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Mindat catalogue system

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Jolyon & Katya Ralph November 26, 2008 08:32AM
I am ready to start private testing for the new mindat catalogue system and want maybe 5-10 people to volunteer to test the system.

It's nowhere near finished yet, but it is currently usable for entering and retrieving your mineral data, and over the next few weeks more features will be added including searching, reporting and import/export.

So I need people who

a) Are already familiar with how mindat works and have uploaded photos. Please do not apply unless you have had at least 20 photos approved on the site.

b) Are serious about cataloguing their private collection.

Getting involved now is a great way to help make the system work in the way you want it to!

All information in the catalogue system is confidential and not shown to other members. In the future I'll add a facility to allow you to share certain information if you wish to, but the default will be to share nothing except the photographs.

Jolyon



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2008 03:54PM by Jolyon Ralph.
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Marco Barsanti November 26, 2008 10:02AM
Hi Jolyon,

if the test envolves an apple macintosh, i could subscribe myself, if not, please, remember also thate we too are exhisting ;)
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph November 26, 2008 10:06AM
As it's built into mindat, it'll work on whatever computer system you have, PC, Mac, Linux, iPhone, etc, etc :)

Jolyon
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Steve Sorrell November 26, 2008 10:34AM
Hi Jolyon

I'd be happy to be a guinea pig...

Regards
Steve
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Simone Citon November 26, 2008 11:33AM
...so will be possible to print the labels of own samples? Simone
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph November 26, 2008 11:52AM
Simone,

Eventually - but not in the first version.

Jolyon
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Debbie Woolf November 26, 2008 12:26PM
It something I do need to do so I'd be a volunteer
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Paul De Bondt November 26, 2008 12:37PM
Hi Jolyon,

I am volunteer to. No problemo.

Take care and best regards.

Paul
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Kelly Nash November 26, 2008 01:15PM
I'd be happy to give it a try.
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Tony Peterson November 26, 2008 02:31PM
Jolyon - I'm a confirmed database geek with hundreds of specimens with photos; sign me up.

Tony
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Jeff Weissman November 26, 2008 02:51PM
Jolyon - Since I already have an extensive MS Access database, I would be more than willing to test out merge / data exchange / download features...

Jeff
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph November 26, 2008 03:15PM
Jeff

I'll let you know when that's available - it won't be just yet.

Jolyon
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Knut Eldjarn November 26, 2008 04:04PM
Hello Jolyon,

It is great that the project is under way ! I have waited with a digital cataloguing of my collection because I have looked for a system where mineral names and localties can be downloaded from a mother database making it much easier to use. I would be happy to contribute to your testing - if you need more volunteers.
Knut
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Frank de Wit November 27, 2008 09:14AM
I have time to test and a lot to upload winking smiley
Cheers!
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Joseph Freilich November 29, 2008 06:26AM
Happy to participate...Joe Freilich
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph December 10, 2008 01:08AM
First public alpha test is now available.

I am starting to use this to put my REAL collection catalogue in, so you can probably start using it for real - but I can't guarantee things won't break as it's still in test.

If you want to start using it go to:

http://www.mindat.org/catlist.php

(you need to be registered and logged in)

Joluon
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph December 10, 2008 01:09AM
To associate an existing photo with your catalogue entry, go back and edit your photo and fill in the field near the bottom for your catalogue entry number, making sure it's exactly the same as you've entered in the catalogue.

Jolyon
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph December 10, 2008 01:21AM
CSV import/export will come later. Maybe next couple of weeks.

Jolyon
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Mark Willoughby December 10, 2008 03:41AM
Howdy Jolyon,

Will be glad to give it a run, I might actually get the collection catalogued properly at long last...lol

Cheers Mark
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Jeff Weissman December 10, 2008 03:57AM
Jolyon Thank you for adding this very useful feature - some comments - the linkage with MINDAT locality does not seem to be working. Also, I am thinking of adding a "quality" field to my database, this would be useful as well, similar or identical to the quality field in the photograph.
Possible future enhancements could include 'cloning' a record and autoentry from locality pages.

