On May 2, 2023, Plants Map announced the unexpected closure of their website due to a server crash. No data was lost, however, QR codes on plant tags became unscannable and the user portal was no longer accessible.
Plantsoon, a company specializing in a similar domain, explored the feasibility of taking over Plants Map’s data and operations to ensure continuity for the affected customers and users. Given the similarities between the two platforms and data structures, Plantsoon decided to carry on the operations of Plantsmap. All of Plantsoon’s resources are now being devoted to getting Plants Map users back up and running as soon as possible.
Below we try to inform you as clearly as possible about the progress of the migration and provide you with answers to frequently asked questions. We will also regularly send a newsletter to former Plants Map users explaining our progress and decision making. Are you also a former Plants Map user? Please contact us below and put “Newsletter” in the Message field.
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact Plantsoon at email@example.com or via the contact form below. If you have an urgent need to have your QR codes scannable again, please reach out to us via firstname.lastname@example.org. We will contact you as soon as possible.
The Plantsoon team
We will provide updates on the migration progress for prior Plants Map customers via the Plantsmap.com website. We will also regularly send a newsletter to former Plants Map users explaining our progress and decision making. You can sign up for the Newsletter via below contact form.
We believe that the risk of a server crash or other technical issue is considerably lower at Plantsoon for a variety of reasons including our team, our technology development, and our funding structure. We have a five-person founder team and two employees. All of our technical development is done in-house. Our team has extensive experience creating and managing international IT projects, including in the eco-sector. We use robust high-end back-up technology such as Microsoft Azure. To support our work, we recently received funding and recognition from the Belgian government as an innovative startup. We do not rely on any external investors, so we can focus first and foremost on developing a quality product and a sustainable business model.
The migration process entails five phases. We will first complete the full migration process for organizations before moving on to individual user accounts. We will not advance to the next phase unless the prior phase is complete for all organizational accounts.
The full migration process will take place as follows:
Phase I: Migration of all organization’s plant records with one photo. The plant record will include:
Phase II: Collections
Phase III: Landing page
Phase IV: Migration of any additional photos you may have uploaded to Plants Map.
Phase V: Dashboard access
Phase VI: Go through the same migration process for individual user accounts.
When your plant record is available again, the record will include:
Here are some sample web scans of plant records we have migrated:
Plantsoon has a focus on the ecological experience as well as a scientific approach. The Plantsoon database uses a core database with plant masters enabling the analysis and exchange of holistic data. Once a unique plant is entered into the system (genus, species, ranks below species, cultivar…), other users who have the same plant will link to that plant master. Our system is built this way to ensure that the scientific names of plants are correctly depicted and formatted and to enable research in the future. We use World Flora Online (https://www.worldfloraonline.org/) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (https://www.gbif.org/) as references to create our plant masters. We further consult specialized online databases to find correct trade names and cultivar names.
In case of any disagreement with organizations about the correct naming of a plant, we are happy to work with you. Please contact email@example.com.
Below we provide an example of a web scan and explain what information is imported directly from the Plants Map database and what information is added by Plantsoon.
Acer buergerianum ‘ABMTF’
This information is imported from Plants Map from the field “title.” Usually this includes the plant’s English name and sometimes also the botanical name.
Acer buergerianum Aeryn® (=’ABMTF’)
This data is added by Plantsoon and follows worldwide convention for plant naming, pulled from World Flora Online, Global Biodiversity Information Facility, and specialized online databases.
The name includes:
Sapindaceae (Soapberry family)
This data is added by Plantsoon and follows worldwide convention for plant naming, pulled from World Flora Online and Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
We do not charge a fee to migrate your plant records.
To add or edit plant records, you will need dashboard access. We cannot provide dashboard access until the migration, including the transfer of all pictures and collections, is complete. That is because if organizations start making edits while we are still migrating, this creates discrepancies which in turn can create issues. If you have a time sensitive need to add or edit, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes. Public landing pages will become available in phase IV of the migration.
Any ArbNet accredited arboreta that have used Plants Map for your labeling, please be assured that your accreditation is still valid during this transition period. Any questions, please contact ArbNet at – email@example.com
Our current QR tags do not redirect to other pages, so in that sense they are not dynamic, but the plant records can always be edited and updated. The most up-to-date information will be displayed when the QR code is scanned. We currently do not provide an option to use dynamic QR codes to customers because it introduces a dependency on another company’s platform.
We have access to all the data logged at the time of the Plants Map server crash, including your plant records, pictures, and collections.
We have a few exciting things on our product roadmap.
Plantsoon is headquartered in Belgium. The United States was on our radar for future expansion, but not our initial area of focus. However, this direction shifted dramatically when Plants Map encountered operational difficulties. Plantsoon stepped in to assist former Plants Map users. We’ve had to make some tough choices in terms of what work to prioritize, and we decided that our number one priority was to get Plants Map users back up and running as soon as possible. The QR codes on the Plants Map signs oftentimes have educational or commercial uses, so we committed ourselves to the primary goal of swiftly restoring service for Plants Map users. To ensure the functionality of these QR codes and to cater to our expanding customer base, some other work had to be put on the back burner for now. We chose to inform former Plants Map users primarily via the Plants Map website while slowly improving the English language version of our website and marketing as time permits. To enhance our engagement with the U.S. market and streamline communication with American customers, we have brought Heidi onto the Plantsoon team. With her dual Belgian-American heritage and having spent the last 17 years in the United States, Heidi is exceptionally well-positioned to understand and navigate the nuances of this new and important market for Plantsoon.
Because of the Plants Map migration, our focus is entirely on moving former Plants Map customers onto our platform, so their plant records’ QR codes/urls regain functionality and their collections and public landing pages can be re-established. The migration is going well, but the number of records is quite high, and we are estimating to be able to onboard new customers in the latter part of the fall. At that time, you would be able to create an account, get dashboard access to add and edit plant records, and create collections. If you have a time-sensitive project, we can work with you by providing you with an Excel template for new plant records which we’ll upload from the back end. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact Plantsoon at email@example.com
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact form below.
We will contact you as soon as possible.