Plant Database forum: Handling ranges in the database

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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Feb 4, 2015 7:17 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

We have a few fields in the database that are absolute values but really should be ranges. Plant Height and Plant Spread are the two main ones. Right now these are simply fields you type a number in. It's very useful information when you're looking at a plant, but completely useless for searching. Plus it has been a headache keeping those fields consistent, since anyone can type whatever they want into them.

What if we came up with a list of possible "Maximum Heights" and "Maximum Spread" options, and migrate the data into that? Then what I can do is update the search page to let you specify a range that will match anything inside that range? It seems like that would be the right solution for this problem. The only downside is that we'd lose a little bit of the freedom that a text box brings. You'd have to select the closest maximum height. We may also need a minimum height since plants can be anywhere inside of a range, and we'd need to specify the lower and upper range on a plant by plant basis.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
Feb 4, 2015 9:44 AM CST

Plants Admin

So this would be for the generic sections and not genus specific sections right? Iris and daylilies are already set with their registration heights.
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Feb 4, 2015 9:48 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Right, I'm proposing just the primary fields.

But if we liked it and wanted to do the same thing in the custom databases we would have that option.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Feb 4, 2015 1:30 PM CST
dave said:...

What if we came up with a list of possible "Maximum Heights" and "Maximum Spread" options, and migrate the data into that?
...
The only downside is that we'd lose a little bit of the freedom that a text box brings. You'd have to select the closest maximum height.


Are you saying that the "Maximum Height" field would be a radio button or a list of specific heights?

Why not make it a number, selected with a slider or a numeric input field?

Perhaps the input field could allow feet, inches, cm or meters, then convert to something consistent internally (like inches) for searching? The display could show inches for values less than 2 feet, and feet above that.

Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Feb 4, 2015 3:45 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Not a bad idea, Rick.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Horntoad
Feb 4, 2015 4:12 PM CST
I noticed on medical site where you input you height, they have one box for feet and one for inches. Like this one for BMI calculator.
Thumb of 2015-02-04/Horntoad/508cd2

You could do this for each of the Max. Height, Min. Height, Max. and Spread. If the plants max. height is eight feet they would enter an 8 in the feet box and 0 in the inches or it could be left blank. If it is eight and a half feet they would enter 8 in the feet and 6 in the inches. Repeat that for minimum height and spread.

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 4, 2015 4:23 PM CST
Dave, does the language you use include the "RUM" instruction?
That would speed up data entry and make it more reliable.

* "RUM" = Read User's Mind
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Region: California Plant Database Moderator Roses Irises Clematis Garden Photography
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Calif_Sue
Feb 4, 2015 9:04 PM CST

Plants Admin

Hilarious! classic Rick!!
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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Feb 4, 2015 9:56 PM CST
Hilarious!
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Feb 4, 2015 9:58 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Despite his goofiness (which we all love) he always comes up with great ideas from a fresh perspective. Thumbs up
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Region: California Plant Database Moderator Roses Irises Clematis Garden Photography
Cottage Gardener Keeper of Poultry Hummingbirder Bee Lover Butterflies Birds
Image
Calif_Sue
Feb 4, 2015 10:16 PM CST

Plants Admin

I agree nodding
My gardening Blog!
Hand sewn wares and vintage finds in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 4, 2015 11:30 PM CST
I tip my hat to you.


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