In order to understand how to setup your own online recording using Indicia you first need to understand the key components that go together to build the system.
The main “guts” of Indicia are provided in the warehouse. The warehouse’s primary purpose is to store the records, including observations, species data, sites, people and lists of terms used in the data. When a recorder uses the online recording facilities on an Indicia site, they do not need to be aware of the warehouse as the web interface they use is kept completely separate. However, the warehouse does have its own administration interface which we will look at later, designed for use by people whose role it is to set up and configure the surveys that are being conducted.
Because the database used by Indicia is fully able to handle geographic objects such as site boundaries as it is fully spatially enabled, you can link the data in a warehouse easily to a GIS (Geographical Information System) application, Google Earth or online map. However this does mean that the technology used on the warehouse may not run on a typical low-cost hosted website account. Don’t worry though as Indicia was designed with this in mind. The warehouse can run on a different web server to your recording website so it can be hosted completely separately to your online recording website. A single warehouse installation can support multiple online recording websites making it possible for organisations that do have the capacity to host a warehouse to share this resource with other organisations which don’t. For example in the following diagram the warehouse supports 3 online recording websites for various schemes and societies (it could be many more).
The second component required of course is the online recording website itself. This is the part you will definitely need to build but Indicia is designed to make this as simple as possible. It is also designed to run on the vast majority of web servers including very cheap hosted accounts on shared servers. Because most of the hard work is done by the warehouse, Indicia does not place a huge burden on the server hosting the online recording website and only uses technologies that are more or less standard these days on nearly all web servers.
There are several possible approaches to building your website using Indicia, these include:
- Instant Indicia - the fastest and simplest way to get started
- The Drupal IForm module
- Using the Indicia programmers interface from your own PHP code
You can find out more about the site building choices in ../site-building/building-your-website.