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Why a database?   Well a database seems like a neat way to organize and retrieve my hiking / climbing / skiing stuff...   and I also wanted to try my hand at some mySql, PHP and javascript.

So for five months during the winter-spring of 2012 I engaged in a bloody, bruising battle with mySql, PHP and javascript. (I have new found respect for those who develop databases for a living.)

So far my database only contains information on about 100 destination / routes but I hope to expand it to about a thousand distinct trips eventually.

The main purpose of my design is, at preasent, to easily reach my pictures and slideshows but will eventually include trip reports and stories. Others will have enirely different purposes for having a database.

The first design is set up for use on a desk top/laptop computer or tablet where one can display detailed information and uses dropdown selection boxes. I am evaluating two database screen layouts which are based on suggestions by Franklin Bradshaw with simpler layouts that should work well on tablets and may even work on smartphones (although I would need a magnifier to use them). The fourth layout provides only a simple search of the database (a provision reached through the map page on designs 1 and 2).

I realize that many will likely want to organize their data differently depending on their intended use of the data, the geographical locations involved, what types of information they want to store and how they want it retrieved and displayed. But databases can facilitate the development of widely varying designs.

At present I am using only one database containing data on destination / routes, mountain (or other geographical) area covered, type of trip (hike, scramble, climb or ski), length of the trip, regional information (North Cascades, Central Cascades, Olympics etc) and the state or province. I have also included a 'map feature' for use on a computer but have also attached it to one 'smartphone' version just to see how they handle it.

Type 1) shows all 44 mountain area on the dropdown list unless one goes to the map page to limit the list to one of 9 regions. Type 2) puts all 9 regions in a bar above the selection area and Type 3) puts all the selections into a radio button format. Type 4) is simply a database search screen.

Most will wish to add many more types of data organized into multiple databases with different GUI's (graphical user interface) but that is for the future.

You are invited to try out these different database versions and send me your comments, criticisms and suggestions.

Don Duncan   May 30, 2012

case screenshot

1) desktop/laptop/tablet

case2 screenshot

2) desktop/laptop/tablet

case4 screenshot

3) tablet/smartphone

database search screenshot

4) desktop/laptop/tablet/smartphone