Plants Map is two weeks old today. We’ll probably always remember we opened the doors so you could start adding plants on Super Bowl Sunday! We have a lot to tell you about and we also have an enormous list of people to thank. Let’s do the “Thank You” part first.
The Startup Weekend Fredericksburg team that kicked off this whole project at Germanna Community College, you are amazing too, and we know we owe you a big party very soon!
Thank you to Stafford County Extension Agent, Guy Mussey and the Cossey Park Arboretum in Fredericksburg, VA, for lending us your plant database to get the whole project started! We have some special plant identification tags for your arboretum that were donated by our users!
We want to thank everyone who took our gardening survey and those of you who emailed the survey link to your gardening groups, societies, associations and friends. The survey results are eye-opening! We’ll write a blog post later in the month with an overview of the results and share the name that is drawn from the survey takers to win the iPad Mini. Some of you haven’t taken the survey yet! It’s not too late for you to help out and answer a few questions about your gardening and plant habits! Consider this “Thanks” in advance!
Plants Map just opened two hours ago. Within a few minutes our first registered user, a Twitter follower and organic gardener from Minneapolis, started an onion collection. Another user that also found us on Twitter, an arborist and professor from Virginia Tech, signed up immediately and added a collection called the “Utility Tree Arboretum”, a collection of trees in the Hahn Horticultural Garden on the grounds of the university in Blacksburg, VA. Thank you both!
Anyone can now click Login at the top of the site and sign up for an account, create a Garden and then start adding plants. When you add a photo to your plants, then your gardens, collections and plants end up on the Explore page.
We’ll turn on the Discover section soon and that will allow you to make notes on your plants as they grow. Visitors to your plant page will be able to leave comments and ask you questions about your plant.
We have three main goals with this site.
- Utility – We want to provide people who garden, run arboretums and botanical gardens or just those of us who love plants simple tools to organize notes, photos and information about their plants, gardens, collections, wish lists, watch lists, favorites.
- Sharing – Gardeners are social people and we LOVE to share our plant information with other plant people. We also want easy ways to find out about the plants that other gardeners love. Plants Map is building the tools to do those things.
- Promote – Garden Clubs, Tree Volunteers and Tree Stewards, Botanical Gardens, Public Arboretums and Plant Societies are innumerable. We’ve found there is no easy way to discover who they are and what they do. Now there is! These groups are setting up free pages on Plants Map to tell our users about their mission and they are sharing their plants. We want to increase awareness of these organizations and help increase memberships in their groups and attendance to their gardens.
So, since Plants Map is now open and you can get your account and start adding your plants, we’ll sit back on the couch, turn on the game. Most likely we’ll have computers on our laps and be adding new features like social sharing buttons for Google+, Twitter and Facebook, reading the amazing survey results as they pop in, uploading a few more photos to our plants and all the while thinking about how we get seed collectors involved…