking at?
My high level thinking on this is
- Admin tool for capturing locations. This would be used by people willing to curate all the location details
- Store this location data in a database someplace
- Expose the data via an API
- Put together a simple map page that uses this data e.g. search box so someone can enter a postcode and get details of nearby locations. Perhaps options to filter by tags e.g. coffee shop, bar, shop etc
- Initially host it here: http://chat.cymru/welsh/map.html
I already have a pretty decent nodejs site from a course I took a while ago - it was a site that allowed for users to add food locations and reviews, and a searchable map for finding them. It’s so close to a site to capture Welsh speaking locations that I can repurpose it without too much effort.
I’m not a Wordpress person so I’ve not considered that at all.
If you want to build a wordpress site to implement points 1, 2 and 3 above, that would be great! Just give me an API so I can use the data…
A few key requirements I’m aiming at with my stuff are
- No vendor lock in for data (the nodejs site I have stores its data in MongoDb, but it’s a trivial matter to export from here to some other data store if needed)
- API to expose the data to other people
- Cheap to host. http://chat.cymru currently runs for free on a combination of GitHub pages, Google sheets and Azure
I would be cautious about expecting volunteers to curate this. It might attract a few people initially, but most of them would soon get bored and you would ultimately be relying on a fragile group of maybe one or two people. Much better, I think to let users vote on the quality of submissions. Your tiny group of volunteers would then have the much simpler job of tidying up obvious trolling and vandalism.
I should have said “In the short term this would be used by people willing to curate the location details”.
Whatever I build will be as simple as possible because you might be right - maybe no one will be bothered to help run this kind of thing. I don’t want to build a sophisticated voting system only to discover there is only a tiny group of people interested.
Depending on the demand - and the workload it imposes - then the workflow can be tweaked in the future.
I think a searchable map of welsh speaking locations has merit - would be good to hear if it’s just me and @warrendavies though, because I have other ideas I’d like to put some time into as well.
I wouldn’t say it has to be sophisticated - just a “I’ve been here and there’s Welsh/I’ve been here and there’s only intermittent Welsh/I’ve been here and there’s no discernible Welsh” choice available to any registered user for any user-added location. That’s easier than a curation model, isn’t it? Or have I misunderstood?
And, yes, I think this would be very useful for learners who want to go out and find these valuable opportunities.
@jamesmahoney shame the map idea didn’t get into the Tricider that @leiafee set up. Having said that I see it as the first step in a ‘gamification’ project that came second (results here) in the ‘More people USING:’ category.
It could easily be used to start playing games for yourself, for example, I could try and visit all the locations in Denbighshire in one month. Or I could try and find three new places each month. etc.
I like that idea. You could even start getting clever - posters in each location with a QR code to scan with your phone, pokemon go style…
Brilliant! You could set up all sorts of challenges, your own personal ones, group ones, ‘rite of passage’ types, temporary ones e.g. at an eisteddfod. If the poster was kept behind the counter, then interaction in Welsh to ask to scan it is a conversation opener, and a way of the person in the location knowing that participating in the scheme is helping bring the public into their business.
But as you suggest, probably best to keep it simple at first. I like your proposed architecture, much more open than a wordpress plugin.
That’s still more sophisticated than a list of locations and an edit page
Curation in this case means there’s a human implementing application logic in version 1 e.g. they make the decision about vetting the grading of welsh from your example, or checking for duplicate locations. Yep, more work for the human but it means that the web site can be super, super simple, and thus quick to get in place.
Then if this gains some traction we can build that logic into the web app itself.
If the poor curator for a county is overwhelmed with 100’s of location suggestions a day then woo hoo, and yep, a voting system it is!
Maybe that’s innovative enough for the cymraeg 2050 funding!
Perhaps a chance for people with an artistic side to produce a variety of different posters, then your goal is to collect them all…
Just as a possible addition to this system, to feed into other projects (see voting results here)…
If every user has a profile, and a blog space, then the really keen user could upload stories of their travels and interaction experiences. The content of the blogs could then, with user permission, become part of the, ‘Profile success stories’ project. The system could also be used to identify potential ‘Local champions’ as part of that project.
Which could feed into the ‘Promote intrigue/challenge/fun’ project/theme.
I think an interactive map is a great idea. A voting style has merit but I’ve no idea about the practicalities so I can’t comment on those bits.
A map definitely gets a vote from me though.
The system used to set up personal or group challenges?
An area per user you can fill with your own content sounds interesting. There are a lot of “lesson progress” threads on the forum, and from time to time people post links to blogs they’ve set up documenting their Welsh learning journey, but unless you’re willing to scroll back in time through the forum all that stuff might as well not exist.
Something to bring all that together, or provide a place where it can live permanently, has a nice ring to it.
Though on this subject - a quick win would be to build an index of all this useful forum content, and then expose it some way. e.g. links to it from the profile success stories wotsit.
Could also look at a paper based version too. Just include a numerical code on each poster. This would help those without access to a smart phone, those not comfortable with technology, but also school and other groups.