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Clean Water Evaluation App Completed Print E-mail
Written by Matthew Heaps   
Thursday, 16 June 2011

Matthew HeapsDuring our last LDSTech Conference, a small project team led by Hilton Campbell, Steve Mann, Simon Kerrou, and Jeff Macmichael used advances in smartphone technology to develop a Clean Water Evaluation app. The app will increase the efficiency and timeliness of project reports for the Church’s Clean Water Initiative.

The team started developing the app during the conference and finished it within six weeks after the conference. After the app is integrated into a Church database, it will be released officially.

The Church’s Clean Water Initiative is involved in over 50 projects annually that bless more than a million people. The projects are designed to provide sustainable access to clean drinking water in communities where clean drinking water is largely unavailable.

Currently senior missionaries visit a sampling of water projects and fill out a paper evaluation form. The form often gets torn, crinkled, soiled, or lost. The evaluation forms that actually make their way home have to be entered into a spreadsheet, thus increasing the inefficiency of the process with a double-entry.

Meetinghouse Webcast Software Update Print E-mail
Written by Jacob Stark   
Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Jacob StarkOver 7,000 webcast events were generated in 2010, and today there are close to 800 stakes worldwide that are currently using either the Webcast Communicator device or the Meetinghouse Webcast software.

Under the direction of the stake president, webcasting allows you to broadcast stake meetings to other buildings within your stake, reducing travel burdens and saving money for local members and leaders.

For geographically large stakes, or stakes where the entire membership cannot fit into a single meetinghouse at one time, the Meetinghouse Webcast software enables you to broadcast a meeting across the Internet at no cost to the ward or stake. (Note: Webcasting any meeting must be approved by the Stake Presidency prior to initiating the broadcast.)

Joseph Smith Papers Website Officially Launched Print E-mail
Written by Patrick Dunshee   
Thursday, 09 June 2011

Patrick DunsheeThe Joseph Smith Papers website, which has been in beta since October, was officially launched last week.

The purpose of the Joseph Smith Papers project is to make widely available all the writings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The goal is to publish meticulously prepared transcripts of every document Joseph Smith wrote, dictated, or had others write for him, along with detailed notes helping explain the context and substance of the writings.

The project also includes documents Joseph Smith received and kept in his office, such as incoming correspondence. Much of the content will be published in 20+ printed volumes, but the website will contain the comprehensive set of documents—thousands in all—free of charge.

LDSTech Video Interviews with Community Volunteers Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Tuesday, 07 June 2011

At the last LDSTech Conference and the May Service Day, Alan Smoot and I recorded some quick, informal interviews with a number of on-site participants at the Riverton Office Building. You can watch these videos below. There are 17 videos in all, each about 3-5 minutes long.

The Recreation Properties Application Project Print E-mail
Written by Steve Knudsen   
Friday, 03 June 2011

Steve KnudsenThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns or manages over 150 properties dedicated for Young Women Camp. Although most of these properties are in the western United States, some are operated in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and other countries.

Some of these properties are immense, with thousands of acres and camping space for thousands of young women at a time. Some have large lodges, cabins, or dormitories, with indoor plumbing, hot showers and commercial kitchens. Many other properties are much smaller with simple improvements such as a covered pavilion, basic restroom facilities, an outdoor amphitheater, fire pits, outdoor water spigots, and picnic tables.

Although some of these properties have a web presence through sites developed and hosted by BYU and other sites, these websites are dated, and in many ways insufficient for the needs of the properties. Many properties have no web presence at all, and are therefore underutilized, especially on weekends and holidays.

The purpose of the Recreational Properties Project is to provide a common website for all recreational properties, which will facilitate greater utilization of these wonderful camping locations. The website will provide a Google Map function, with a tent marker showing the location of each property. Each property will have its own page with photos and descriptions of the facilities, activities, and camp sites, as well as information on camping capacity. Maps of the property, and directions to the property, will also be included.

Most importantly, this new site will provide an improved scheduling function supporting the priority scheduling of week-long Young Women camps, and Church sponsored activities. After Young Women camps and Church sponsored activities have been scheduled, families and groups will be able to use the site to search for available dates and locations when the properties can be used for a nominal fee. Payments will be made through the site, supporting unit-to-unit funds transfers for Church sponsored activities, and credit card payments for other group and family reservations.

