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Topic: Desktop tools - a perspective

Recorders are an idiosyncratic lot, I count myself as one, I've seen all sorts of methodologies, managing records in all sorts of database and spreadsheets and some stupendous results like distribution maps created entirely within the Excel mapping system, via DMap or the free GIS like Quantum.
I thought it might be useful to start a thread here about how some (well me) might be using desktop systems to do their recording. There's a move away from investment in desktop systems and a few examples of them might just be sufficient for funders to acknowledge their value.

2 (edited by Darwyn Sumner 14-02-2014 12:23:57)

Re: Desktop tools - a perspective

Here's my task for the day, to catch up on the R6 locations and events and make a start on popping in some records for 2012 whilst at the same time adding location data to the metadata on my photographs.
The status of my resources is as follows:
1. Lots of photographs organised in iMatch 5
2. Good set of tracks and waypoints recorded on my Garmin
3. A handful of specimens
4. Some field notes (somewhere)
So first I've opened up R6, poised to add new events to my 2012 Survey, opened iMatch and navigated to the Timeline for 2012 and selected Location from the Metadata dropdown, opened Garmin Basecamp, linked to my handheld unit so that I can display OS maps, and selected tracks, sorted them in date order, navigated to the first one in 2012 and clicked on it to zoom to the map. I've also got BSBI's VC finder open (http://herbariaunited.org/gridrefVC/) to help me put any R6 locations into the right VC

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Re: Desktop tools - a perspective

At this point I'm not so sure that the procedure will become too tedious, but here goes:
First Location + Event to be added to R6 is a famous botanical site I was shown (Llynclys Hill at SJ2686923964 according to my Garmin track). I've got to use the track because waypoints, if you happen to record them, don't record date and time (there isn't a field for date in waypoints - how dumb is that?). To allow GR to be copied and pasted, though, I've got to have a waypoint somewhere along that track (and if it's in my handheld unit I can also find it easily in the future). So the Location name (grabbed from Basecamp OS map) and GR is added to iMatch fields for my images (picture metadata doesn't have a field for GR except Lat and Long - how dumb is that?) so I've used the City field (hate having to do that sort of thing but camera manufacturers are a law unto themselves when it comes to metadata). I could automatically add the Lat/Long to my images via a system in Basecamp but the times have to match perfectly and it would only ever be useful if I wanted to add pictures to Google Earth (which hasn't got much appeal to me). So GR is copied out of Basecamp's waypoint and added to the BSBI utility to check on the VC. Unfortunately the waypoint GR has spaces in it and neither the BSBI utility nor R6 like that (neither correct for gaps - something's dumb there). Hand-deleting spaces is a pain in both R6 and BSBI utility, in the latter the focus from the input box has jumped to the map so it's even more tedious to correct, I'd hate to have to do hundreds like this, both would benefit from some sort of "space deleter". So I end up with Location details on my images, a location in R6 and I'll go for an R6 Event too (perhaps my guides will tell me they found a nice plant there (I wouldn't know, I'm an insect person)

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Re: Desktop tools - a perspective

Progressing through the iMatch timeline on my images, the next one to be dealt with is a nice landscape shot at Thornton Reservoir, images get their Location metadata, R6 already has this Location (I use the Garmin track information instead for my images bacause it precisely records the spot I took the shot) but I'll add an Event to my 2012 Survey just as a reminder even though it was too early in the year and late in the day for there to be any species I would wish to record.
Next Location is a serious one, I've lots of images of various species, records from previous visits, field notes and specimens. So Burgh-next-Aylsham details get bunged onto my images and and an Event is created in R6. This one starts a serious bit of recording, images back-checked against specimens (if any), notes and previous records together with careful examination of images to determine if they can be identified from what was snapped. An R6 Sample is set up, Taxon occurences added (including the recording of my unique image identifier in the Specimen tab as a "Photograph" and any specimen identifiers I have too - why "Specimen"? - shouldn't this be "Material" or "Evidence"? - which makes more linguistic sense).
Identifications are also added to iMatch's Category system (an hierarchical tree you can set up to your own interests, in my case Diptera taxonomy right down to species names).
I'll not get them all done today, I've pictures of molluscs, coleoptera and lepidoptera in this batch so they'll have to wait but at least the Diptera and Odonata are all done and dusted in R6 and maybe a few images flagged up for posting onto iSpot at some point, and if anyone wants full details of such a record, it's all there in the picture's metadata now.