Questions - will mutiple photos be able to be linked to a single catalogue entry? Will duplicate ID numbers be flagged.?

Again, thanks for this great feature!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2008 04:01AM by Jeffrey Weissman.
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph December 10, 2008 11:45AM
I'll look at the locality linking tonight.

Quality field is good idea.

At the moment it only shows the 'parent' photo, but 'child' photos can be linked to that in the normal manner. That can include, for example, photos of the label.

Cloning a record is an important idea, as for auto-entry, the most important way for this is to be able to auto-enter a catalogue entry from an existing photo you have previously uploaded as much of the information is already there.

Duplicate ID numbers will not be permitted (I can't remember if it stops them now or not, but if it doesn't stop them, it will very soon). I've been asked for a way of generating the next sequential number - but that isn't always easy (for example, some people use numbers such as 2008/CAN/044 ). Maybe the best thing is to display the LAST number entered on the edit page text so that you can then enter the next sequentially yourself.

Short term for me now is bug fixing and entering more of my collection data.

Medium term, import and export, and reporting (eg, print out list of all species that I own, and/or all species that I don't own, show me all specimens worth more than $400 in Cabinet A). Ability to flag specimens as 'for exchange', and to be able to have a public list of such specimens via your home page (with restricted view of details, so they won't see your original buy price, etc).

Longer term - set up templates for generating labels for specimens, editable with your own personal details, border styles, etc. Multiple templates for different purposes, such as micromount boxes, display labels, etc. Generate as PDF for high quality printing. Option for double-sided printing, so for example, on the back you could have the photo, dimensions and weight of the specimen to make it even easier keep labels and specimens together (handy for when you move things around a lot).

Jolyon
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Albert Mura December 10, 2008 02:14PM
Hi Jolyon, the cataloque is a great idea. I tried it and have one question. The mineral list function, mineral 1, 2 etc. does not seem to work. I can only put in a mineral under 1. Al
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph December 10, 2008 02:50PM
When you enter a mineral name, you need to then click the 'Find' button to find the mineral in the mindat database, choose the correct one (if there are more than one entry supplied - for example entering 'Apatite' will give a selection to allow you to choose from all the different Apatite names on mindat). once you have chosen one, you can then go to enter the 2nd, and so on,

If you enter a mineral name without clicking 'Find', it won't be saved with the record. But this does mean your names are validated and your specimens linked correctly with the mineral species.

Jolyon
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Karl Volkman December 10, 2008 04:03PM
have added a couple test entries and like what I see.

BTW Did anyone notice the first post has changed????
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Albert Mura December 10, 2008 04:13PM
Thanks Jolyon, I got it now. Is there any limits to the number of entries one can make?
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph December 10, 2008 09:21PM
No limits to number of entries.
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph December 10, 2008 09:27PM
Naughty Moroccan "hackers" removed (I suspect they got my email and password somehow. Now changed of course).

Jolyon
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Albert Mura December 11, 2008 12:14AM
I know I must be stupid but when I enter # 10 it goes after #1 instead of #9. Can this be fixed?
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph December 11, 2008 01:50AM
It's not doing that for me.

I added three minerals and listed in this order:

1
9
10

Are you including the # symbol as well? If it's not a pure number, it will sort alphabetically rather than numerically.

Jolyon
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Mark Willoughby December 11, 2008 05:53AM
Howdy Albert,

If you use your numbers as 0001, 0002...0010 etc they will stay in the correct order, the problem is actually the way that the computer 'sees' the numbers. Essentially if there is a 0 (zero) at the front the computer believes that this is part of the number.
This also negates the presence of a letter or symbol in front of the numbers.
This is the same with almost every numerical entry on any computer system.
Hope this helps.

Cheers Mark



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2008 06:15AM by Mark Willoughby.
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Steve Sorrell December 11, 2008 09:18AM
Hi Jolyon

For when you get time, how about on the list view, an indication that an entry already has a photo (if not too difficult)?

...and maybe in your longer term, if a photo is uploaded, and a catalogue number entered, and the owner has a catalogue, automatic generation of a catalogue entry. Many of the details are in the upload photo form anyway.

