We just released a new version of SkyTruth Alerts, a service that notifies you about environmental incidents in areas you care about. It’s a tool we built to help us monitor environmental events in-house, and we’ve made it freely available to the public for the last six years.
We’re excited about the capabilities of the new Alerts — we wrote a blog post about it in November — and we’re looking forward to adding new features and alerts sources in the future. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know to get started with the new Alerts:
I used the original Alerts. Do I need to do anything to switch?
You don’t have to do a thing to continue receiving the same alert emails you’ve always received, although you’ll notice the emails have a new format. You can still view a specific alert by clicking on its link in the email.
If you want to add or change the areas of interest (AOIs) you monitor, or fine-tune the alerts you see or get emails for (a new feature), we now ask you to create an account. We only collect your email address, which we need to send you emails. We have plans to add features in the future that will also need a user account in order for them to work.
OK, so how do I register for an account in the new Alerts?
Go to SkyTruth Alerts and select Login from the burger menu. If it’s your first time here, click the Register here link to create an account.
The original Alerts worked fine! Why did SkyTruth create a new Alerts?
Web-based software has a pretty short life-span and the first Alerts system was getting harder and harder to maintain. Additionally, SkyTruth wanted to expand the number and types of alerts that we were saving as well as work on new features such as notifying subscribers when there is a change in their AOI. It became clear that the original Alerts wouldn’t be able to handle these additions.
Does the new Alerts do everything that the original Alerts did?
Almost! We’re still working on the API that a few subscribers used to integrate alerts with other software. If you spot anything else that we missed, please let us know by emailing us at email@example.com.
Until we have the API fixed, we’ll keep the original Alerts available at http://alerts1.skytruth.org. Note that this should only be used for redirecting the API and embedded links in KMZ/KML files. If your KMZ file contained a link to https://alerts.skytruth.org, you can still get it to work by pointing to https://alerts1.skytruth.org.
What major new features should I know about today?
- You can filter the alerts you receive emails for.
- You can filter the alerts shown on the map by type and date.
- You can create AOIs that are polygon shaped.
- You can choose a pre-defined AOI. Currently, we have states and counties ready and are working on more.
- We’ve added or restored alerts for:
- Oil and Gas well permits from West Virginia and Colorado
- Florida Pollution
Can you add alerts from other websites?
Yes! Let us know what a useful source for alerts would be and we’ll consider it for the future. That email again is firstname.lastname@example.org.