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Website Updates:

January 23rd, 2012:
  • I've been bitten by the SEO bug a bit... and I am looking at adding a search feature to the site. Since most of my site is Javascript generated, I've noticed several shortcomings in my Google search results and specimen page titles. I may need to switch to server-side generation of the pages, but for now I've added a site map, dynamic page titles (though, I don't think that will help with Google), and have submitted a new set of pages to Google for indexing. I've also added an HTML version of the sitemap that should help with indexing, and also give people a one-stop page for all of the links on my site.
  • The floating footer at the bottom of my page was playing a bit of havoc with any links that were behind the transparent parts of the layer... so to minimize the issue, I've changed to a slitle shorter image by knocking the mountain range down a bit. This should minimize covering up any links behind the footer image.
  • On the home page you will see my "S" scale cube icon in the bottom right corner of the page (next to the word "Share"). This is a new "Add this" feature for Star Catching that will allow you to share my pages with any of the popular social network systems on the Web.
  • One last minor item: In order to adress a few layout issues, I've changed "Pallasite" to "PAL" and "Mesosiderite" to "MES" in the catalog of specimens. The long classification names were make the listing pages too wide in some cases.

August 28th, 2011:

August 7th, 2011:
  • Meteorite Collection data added!  I've added in the raw data for 86 NWA series meteorite locations into the Star Catching database. Still no pictures yet - just the descriptions, weights and specimens. I'm about half way through my NWA series, so look for more specimens soon.
  • Added the "Metachondrite" stone meteorite type to the Browse by Category Page:  I've been struggling with some of the different classification lists out there on the Web, and decided to lean my "by category" list towards David Weir's Systematic Classification of Meteorites.

July 23rd, 2011:
  • Meteorite Series Pages I've been struggling with how to add specimens from the big meteorite series (like NWA, Dhofar, Sahara, etc.) into the Website, and also how to handle some of the unclassified specimens that I have. The main issue was that many of these specimens would not end up on the world map since they rarely have coordinates. In response, I've created pages that show all the specimens that have for a given series, including a big dot on the map for that series. Not only will these pages give me a place to put all of the unclassified and un-maped specimens, but it is a nice learning way to learn about some of the history behind the desert meteorite series.

July 18th, 2011:
  • Meteorite Collection data added!  I've added in the raw data for 11 new meteorite locations, as well as some additional specimens, into the Star Catching database. Still no pictures yet - just the descriptions, weights and specimens. All of these locations are the "non" NWA series specimens. I will be adding the NWA series at a later date.

July 9th, 2011:
  • New Previous & Next Links on specimen pages:  Below the specimen name, there are two new links that will take you to the previous and next (alphabetically) available collection specimen. If you are on the first specimen in the collection, clicking previous takes you to the last specimen in the collection, and vice-versa. It gives you a much easier way to just look through all of the specimens in the colelction without having to go back and forth to the collection lists.
  • Meteorite Collection Statistics  Now, when you select any of the continent names to change the bar charts, you will see the matching list of meteorite locations for that continent below the charts. I thought that it would be a nice to see the specimens that are responsible for the viewed bar chart.
  • Added Main Menu Drop-Downs  When you move your mouse cursor over the top Main Menu items for "Collection", "Links", and "About" you will see a small drop-down menu that will let you quickly navigate to sub-pages. Saves you an extra click!

July 7th, 2011:
  • HUGE changes to the site:  Many of the changes were in the supporting code, thus transparent, but most will imrpove your browsing experience... Now that I have a more comprehensive set of meteorite data to work with, the old design of the site specimen lists proved to be a bit lopsided. The majority of the updates were to address this issue.
  • Browse by Location, Browse by Category and View Full List pages:  Changed to a new 3 column view for meteorite specimens to address previous design flaws. I've also simplified and normalized the listing of all specimens.
  • Smart Meteorites Browse by Category page:  Now, the "By Classification" tree nodes will only show the classifications that exist in the collection... For example, if I do not have any "Lodranite" Achondrites in the collection, the selection does not show up in the list.

July 3rd, 2011:
  • Meteorite Collection data added!  I've added in the raw data for 121 meteorite locations, covering 219 individual specimens, into the Star Catching database. No pictures yet - just the descriptions, weights and specimens. Now I have to start taking pictures!

