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NYS Falls 2016: deprecated… NYS Falls 2017: Upgraded…

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New York State Waterfalls 2018: Mind Blown!!!

I (Edward M. Smathers… or just plain Ed ūüôā … Talking here) believe we made a mistake and did not update our user base on how phenomenal of a year 2017 was for us. Before I get too far off track, I wanted to update everyone on the finer points of what has been happening with Dig The Falls. Read all the way through: I promise it’s great information.

We made huge strides in the way we managed our database by migrating our data to ArcGIS mapping platforms. Upon other upgrades, we got rid of our Godaddy Hosting and updated to DreamHost, which has been a blessing to the speed and reliability of the Dig The Falls website.

“Our original goal was also to gain 501c3 status…”

As a group and team, we have made some very critical decisions in focussing our energies to¬†help focus our efforts in raising funds and also volunteering to better the waterfall areas we so love to share information about. We decided to take a step back from the New York Waterfall Coalition (which changed names due to legal restrictions). Our original goal was also to gain 501c3 status last year, which just wasn’t achievable¬†within the budgetary constraints, website upgrades and the other projects that were being planned and executed for 2017. It was a tough year, but a fun year of learning for all of us.

Frustration did set in at times and several scheduled events (which were only known to the team) had expired, and are still being worked on. Some other big scheduled releases did make it to you, the public, though! We were able to release one of the largest map updates/upgrade since a few years back. The initial version was released using Google Fusion Tables, which served its purpose well. The final version of this map revision was released Late 2017, with some added functionality, and a whole heap of new information. It was an amazing feat that was completely owed to how great a team Dig The Falls is!

“…people are more interested in volunteering their time.”

And then there was the removal of all our store items, t-shirts, cups and other items that did not seem to interest most of our steady followers. It turns out that people are more interested in volunteering their time. Imagine that!! We even took a poll and it was overwhelming the number who chose that over any other way of contributing to Dig The Falls. We are truly blessed with the caliber of people who choose to follow us!

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Where is this exciting big news that is supposed to blow your mind? The good news is, I predicted it in one of my earlier Facebook Posts (of course I cannot find it at the moment…), BUT we have finally topped out at over 3,000 individual locations for New York State Waterfalls!!!! I believe mid-2017 I had stated that we would be over the 3k mark. As of January,¬†we made it there.

This was due to a collaboration that spanned a decade or more of communication with some of the most enthusiastic waterfallers you could ever know! Scott A. Ensminger, Russell Dunn, Steve Young, Bobbie Sweeting, John Haywood, Stash Rusin, Julie Hughes Romano, Jacky Machell… The list goes on and on!

I do have to place a special “Thank You” to Bobbie of Bobbies Waterfalls for spending literally HUNDREDS of hours with the list, verify information, cleaning up mistakes, combining the list with her personal database of information and many other tasks she had taken on to complete projects that were tasked to her.

Croton Gorge Park

Another HUGE “Thank You” goes out to John Haywood for writing some beautiful blogs and road trip guides. He personal quadrupled the web traffic we had pulled in past years! Coupled with the site upgrades and other actions we were able to obtain the highest search ranking Dig The Falls has ever achieved at any given time. Incredible!

Each and every member of the team plays a specific roll. We will bring them up any and every chance we get in future updates. Until then, keep your eyes peeled for the newest version of the Public Facing New York State Waterfall Map!!!


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