Regards
Steve
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Steve Sorrell December 11, 2008 09:43AM
Hi Jolyon

Query re changed mineral names...

As we know, names periodically change (eg: apatite group, IMA numbers, etc). Will they be changed automatically, or will they stay as entered?

If the latter, may need some sort of utility to find them?

Regards
Steve
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph December 11, 2008 10:59AM
There are different fields... you have specimen title, which could be

"Apatite on Quartz"

Then minerals you select, for example "Apatite-(CaF)" and "Quartz".

When the apatite group are renamed again, your title field will remain unaltered, but the "Apatite-(CaF)" will be changed to whatever the new (or original?) name is.

Jolyon
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph December 11, 2008 12:22PM
here are some examples of how things will be ordered in the system

1,9,10,20

T1,T10,T20,T9 (because it's listed alphabetically)

#1,#10,#20,#9 (again, because the # symbol makes it order alphabetically)

#0001,#0009,#0010,#0020 (ordered alphabetically)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2008 01:16PM by Jolyon Ralph.
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Albert Mura December 11, 2008 09:06PM
Thanks for the help, I did have a letter in the entry so that was the problem. I really like what I see so far and more importantly it solves a problem us MAC users have had with the lack of good software. Thanks
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Peter Nancarrow December 12, 2008 12:48AM
I like the idea Jolyon, but as I already have a collection database (using MS Works) with well over a thousand records (even though I am well behind with my cataloguing), I probably won't be in a hurry to transfer all my data into Mindat just yet! However, l thought I'd post a screengrab of my form to show what fields I have set up in case you might consider that any of them might be useful to add to your Mindat form. I will be quite happy if you choose to do so, but also will take no offence if you think this is a load of overcomplicated BS!

Although of course, features such as "single crystal", "pseudomorph", "type locality" etc, can easily be added as text in a "Notes" field, I find the check box fields save quite a bit of typing, and together with fields such as "cation" and "anion", allow me to compile more varied custom searches using the Works filters and reports: such as for example, "rock-forming minerals containing Cr or Ti"; "single crystals of spinel group minerals"; "Cornish minerals NOT containing Sn, W or Cu"; "self-collected pseudomorphs/type locality specimens/Li minerals" etc.

Having a field for "Micro Only" also allows me to keep all sizes of specimens in one database, but makes it easy to extract a list of those specimens which are only micromounts, as distinct from those micromounts which I have prepared using sub-samples from specimens in my primary collection, suffixed by "M" on the PN number, but with the "Micro only" field left empty.

Pete N.

PS (The Mindat logo in the "Links" area at the bottom right of the form is the icon for my hyperlink to my Mindat home page)
open | download - Database Form.jpg (270.1 KB)
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph December 12, 2008 10:10AM
The plan is that you won't need to specify which minerals in your collection are Cu or W minerals, because Mindat already knows that! Size searching is obviously coming too - all we have at the moment is basic filtering, more complex searching and reporting is on the way.

I think there is still benefit in adding a few custom fields that you can label however you wish - might do that over the weekend.

I don't want to make the form too complicated, but at the same time I want it to be useful for everyone - so are there other additions that could be beneficial?

Jolyon
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Jeff Weissman December 12, 2008 02:59PM
Jolyon - I prepare double sided labels off of my database, 21 to a standard US sheet of paper (archival, of course), 8.5"x11". Of course the order of the rows has to be reversed to get the corresponding labels to line up on each side, and each side needs its own margins set accordingly. Since this is highly dependant on label size, paper size, position of punch holes, software idiosyncrasies, and most importantly, printer specific, I would be hesitant to include double side printing as an option. I will post some images when I get a chance

I have separate lookup tables for localities, mineral names, varieties, and sources with addresses, which then autofill as I type in the information. The first three of course are what MINDAT excels at - having not to retype the source name over again for each entry would be a convenience. Having two or three custom fields would probably be sufficient, above what is already available.
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Jeff Weissman December 12, 2008 09:23PM
Other ideas - from the "Your Collection" page, make the locality a live link, opens in a new window, to the corresponding locality page, and likewise on the individual catalogue pages.