June 25th, 2011:

June 19th, 2011:
  • New FAQ and Help pages: I've filled in the questions and answers on the Frequently Asked Questions and Star Catching Help pages. There is some great information on the FAQ page regarding meteorites, tektites and provenance. Make sure to take a look.
  • 70 New Photos & music:  I've added in 70 new photos with captions to the Star Catching Photo Gallery. The photos are in sorted by date and start from the very first day I started collecting meteorites to the present... and even one that transcends time and predicts the future... I decided to stick with a single gallery for now. Once the gallery gets too big, I'll break it into categories like Outreach, Friends, Collections and Miscellaneous. I also added a simple audio control bar to make viewing the gallery more pleasant. You can control the volume or pause the audio if you want to view the gallery without music.
  • New View/Hide Legends feature:  I've expanded on the legend that was on the photo gallery and the Browse by Location pages. Now there are legends for the Browse by Location, Browse by Category, Collection Statistics and Photo Gallery pages. I also took the time to make them show/hide in the same manner for consistency.

June 7th, 2011:
  • New About page: I've added more "about" info and change the layout of the page slightly. I'll leave the "under construction" paragraph until I've added a sufficient about of specimens to the collection pages.
  • Created Meteorite Collection LISTING page:  Mainly for convenience, I've added a new link on the collection page to see a simple listing of all meteorites in the collection. The list of meteorites is the same as what you can find on the browse by category and classification pages... I just thought a quick simple list would be nice for the visitors that don't want to bother with the map or tree features.
  • Created Impactite Collection LISTING page:  The impactite collection listing works the same as the meteorite collection listing, just using different categories (Tektites, Impactites & Featured Specimens.)

May 26th, 2011:
  • Cross browser support:  One thing I've noticed is that the flash-based gallery and "by location" collection pages did not work across all browsers. Specifically, the Apple based iPad and iPhone devices. For that reason I've made changes to the "By Location" map pages and the photo gallery. Also, since most mobile devices have some issues with the background header and footer elements on the pages (it has to do with the way pinch and zoom works on those devices), I've added code to detect a mobile device and to not display those elements. It cleans up the page for those small screens anyway... In the future I'll add more changes to show a simplified mobile device based Star Catching Website if I detect a mobile device.
  • New Help pages: I've added links to a few help pages to the Star Catching Website. I'll add in details of frequently asked questions and some basic hints and tips for navigating the Star Catching Website.
  • Updated Impactite & Meteorite "by Location" Collection pages:  I've added some browser checking code that will display a simplified JavaScript map for selecting continents if I detect an iPhone or iPad. It is not as robust as page users will see if their browser supports the Flash application, but at least it will not show up blank for their non-Flash devices.
  • Redesigned Star Catching Photo Gallery page:  I've changed the old Flash-based gallery to a more cross-browser compatible JavaScript based photo gallery where I can post pictures The available topics are education & outreach; my friends in the meteorite/tektite community; pictures of other meteorite collections (private & public); and a general category for miscellaneous pictures related to the meteoritic hobby.

May 2nd, 2011:
  • New Help pages: I've added a few help pages to the Links and Resources section of the Star Catching Website. I'll add in frequently asked questions and some basic hints and tips for navigating the Star Catching Website.
  • Redesigned Star Catching Photo Gallery page:  I've changed the old Flash-based gallery to a more cross-browser compatible JavaScript based photo gallery where I can post pictures The available topics are education & outreach; my friends in the meteorite/tektite community; pictures of other meteorite collections (private & public); and a general category for miscellaneous pictures related to the meteoritic hobby.

March 10th, 2011:
  • Created Meteorite Collection STATISTICS page:  Mainly for my own curiosity, I've added a new link on the collection page to see current statistics for the Star Catching Website collection. The statistics are based on the location (continent) and meteorite type (stone, iron and stoney iron.) You can also see a breakdown for each continent by total specimens, distinct locations, finds and falls.
  • Created Impactite Collection STATISTICS page:  The impactite collection statistics work the same as the meteorite collection statistics, just using different categories. For Impactites, you can see statistics are based on the location (continent) and impactite type (tektites and other.) You can also see a breakdown for each continent by total specimens and distinct locations.

January 19th, 2011:
  • Back to work (again)!  I've not worked on the Star Catching pages for some time now. I've spent some time reformatting and normalizing all of the pages to get a fresh look at the site and to make the plans to add the missing elements... mainly my tektite collection and some of the supporting pages, like galleries and the help pages. One thing to note is the change from Tektites to Impactites for my collection. When I was designing the categories views for my tektites, I realized there were some items that fell outside of the specific "tektite" grouping... So to be more accurate, I've backed up to the more generic term of "Impactite" to cover tektites, impact classes, and other terrestrial rocks like shatter cones and impact breccia.
  • Created Impactite WORLD View Collection page:  I've added in all the functionality for the impactites World Map. I'm still working on the collection data, but all the functions on the page work now. The new pages function much the same as the current meteorite collection versions, but with changes to locations and categories for impactites.
  • Created Impactite TREE View Collection page:  I've added in all the functionality for the impactites Tree View. In this page you can see the way I have categorized the different impactites. Since there is no formal classification category listing for impactites (just basic strewn fields and locations) and every location may or may not have it's own tektite name. I've tried to create an intuitive set of categories for the impactites, but since it is not as well structured as the current meteorite categories I had to make some assumptions. If you have any suggestions for category changes, please let me know! Now that the page is designed, the collection data is the next hurdle.
  • Created the impactite specimen pages:  I've based the new impactite specimen pages off of the current meteorite specimen pages for site consistency.

