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News from the LDWA

New look Local Group Websites and Walks Database launched today

Posted on 2020-04-24

To all LDWA Members

I hope you are remaining well in these strange and worrying times.

On a more positive note, I am pleased to advise that new look Local Groups websites and a new Walks Database function were successfully launched this afternoon.

The refreshed websites have been spruced up to make them look more modern and to more closely resemble the National website, which we refreshed last year.

The new walks databases - one for each Local Group - contain information about all of the 14,000 or so social walks that Local Groups have organised since 2008.   And the new system allows the Local Group admins to upload GPX files, photos and walk reports to these pre-exisitng details, helping to create a rich new resource which will hopefully be a valuable asset to the LDWA for many number of years to come.

The key to making the Walks Database is a success is to start adding walks information to it.    So if you have material (photos, notes or GPX files) that you would like to upload, please send them through to your Local Group Walks Secretary, who can arrange this for you (NB Please check with them first - many are somewhat snowed under by work pressures at this moment of national crisis, so please respect that).

There are bound to be things wrong in this initial release so if you find anything please let us know by reply tby email to .  But if there are things that you just don't like very much, or which you would prefer if they were a different colour, please bear in mind that our capacity to make changes is somewhat limited now.

You can access the Walks Database from your Local Group home page by pressing on the "Walks Database" menu item which should be third or fourth from the left on the main menu bar in the middle.

You can also access the Walks Databases for all the Local Groups directly from the National website via a new menu item under the "Local Groups" menu dropdown (  

Thank you to all the many Members who contributed feedback and development suggestions.   Special thanks to the technical developers at our IT Supplier, Mobius Media, and most particularly to Gerry Jackson in South Wales Group, who pioneered the walks database concept.

To whet your appetites, you can view the details of a walk from the London Group in 2014, so you can get an idea of what the database can do.   Click here to check it out.

Please note a couple of things:
1.   I am writing to you in my capacity as recently-retired LDWA National IT Officer.   Madeleine Watson has taken on my responsibilities (on an interim basis) now that I have left, but the NEC asked me to finish work on this new functionality before I finally leave
2. You are probably aware that we are seeking to drive down IT expenditure in order to save funds for a complete rebuild in a few years time.   As such, it is anticipated that this will be the last major new functionality added to the LDWA websites for the foreseeable future.

Stay well

Adam Dawson
Former National IT Officer

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