I like the way the "add a photo feature works", will you be able to "add another photo"? But, on the photo page, the locality information is not transferred.

Again, thanks for this great feature!
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Jeff Weissman December 16, 2008 08:59PM
Jolyon

Can you make this accessible from either the "My Home Page" or "Add/Edit data" pages?

thanks, Jeff
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Modris Baum January 02, 2009 08:10PM
Hi Jolyon,

Maybe this is already on the request list somewhere ...

Would you consider having (another) more generic "Size" field with selectable entries such as MM. TN. MIN. SC etc.?
Maybe I'm dense but I find it tedious to measure LWD for each specimen - and I don't think it's very useful for MM and TN specimens anyway. Size of largest xls can be specified in the "Notes" field but I think that having generic categories you can sort on would be useful.

Thanks - Modris Baum
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Modris Baum January 03, 2009 12:18AM
I'm using catalogue IDs such as ww1-01, ww2-11, etc.
When I try to narrow down my list by searching for, say "ww2" I get nothing. If I try "w" I get very strange results.
What am I doing wrong?

Thanks - Modris Baum
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Modris Baum January 03, 2009 03:51PM
Another request:

I like having a photo with catalog entries.
But it looks like adding a new photo uses the same form as normal "add" so that the photo could show up in the galleries and "New Photos". (Not sure if that's what happens - I aborted my first try.)

However,iIn many cases mindat already has many good photos of similar or better specimens and, all I want is a quick and dirty snapshot that would add little or no value for anyone except myself.

So: Could we have a check box for "Catalog Only" on the "add" form? (I don't think I even want to see such photos in my personal gallery - just the catalog. But maybe that's too iffy.)

I realize that there could be problems if folks were to make existing photos "Catalog Only" so perhaps something like "if view count <3".

Thanks - Modris Baum
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Marco Barsanti January 12, 2009 02:01PM
I quote Modris Baum and i ask also if there ia s possibility of linking own already uploaded photos to the entries of the personal photo catalogue...
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph January 12, 2009 04:08PM
For photos you have already uploaded, go and edit them so they have your catalogue number entered in the correct field (near the bottom). They'll automatically be linked.

I don't currently have any plans for you to be able to 'hide' photos from other people - if this is something people want in the future, then it may be a feature for an enhanced version you can pay to use (because mindat should not be covering the cost of hosting photos for your private use).

Jolyon
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Tony Peterson January 12, 2009 04:40PM
Hi Jolyon - trying not to be a pest but wondering when you'll be ready to test a spreadsheet upload module.

Tony
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph January 12, 2009 04:42PM
Realistically, not until I'm back from Tucson, export is more of a priority at the moment, and that's almost working.

Jolyon
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Modris Baum January 12, 2009 05:02PM
Hi Jolyon,

It's not that I want to "hide" photos. I just don't want to inflict "more of the same" or marginal photos on Mindat. But I do want a catalog system with photo linking.

I understand that if every photo could be hidden then Mindat could indeed wind up supporting private archives. On the other hand, low quality photos are apparently already being relegated to private galleries.

So the dilemma is "to post or not to post?" I guess the answer is "when in doubt, don't post".

On a different note: "Cloning" a catalog entry from an existing photo would be a great time saver. I think this is already on your "to do" list?

Regards - Modris Baum
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Sophia Shultz January 12, 2009 05:10PM
I don't know how many pics I have posted but if it works on a Mac I would love to give it a whirl.

Sophia
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Marco Barsanti January 12, 2009 06:00PM
Thank you Jolyon, i had not seen yet that option.
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Debbie Woolf February 18, 2009 06:12PM
Jolyon, could we have the links to add a new entry & change options at the top of the page as well please ?
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Debbie Woolf May 08, 2009 03:19PM
Any chance of some action on providing the links at the top of the page please ??? To keep tabing/scrolling to the bottom of the page is rather tedious.

:(
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Douglas Merson November 01, 2010 04:44PM
It is now approaching 2 years since the introduction of the catalogue system. Is there any time line for further improvements to this system or is it at a dead end?

Doug
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