Topic: Allocating VCs to records

Just wondering how others allocate records to VCs in R6.

I have a moth record which has a 1km grid square attached. The grid square is 90% in one VC (74) and 10% in another (73). I have preferred to derive VCs from grid refs - I usually just use the largest area of overlap as the record VC, or for six-figure refs or less allocate the VC based on the centroid.

Except this record causes me a problem in that it is from a published source that states it was in the 10% VC - a new VC record and to date the only VC record for that species. This is where the derived approach falls down, as the species is excluded from the VC74 list as this record would be allocated to the VC73 with largest overlap. Hmm...

I'm left with the alternative approach of storing the VC for the record in R6, either by linking to an administrative area directly for each sample or by assigning a VC via location.However I don't use the location hierarchy for every record (preferring to use just location name for many, particularly those imported from external sources such as national schemes, iRecord etc.) so allocating locations for every record would require a major change of approach.

So just wondering how others approach this? I'm expecting that many use the location hierarchy so I'm probably not going to like what I hear...

Mark Pollitt
SWSEIC (formerly DGERC)


Re: Allocating VCs to records

We don't - for that very reason!

(and not all of our recorders use the vice-county system, treating Lincolnshire as one)

I think the best solution is to use to Admin Areas if you want to store VC data against the records.

It would be relatively simple to create a batch update in Recorder to automatically assign the correct admin area (vice counties) based on the 10km (or better resolution if you added them) grid squares for the vice-counties already present in the location hierarchy. Any that overlap could be left blank - or both vice counties added - and a report could pull these up for manual editing.

Charlie Barnes
Information Officer
Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership


Re: Allocating VCs to records

Personally in this situation I think I would have pragmatically allocated a grid reference myself that is in the correct VC, chosen "estimated from map" in the spatial ref qualifier field and explained what I'd done in the comments and the fact it is a VC first. And ideally of course put the published source in the document field. Otherwise in 20 years when the record might be stored in another database some of that VC info may become detached from the record or not clear what was going on.

When I extracted data to make moth lists for Cumbria with the vice-counties in I think for the county verifier etc. I think I put overlapping records in both vice-counties rather than one or the other.

Teresa Frost | Wetland Bird Survey National Organiser | BTO
Other hat  | National Forum for Biological Recording Council
(Old hats  | NBN Board, ALERC Board, CBDC, KMBRC)


Re: Allocating VCs to records

One of the reasons I prefer to undertake my recording at 8-figure (or better) Grid Refs.  Must admit I have never understood why a lot of moth trappers do not record at 8-fig refs but often at 4-fig - the trap is often in their back-gardens and doesn't move so an 8-fig is simple and very accurate (for me a record is of an organism seen at a particular position at a particular date by a specific person).  This then, surely, makes attribution of VC very easy ??

Steve J. McWilliam


Re: Allocating VCs to records

Thanks Charlie/Teresa/Steve

If all records had an accurate grid ref this wouldn't be an issue of course, but dealing with many historical records vague grid refs are inevitable. And of course on this occasion the recorder has long since passed away so no way to get further clarification.

Mark Pollitt
SWSEIC (formerly DGERC)