The Tower Sheet includes all the towers in the world where the bells are rung in either the English or Veronese styles.
Here is a screenshot of a small part of an example sheet:
You will receive a unique website link to your copy of this Tower Sheet ready to personalise. Tower visits are recorded by inserting the date when you first rang there, or just a mark such as an x if you haven’t kept the dates. As soon as you mark a tower it will be highlighted as in the example above, and your running total of towers will be shown at the top. There are additional sheets with lists of all the mobile and mini-rings; those which you mark as 'rung' will also be added to your tower total.
You can add personal notes in other columns - for example peals, quarters, competitions or special ringing, or use columns for recording other information.
If you have visited a lot of towers marking them off can take a while, but it is a pleasant job enabling you to re-live many (hopefully) happy memories. You can take as long as you want; your data is saved as soon as you enter it, and the map is automatically updated every hour or so.
Updates to the tower spreadsheet will be sent from time to time for you to implement, or you can keep right up to date by adding information yourself from the Dove website. It is also possible for you to add extra towers to the spreadsheet: for example you might have rung at a tower no longer in existence and therefore is not shown on the current Dove database. Full instructions will be provided with each order.
The tower data comes, with grateful thanks, from Dove for the English-style towers, and I have compiled data from various sources for the Veronese-style towers (ASCSV, SCV, Matteo Padovani, Livio Zambotto), and added the locations. The data for English-style mobile and mini rings comes from Michael Williams' webpage.
The distinctive feature of Towertracker is that as you add your visits to the Tower Sheet, they are automatically differentiated on your personalised world map. You will receive a unique link to this - I suggest adding it to your bookmarks (computer) or your homepage (phone or tablet). All the towers are plotted accurately (nearly 8000 of them) with different coloured markers to show the number of bells in each tower.
The map can been zoomed in using the + / - controls, by clicking on a cluster, or by pinching on a phone or touchscreen. The towers are shown on a Google Map, so you can zoom right in to building level and even use Street View or a satellite view if you wish.
Symbols appear inside the map markers to show unringable towers, towers where you have rung, and towers where you have rung but which are now unringable.
The screenshots below show the map at various zoom levels and with different options (the actual definition is of course much better than I can show on a screenshot). Click on the navigation arrows:
At lower zoom levels the towers are clustered to make the map more legible and efficient. When zoomed in to any desired level the points can be de-clustered to show the individual towers.
Filters can be applied in any combination:
Where can I buy Towertracker?
Towertracker costs £10.50, to cover the mapping charges. Please see the BUY tab
Can I have a trial version?
No, sorry, this is not easy to arrange. But if you find it doesn't meet your needs I'll refund your money and delete your spreadsheet.
Can I use Towertracker on my phone or tablet?
Yes, it works fine on either. On my low-end Android phone the map takes about 10 seconds to load. On my laptop using Firefox or Chrome, about half that.
How frequently does the map update from the Tower Sheet, and what if there are problems?
It takes approximately an hour for changes to show on the map. If your map does not seem to be updating please contact me and I will sort it out. Glitches with Google are fortunately extremely rare, so it is most likely to be something on your sheet.
What kind of spreadsheet is used?
The spreadsheet is hosted on Google Sheets. It is similar to Microsoft Excel or Libreoffice Calc. If you are not used to this it can be strange at first not having a 'save' button... but it is being saved as you type.
Do I need a Google account?
Yes. You will need a gmail address to be able to write in your Tower Sheet because it is held as a Google Sheet. If you haven’t got a gmail address you can easily get one for free.
Do I need to know how to use spreadsheets?
No. Just go to the link I give you in your web browser, sign in to Google if requested, and mark the towers you have been to - a modern version of ticking them off in Dove's Guide. For updating tower details I provide a detailed step-by-step guide. If ever you do get stuck I’ll try to help.
What is special about Towertracker? After all, it uses ordinary spreadsheets and Google Maps!
I initially developed it for my own ringing records, and soon discovered how difficult it is to get a lot of points to show up on a map. It is possible to use free software and open source mapping, but it is very difficult to get all the features and the speed of loading which I want. So I worked with the developer of an extension to Google Sheets to enable this to happen.
So could I just develop my own version?
Yes, but it would cost you an annual fee to use the mapping app, and you would have to start from scratch!
Aren't other ringing apps and programs already available?
There are great apps like Bell Finder (Android) which show the English-style towers. Dove of course is the definitive data source, and there are future plans to enable you to be able to download a list of towers you have visited from the Dove website. But as far as I know no other app or program allows 'your' towers to show up on a map in the way Towertracker does.
Where can I get help if I get stuck?
I will be pleased to help by email. Please contact me
If you'd like to buy a copy of Towertracker for £10.50, please click on the checkout button below. You will be taken to a secure payment site to fill in your card details and gmail address.
I will then set up your personal copy of Towertracker and email the unique links to you. I will normally do that the same day, but if there is going to be a delay for any reason (I might be out ringing...), I'll let you know.
(If you'd really like a copy but have a genuine reason why you can't afford to pay contact me in confidence and we'll see what we can do!)
If you have any queries or problems with the purchase, please contact me