The features of this new site will be implemented over the course of the next few months, with added features provided in several regular updates. The initial release will use a very basic brochure-type layout, with a simple property description, GPS coordinates, a representative photo of the property, and contact information for each property. This brochure will also provide a property announcements feature. Future updates will complete the brochure by adding additional details regarding individual campsites, facilities, activities, maps and directions.

Participants on this project will join an enthusiastic group of developers, testers, designers, and other tech-savvy members.


To get involved in the Recreation Properties project, sign in with your LDS Account in the sidebar, and then click Projects at the top. Click the Projects subtab to see a list of all community projects. Scroll down and click Recreation Properties in the left column. Then click Join.

The LDSTech Scheduler Project Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Austad   
Friday, 27 May 2011

Bryan AustadWhat in the world is LDSTech Scheduler and why would I want you to join the project? Let me start by telling you who I am and how the LDSTech Scheduler came to be.

I'm Bryan Austad, I've worked for the LDS Church for six years now.  I can't believe it has been that long.  I currently am the division architect for the Ecclesiastical Division in ICS.  I first came over as a team manager, and was able to build my own team and was promised that this would be a hands on coding managing position.

After some time, I found myself managing the General Authority, Temple, and other Operations portfolios.  This turned into managing the development for all the Ecclesiastical portfolios. I was being pushed farther from the code.  (I'm wondering if they were trying to tell me something.)  I've been told that once you go into management, the technology and coding slips through your hands like sand.  I have an incredible passion for programming and had to find ways to stay in the code.

The Digital Investigator Management Project Print E-mail
Written by David Armstrong   
Saturday, 21 May 2011

David ArmstrongIn this article, David Armstrong, a solutions manager for missionary applications, talks about the Digital Investigator Management project — a project that could have a major influence on in-field missionary work.

What’s the goal of the Digital Investigator Management project?

Participants on the Digital Investigator Management project will help design an application that in-field missionaries can use to capture and track information about their investigators in real-time on mobile devices during the day.

This application will alleviate the paperwork associated with recording both contact information and the teaching progress of investigators. That paperwork is often incomplete and out of date because taking notes during the day and then transferring them to the required forms in the evening tends to be inefficient.

Church News Article on the LDSTech Conference Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Thursday, 19 May 2011

Article from Church News and EventsThe Church News & Events section of featured an article, Tech Volunteers Building the Kingdom, about the recent LDSTech Conference. Here's an excerpt:

Four hundred volunteers from around the world came together in Riverton, Utah, USA, on March 31 and April 1 for the annual LDSTech Conference.

The volunteers, up 250 from last year, worked on 26 technological projects for the Church during the conference.

“[These projects] are a way for the technological community to step in and connect with the ongoing advancement of the Church, hone their skills, and consecrate their time and talents,” said John Edwards, director of emerging technology for the Church. “The LDSTech conference is [a place] for those with technological skills to come and give back.”

Read the full article.

LDSTech Conference Stats and Analysis Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Thursday, 05 May 2011

Update on LDSTechLast month we held the second annual LDSTech Conference. Here are a few facts and statistics about the conference.

  • Number of attendees: 286
  • Peak connections to the keynote stream: 85
  • Total participants (attendees + stream): 371
  • US states attendees: Utah, Montana, Pennsylvania, California, Washington, Texas, Arizona, Nebraska, and more
  • International attendees: Canada, Australia, Mexico, England, and more
  • Number of projects: 26 plus a few ad hoc efforts

These numbers are all up from last year. During the past year, we had only 10 community projects and 200 attendees. (We could have expanded the conference with more attendees, but we hit full capacity for the year early on in the registration.)

As general feedback from the conference, individuals reported the following:

  • They were able to do more work this year than last.
  • The conference had improved from last year.
  • More events like these would be more beneficial (rather than just once a year).

Based on this feedback, we have started a monthly LDSTech Service day. Thank you to everyone who participated in the conference. We captured a few informal video interviews with various participants. We’ll be posting a few of these videos every day during the coming weeks.

New Features on LDSTech: Send E-mails to Entire Team; Select Your E-mail Address Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Wednesday, 04 May 2011

LDSTech has several new features for community projects. Project managers can now send e-mail messages to their entire teams with one click. Additionally, you can select the e-mail address used in your LDSTech profile as long as it exists in your LDS Account.

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