August 9th, 2009:
  • Updated Meteorite WORLD View Collection page:  I've added in all the functionality for the meteorites World Map. I'm still working on the collection data, but all the functions on the page work now, and most importantly, the new pages remember what settings you were last viewing! That will make navigating the site much more intuitive. Provide me with any feedback you have!
  • Updated Meteorite TREE View Collection page:  I've added in all the functionality for the meteorites Tree View. Again, the data is coming soon...
  • Updated Tektite Collection pages:  In order to put in a placeholder for the tektite collection pages, I popped in a little "TBD" page. I love the picture!
  • Simplified meteorite specimen pages:  I've simplified the meteorite colelction page in order to make it less "busy" and more intuitive. Less is more.

August 1st, 2009:
  • Back to work!  After a long hiatus, I've started updating the Website again.
  • Updated Collection page:  I've updated and changed the order of all of the site pages, including the "Collection" page - after all, that is what the site was intended to showcase.
  • New About page:  There is a new "About" page that is intended to tell you something about the site, something about me, and other background information (including "What's New"). Most of the information on the original "Home" page was moved to the "About" page.

April 16th, 2009:
  • New member of the family!  My son, Thomas William, was born today at 8:40pm, ET. Needless to say, we'll be busy for a while since this is our first child, and I don't have a clue as to what I am doing.

October 17th, 2008:
  • New collection feature:  There is a new "Tree" navigation feature that works very much like the tree navigations you are used to with your home PC. The new tree feature allows you to browse the collection by a multitude of categories including location, classification, featured items, etc.

October 15th, 2008:
  • CRASH!  I've suffered the indignity of losing my old computer to a hard drive failure. Unfortunately, I also was stupid enough to not have backed up ANYTHING in the last several months and lost most of the documentation for my collection and the work I had been doing for Star Catching Website. I'll be taking a long break while I pull the rest of my data-related life out of the gutter. As a side note, make suer to backup your computer frequently... it's important.

September 24th, 2008:
  • Updated About/Welcome page:  I've updated the About page with some more permanent information, including a "what's new" section that will show some of the latest updates to the site.
  • New "Whats's New" page:  In case you don't get a chance to come visit for a long time, you can always check out this page to see the progress on Star Catching. As I add new features and widgets to the site, I'll describe them here on this page.

September 20th, 2008:
  • New photo galleries:  Added a series of photos related to my collection. Make sure to click the "legend" link to see all of the features available in the gallery.

September 16th, 2008:
  • New Contact Page: Added a new contact email form. If you have any feedback or questions about StarCatching.com, please feel free to use this page to send me a note.

September 12th, 2008:
  • Completed Links Page: The final version of the listing of my favorite links as well as links to some of the organizations I have joined.

September 8th, 2008:
  • Meteorite Location page & Meteorite Specimen pages:  This release represents the most complete design of the Meteorite location and specimen pages so far. The lists of meteorites are dynamically generated depending on what you select from the available world map links. The specimen pages are also dynamically generated showing all available specimens and images. I've also added links to Google Maps and the Met Bulletin for each specimen. These two pages are the most complex on the site... the design may change as I add more specimens, but I believe this design of the pages is pretty close to the final version.
  • Prototype photo gallery:  I've added a new gallery page that currently features some placeholder nature shots. I'll replace those with a series of galleries related to my collection. This is a pretty full-featured gallery flash program that allows you to source the pictures and titles from online photo sources such as Fotki. Pretty snazzy.

September 5th, 2008:
  • StarCatching.com Launches! -- Welcome to my new website! 
    I've been playing around with a prototype of this site for a few weeks now, and I've finally reached a point where I could move the pages and code to www.starcatching.com and begin the crawl towards completion. I an attempting to create an interactive website to display my meteorite and tektite collection - not just a simple list of meteorites and tektites. There will be many updates (small and large) over the next month as I lock down the design and start inputting content to StarCatching.com for you to explore.


Please feel free to Contact Me with any questions!