To better understand changes in our rat and mouse populations, we have created a mobile phone app. Friendly Area Neighborhood residents can use it to provide simple presence-absence data about rats and mice they see in the neighborhood. It's a simple but powerful open source app that runs on iOS and Android. You don't need to be a scientist—this is a participatory science experiment for the general public. Your help and patience as we get it implemented is greatly appreciated.
A rat observation takes typically 1 to 3 minutes to enter. Your observations will immediately show up in our app database. We are eager to see our data set develop.
Additionally, we are also looking for individuals to be part of a more formal data collection team with training, regular meetings, and online bulletin board discussion. This formal team will be following stricter protocols to create a data set that can be compared to the public data collection. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining our team. Kids 13+ are welcome on the formal team with parental permission (see form)
Step 1. Install EpiCollect5 for Android or iOS.
Step 2. Click on "Add Project" and in the "Search for a Project" Field type in Friendly and then press on Rat Monitoring in Friendly in the list of search results to add it as a project.
Step 3. Click on the Projects link to go back to your list of projects. From now on, you see Rat Monitoring in Friendly in your list of projects. Each time you want to contribute a rat observation you will: a) open the app, b) click on Rat Monitoring in Friendly, then c) press Add Entry.
If needed, step by step instructions follow.
Step 4. Now you are ready to do a practice entry. Click Add Entry. Allow EpiCollect5 to access your location data if asked.
Step 5. Advance through each page by pressing the Next> arrow. You can press <Prev to go back and change an answer. If a field is required, you cannot advance until you have provided an answer. On the date and time fields, the current date is provided by default. To change them press on the field; a scroll menu will appear and you can navigate to the correct date and time. On the Location field press "Update Location." Photos and videos are optional. Limit videos to 30 seconds please.
Step 6. In the notes field type PRACTICE ENTRY if you are doing the practice entry exercise.
Step 7. When you see the "Save button" at the end of your entry, press it to have your entry recorded.
Step 8. If you see the message "You have unsynced entries" and a button that says "Upload Now", press the button when you have an active internet connection. If your observation includes a photo/video, you will be prompted to upload each item separately.
Step 9. If you are only planning to use the app to contribute informal rat (or mouse) observations, you are all set for reporting and do not need to do anything else. If you would like to participate in our formal data collection team, please do Step 10.
Step 10. To participate in our formal data collection team, you will need to have a Google account (it’s free) so you can login into the app and website. You don’t need to have a Gmail address to have a Google account. Email email@example.com from the Google account that you will using to login. Indicate that you have downloaded the app and you want to be a part of our formal data collection team. He will be in contact with you about a short training and the team’s online bulletin board discussion.