Outreach Grid's Encampment Tools allows users to mark locations in their jurisdictions where those who are experiencing homelessness may be sleeping overnight. By logging these locations and their activity, service workers can easily find and visit these locations to provide much needed assistance to those who require it. This tutorial will cover the Encampments dashboard and the multiple ways that encampments can be added to the system.
The "Encampments Tools" are found in the third tab in the dark blue navigation bar on the left of the screen. There are two subsections, "Encampments" and "Contributed Locations". We'll begin on the "Encampments" page.
The "Encampments" page opens to a map of all camps in your Outreach Grid network. In the upper right corner, there are two buttons: "View Map Legend" and "Show/Hide Map". Clicking the "Show/Hide Map" button will make the map invisible and will turn the button green. To make the map visible again, re-click the button.
The "View Map Legend" opens a module that introduces the map tools on the left and right borders of the map. To learn more about these tools, the maps, and their features, please review the article "Using the Map in Outreach Grid".
The "Encampments" page also features a full list of the camps in the network. The list is separated by tabs into "Active", "Inactive", "Closed", and "Reopened" camps. Each individual camp appears as a camp card, with the camp's status(with the color in the progress bar being the color of the balloon marker on the map), the camp's title and description, and when the camp was created. The camp card also has an icon, which is either a small map of the camp's location, or if the camp has an image associated to it, an icon of the image.
On the "Encampments" page, under the map and above the list of camp cards, is a large green button labelled "Add Encampment". Clicking this button opens a dropdown menu with four options. There are four ways to add an encampment on the Outreach Grid platform: manual entry, image upload, CSV upload, and by creating a new camp from a contributor submitted camp.
Clicking "Manual Entry" will open to a new page to create a new camp. This page features a map and a form with four fields: "Camp Name", "Location", "Agency Jurisdiction", and "Description".
Begin by clicking the balloon marker on the map and dropping a pin on the location of the camp. This will update the location field with the latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of the camp. The agency jurisdiction field will also note if the location is within the jurisdiction of your Outreach Grid network.
After placing your pin, you can now name the camp and provide a description in the appropriate text boxes. When you have completed these steps, click the green "Submit" button to save the camp.
To create a camp by image upload, you must first have a geotagged image of the camp saved to your device. When taking an image of a camp, please make sure that your device has location services enabled. Click the button labelled "Choose File" to open your device's library and find the image you wish to upload. After selecting your image, click the green "Submit" button to create the camp.
You will be redirected to a page to edit the camp's information. By default, the camp will be named according to the name of the image file uploaded and the location field will be populated with the latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates embedded in the photo. You can change the name of the camp; and should the location appear incorrect, you can use the map to update the coordinates.
You should also take this time to enter a description of the camp in the appropriate text box. When you have completed editing the camp, click the green "Submit" button to save the camp.
The third method of camp creation allows users to upload a correctly formatted CSV file to create camps on the Outreach Grid platform. This method is useful if there is locational data that you have previously collected that you would like to import into Outreach Grid. This method is also beneficial in that you can add multiple camps in a single upload. Below is a screenshot of a sample CSV file:
Outreach Grid requires that the headers for your CSV include 'lat', 'lng', 'name', 'description', and 'jurisdiction'. If your file has additional headings, your file can still be uploaded; however, only the five fields mentioned will be saved as data to the camp.
Before uploading your file, you can first validate it to ensure that it meets the same data standards of the Outreach Grid platform. In the gray area under "Validate File", click the "Choose File" button and find your CSV file in your library. After selecting your file, click the orange "Validate File" button. If your file needs to be corrected, an orange banner will appear at the top of the screen noting changes that need to be made to the file. If the file can be uploaded to the Outreach Grid platform, a green banner will appear at the top of the screen noting that your file has been validated.
After validating your file, you can then process the file. In the gray area under "Process File", click the "Choose File" button once more and select your file, then click the green "Process File" button. Your camps will now be uploaded to the platform as Contributor Locations. Continue to the next section to learn how to turn those Contributor Locations into Encampments.
Adding an encampment by "Submitted Camps" brings you to a page titled "Contributor Submitted Locations". This page can also be accessed by opening the "Contributor Locations" tab in the navigation bar.
This page shows a map of all the camps in the network, as well as all the Contributor Submitted Locations. These Contributor Submitted Locations appear as pink balloons on the map. They may be locations added to the network by contributors, or locations that were added to the network by CSV upload.
The locations are sorted in four tabs. The first tab lists all the locations that have been contributed in the last 10 days. The second tab is a list of all contributed locations that have yet to be reviewed. The third tab is a list of the contributed locations that have been converted to camps in the network. The fourth tab lists the contributed locations that have been closed by users on the network.
The locations are visible as cards and have the title and description of the camp, as well as the user or contributor who submitted the camp and when the submission occurred. The card also shows a tag in the upper right corner distinguishing whether the location is "New", has been "Associated", or has been "Closed".
A "New" location is a location contributed to the system that may or may not be an encampment. To associate or close a camp, open the contributed location by opening the link in the title of the card.
You'll be taken to a page with a map centered on the contributed location. With the applicable layers enabled on the map, you can see the boundaries of the jurisdictions of your Outreach Grid network, any agencies, and all the camps in the system.
This page also features a summary card of the contributed location, an area for comments and media, and a tab labelled "Associate Location". There are three options available under this tab: "Set As New Encampment", "Merge with Existing Camp", and "Close Contributed Location".
The "Merge With Existing Camp" option allows users to merge the contributed data from this location with a camp that has already been entered into the platform. If you see a camp on the map that matches the contributed location, select the camp from the dropdown list and hit submit. You will then be forwarded to the profile for the camp to which the location was associated.
If after visiting the location, you determine it is a camp and it cannot be found on the network, you can create a new camp by clicking the green button in the "Set as New Encampment" section. Clicking this button will use the information from this contributed location to create a new camp. You will also be forwarded to the new camp's profile.
If after visiting the location, it is determined that this location is not in fact an encampment, you can select "Close Contributed Location". After closing the submission, you will no longer be able to add comments, media, or associate the location. The card for the contribution will now be stored in the "Closed" tab on the "Encampments" page.
This concludes all the methods available to add an encampment to the Outreach Grid platform. Once your camp is created, you can now view the camp's profile, complete work on the camp, or note encounters with clients at the camp. For more information about other Encampment Tools in Outreach Grid, please visit the "Encampment Tools" section of this help center.