Release Notes

Photo © Jesse Gordon

Habitat Network is a project in active development, which means we are constantly working to improve the software that powers the Habitat Network webpages. On a semi-regular basis, we update the webpage that you visit with a set of new features and, when necessary, bug fixes. Each version is assigned a number. You can browse through the release notes below to see what features have been added, and which bugs were fixed. Thanks for your help with improving Habitat Network!


July 2018

A sneakpeek of our new mapping platform. Introduces the “mapping wizard” to guide new mappers through the mapping process. Gives “instant feedback” as you map about what makes your map special. Available at


April 2018

  • Resolves depreciated snapshot service technology that was causing map images to fail. App now points to new snapshot service to deliver map thumbnails
  • Groups “member” pages now display an unlimited number of maps. Previously, the number of maps displayed was truncated at 15 lines
  • Added a security image model to yardmap backend so that the redesign app can get a valid jsession id using x site calls


February 2018

  • Fixes bugs arising in Safari browser. Specifically, Safari 11 does not support the css calc function.


October 2017

  • Updated the google API key in accordance with Google requirements.
  • Introduced some new error handling controls in order to help users have a more seamless mapping experience.


September 2017

  • Fixed data visualizations in the groups tool where misleading statistical summaries were being displayed.
  • Fixed bug where recently completed sites list was not displaying snapshots.
  • Revisited overload of error emails addressed in v1.8.9


September 2017

  • Fixed issue where secondary admins on groups were not added successfully.
  • Fixed issue where secondary admins were not receiving email notifications of new group members
  • Fixed issue where location for bird thumbnails was deleted resulting in no bird thumbnails in the app


August 2017

  • Fixes excessive error emails generated by the yardmap app.


July 2017

  • Updated New Account emails with Habitat Network language.
  • Allows searching by lat/ long in the map search. Coordinates need to be entered in decimal degrees (DD) (like this 41.40338, 2.17403) for them to work (Geographic Coordinate System WGS 84).


September 2016

  • New Planning Tool which let’s people set goals for their sites and indicate actions they are interested in taking.
  • New objects and a new habitat polygon as well as updated characteristics for sites/ polygons/ objects. Read more here.
  • Superzoom is fixed, again! Browse maps and zoom in with ease
  • An error that was causing Google Maps to fail when first loading the map was fixed. Related to how the application handles site clustering.


June 2016

  • Image gallery: Shows all the images participants have added to maps and allows you to search them by object and habitat type. Available at
  • Groups page now includes a way to browse all groups
  • Superzoom is fixed! Browse maps and zoom in with ease
  • Better highlighting of map objects on hover and click
  • Feedback button now goes to help page, which has email addresses to contact project staff


December 2015
This is a big one folks. We’ve been working on some of these features since last March. And we are excited to announce:

New Groups Tool
There are a great number of organizations doing invaluable on-the-ground work to change the way people use our landscapes. The Groups Tool is meant to support these efforts, while building our common data set to understand how these changing landscapes impact birds and other wildlife. This new section allows users and organizations to create groups, and visualize collective data, and member sites on a map.

Read this article introducing the Groups tool. There are additional articles that cover Creating a New Group and Joining an Existing Group.

    Changes to how you interact with the map when viewing and editing objects

  • Removes Silver Oblong Tree-tags as the mechanism for interacting with maps. Now instead, when you click on an object on the map, it automatically loads in the Site Explorer
  • Dragging an object on the map also “selects” that object in the Site Explorer Habitats & Objects list
  • Objects now glow “yellow” when selected on map
  • User can now see a new geometry in the Habitats and Objects menu as soon as it is created on the map
  • Icons in the Site Explorer are standardized to match the map
  • You now edit and delete your sites from the Site Explorer using the “info” button to access data entry, and the “trashcan icon” button to delete

Additional Changes to App

  • New Menu Bar in App
  • Changes “Community” to “Forum” to make it more clear what to expect behind the Navigation Options displayed at the top of all our pages
  • New snapshot icon (camera replaces scissors). Use it to update the snapshot of your map after you make edits
  • Lock/ unlock all check box for editing in Habitats & Objects list
  • Reset to “all” (like “show all”) button in Habitats & Objects list to help navigation
  • Removes “heads-up” dialogue box that would automatically show-up when you zoomed out on the map
  • Fixes notifications for when a site that has been deleted is trying to load on the map
  • You can now access direct site links with click, or right click on the “direct link” text in the Site Explorer
  • Full text search in Groups
  • Only shows species names for plant objects, rather than for ALL objects that could be added to a map


August 2015

New Learn Pages

New Learn Pages

Photo ©
  • Revised Learn section to improve content development
  • Articles that provide vivid images along with easy to use search engine
  • Categories of topics of greatest interest to users: Native Plants, Healthy Ecosystems, D.I.Y., Cover, Water, Food, Birds, Pollinators, Design Advise, Mapping, Other Wildlife.
  • Ability to comment on articles and interact with other YardMap users


July 2015

New Home Page

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 10.34.37 AM

Photo ©
  • New, interactive, scrolling home page
  • Updated, clean, and modern look
  • Inspiring messaging to inform new users


August 2014

YardMap icons, clockwise from top left: apiary/bee yard, flower box/container/planter, bat house, bee nesting block

Photo © Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • New Object Icons voted in by our participants now available
  • Menus can now be navigated by keyboard command
  • Ecoregions (for instance those in Alaska) that don’t have an associated pollinator guide are now fixed


April 2014

  • Adds the ability for a user to click on any object on a map and have the information about that object (be it tree, lawn, etc) load in sidebar.
  • Improves the notification capabilities in the Community. Now when someone comments on a note left on a site the site owner and other participants will receive email notifications (if they have their settings set to do this).
  • Adds USDA Plant Hardiness Zones to the local resources tool


