Using Volunteers to Monitor With Landscape (Article and Video)

Many organizations use Landscape to aid with their volunteer property monitoring program. Here are some tips and various features to help your monitoring season go smoothly.


1) Set up a Volunteer user group.

If you're concerned about volunteers editing or deleting records, you should create a 'Volunteer' user group and set all permissions to 'none' except 'Stewardship Edit', which you should set to 'Team'.  This will prevent users from editing anything except for Stewardship Sites to which they belong as a team member.  Learn more about adding users and setting up permissions here.




After you add the volunteer monitors as users, you'll need to go through and add them as team members to the Stewardship Sites to which they are assigned.




You can do this in batches from views if you have a lot of sites to assign to particular monitors.


Here's a short video covering that workflow:





2) What is the 'Portal' experience setting?

When creating a user group, you can also define the 'Experience'.  If the experience is set to standard, the volunteers will still be able to see all of the records in your account, including properties and projects.  However, if you set the experience to 'Portal', a user will only be able to create and review site visits for Stewardship Sites to which they are assigned as team members.



This is an example of what a 'portal' user sees when they log in to Landscape:




'Recently Completed Site Visits' displays all of the site visits completed on Team sites within the past year.

Clicking on or creating a new a site visit takes you to the regular site visit view.  The 'Library' button on the left gives the user access to documents which have been toggled for mobile availability, and the 'Report' button functions as normal, so the user can still generate and sign the final monitoring report, or send it to another staff member for review and finalization.  Note that you can make select reports visible/not visible in portal view by changing the 'Available in Portal View' option in the report template to 'Yes'/'No'.




A portal user can also see and interact with geography related to the Stewardship Site, so for example if photos are stored in an issue area, they'll be able to see, review, and edit the geography-associated data (like description, etc.) though they won't be able to change the location information.  They can also review contact information for a parcel by clicking on the parcel outline: 




3) Using the Mobile App with Portal View / Limited Permissions

The app functions exactly the same regardless of what the user's 'experience' is set to, so volunteers can follow the same instructions for use as standard users.  However, it is not possible to create site visits for Stewardship Sites where they are not listed as a Team Member:



This is what a volunteer sees when they select a stewardship site to which they are not assigned.


Note that a volunteer can still see the boundaries of other stewardship sites.


The easiest way for a volunteer to see the sites to which they belong as team members is to use the 'Show Team Sites' button, which appears when you select the search bar at the top of the screen: 




The user can then review site visit information, access information, and other relevant site details as usual:




Also note that any user can create and see issue records from within the app.


4) Tracking Report and Site Visit completion

If you want to know when a volunteer has finished a report, you may want to make reviewing the report a part of your workflow.  Simply ask the volunteers to send the report to you using the paper airplane button at the top of the screen after they generate the report:


You will then receive an alert that you have a report to review. From there, you can either save the final copy to the correct location using the .pdf button, or send it back to them with comments.  More on the report review process here.  

If you want to be aware of the most recent Site Visits, you may want to make a 'recent site visits' widget.  Start with a view of 'All Site Visits', add a few of the fields that you want to view -- 'End Date', 'Status', 'Personnel', and 'Owner Record Name' will probably be useful.  And then sort it by 'End Date' by clicking on the column header. You can then save the view to your dashboard, so that every time a Site Visit is completed, it will appear at the top of the list:



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