December 2013

  • Repaired superzoom issue to allow users to zoom in past satellite imagery provided by google (bug fix)
  • Moved Badges higher in the site explorer
  • Updated historical badging so everyone gets their badges now
  • Repaired issue with user profile in site explorer
  • New “About” page dropdown with links to downloads, videos, and group info
  • Refined zip code tool for better access to local resources (bug fix)
  • Fixes issue with objects failing to appear when a large geographic space is covered between map views
  • Fixes a bug where the characteristics where not loading in the info-windows (bug fix)


November 2013

  • Adds a new left side-bar with extensive site-explorer functions
  • site overview promo

  • Adds a new “site explorer” drop down menunew site explorer
  • Adds a tubular flower object
  • Replaces social network notification of badges with a list of earned badges in the site overview
  • Fixes a bug with how characteristics were displayed in Firefox
  • Adds fine-grained editing controls for turning on and off map layers to make drawing easier
  • Improves YardMap function in Safari 5


July 2013

  • Updates YardMap to version 3 of the Google API
  • Undo button for each action taken when using the drawing tools
  • Ability to grab and drag site lines, habitat polygons, as well as objects
  • New mechanism for adding objects to maps; activate object tool, and click-drag to place the object at a custom size and shape
  • Markers now indicate when they are loading site information with a bounce
  • Better clustering to marker relationships internationally
  • Improved site linking</>
  • Less opaque objects for better map visibility
  • Two new cactus icons</>
  • New overview map in the bottom right corner to help visualize location while mapping
  • SuperZooooom! Smoother zooming for detail work on YardMaps. Allows users to zoom into existing satellite imagery beyond the resolution given by Google Maps.


April 2013

  • Restores the ability for users to share images of their YardMaps on Facebook (bug fix)
  • Improvements to site linking from the community
  • Repaires a problem with map objects which were not displaying properly on the map (bug fix)
  • Sets the local resources page to automatically display results for the default zip code of the user (for the explore drop down menu)
  • Updates the geometry table
  • Fixes the species submission field in the info-window (bug fix)
  • Fixes the map zoom bar positioning
  • Fixes a bug where the characteristics where not loading in the info-windows (bug fix)


December 2012

  • Adds Seeds of Change program to YardMap Community Social Stream
  • Healthy Yard Badge
  • Cat-free Zone
  • SoilSmith
  • Green Power


January 2013

  • Added a new vine icon to the objects you can add to a map
  • Fixed an issue in the characteristics section of the infowindow that allowed self-awarding of badges


December 2012

  • Adds a streaming social bar to the right-hand side of the screen when viewing the map. Allowing participants to see what other participants are commenting on in YardMap. Participants can click on usernames to visit participant profiles, or on links to other participant’s maps
  • Adds link-sharing for users who are logged in, wanting to share links to content for users who are not logged in
  • Closes quickstart by default, and some improvements to onscreen tutorial
  • Improves custom titling of map objects so that custom titles appear correctly in the social network and on the object treetags
  • Changes default view in the social network to “everyone” stream, rather than to a logged-in user’s personal wall
  • Improvements to loading messages on initial load, and when moving between maps
  • Added screenshot service for maps – allows users to ‘share’ an image of an actual map drawn with YardMap to Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter
  • New landing page to display screenshot images via a link included with shared maps
  • Bug fixes to improve user experience, like linking to maps via URL from the social network
  • Eliminated the need for links to maps to open a new tab or window. Now these load in the original YardMap tab.


June 2012

  • eBird: Refined eBird functionality
  • Major infowindow upgrades (Overview tab)
  • Added Habitat Pie Chart
  • Made it so infowindow live-updates any characteristics, including custom titles which are set by the user
  • Added sign-out link to error page
  • Fixed megadrop display bug
  • Replaced “My Profile” tab with “Community” Tab
  • Added local birds to My Local Resources Page
  • New help page content
  • Updated the Average American Yard Infographic


August 2012

  • Fixed several bugs with the map markers (for instance solving the frustrating problem of clicking on a cluster marker – circle with number in it – and having it zoom the map to a point where no individual map markers could be seen). This also included a fix for a problem that arrose when someone double clicked on a map marker.
  • Updated app with new loc jar that uses the new pure oracle support for creating locs. This included an update to Spring 3.1
  • Fixed quick steps errors
  • Added Guidelines of a Full and Complete YardMap”
  • Added Challenges Pages


April, 201

  • Removed the ability for a user’s recently viewed sites list to display deleted sites.
  • Added ability for users to disable aerial (oblique) imagery on the map
  • Turned on auto hide option in the dirt bar at the bottom of YardMap
  • Adjusted the trigger-finger editing of map objects (trees, etc) to improve user experience (make it more difficult for them to accidentally edit an object they weren’t intending to edit
  • Fixed problem where users were able to create citizen science accounts with characters and spaces which were not recognized by the social networking platform (and therefore caused errors for those users)
  • Resolved memecache errors
  • Resolved high zoom level bug


September 2012

  • Added esc key functionality when using mapping tools. Pushing esc immediately exits user from tool.
  • New and improved error messages when something has failed to save (or meets conditions that will affect it being saved), when someone chooses to delete a map, and when an object is ‘too large’
  • Fixed bug where right clicking while digitizing caused an error
  • Moved site markers from the center of maps to a vertex on the site line (only for newly drawn sites, sites created before this update still show the site marker in the center
  • Updated site markers to new style
  • Changed the location where objects (trees, bird feeders, etc) are dropped onto the map from the location of cursor, to the centroid of the object
  • jquery updates (1.7)
  • Re-added Google analytics and javascript error-tracking code
  • Added size restrictions to sites/habitats/objects
  • Fixed scrolling bug in Firefox