Can I also check how I can access the Android application...
Hi Graham, thanks for trying it out. You are right about updating the already posted record. We are working towards a two-way synchronisation, so whatever is edited on iRecord website would also appear on the app, but that is still further ahead. It also does not sychronise other information like saved locations, records on other instances or anything similar.
Is all this two-way synchronisation really needed? I would see the App as purely an "in the field data entry" system, leaving all the bells and whistles and everything else that needs doing or editing to be done in iRecord itself. At what point do you stop building features into the app and just say "Use native iRecord"?
Hi Matt, that's a good question about the two-way synchronisation. The main reason is that if a user has two devices and uses them both to record, then one would naturally expect the records to be synced between the devices and/or the website. This is a standard how cloud based systems work, so there is an expectation for that to be in there too.
We could leave the app as it is now - basic, though I don't see any harm on adding the bells and whistles as it would not change the existing core functionality. Both, the battery and inputting time should not be affected, similarly to the processing power needs as it is a very lightweight app with little graphics or data processing. It could possibly affect the network connection requirements, but only when synchronising and this could be disabled on 3G as an option. Plus, the data exchange is relatively lightweight as the textual information does not have any impact on bandwidth and the graphical (photos) changes on records occur relatively rarely.
But maybe there is something else that I am missing, then let me know.
Hi Karolis - thanks for your comments. I hadn't actually considered that a recorder might use 2 different devices with the iRecord app. I suppose there might be an expectation for the two to synchronise if this is an industry type standard but I suppose it depends how you look at the app. If, like me, you see it purely as a field data entry tool then I would equate it to using a field notebook. If I took a different notebook out one day I would not expect to have to copy information from 1 to the other to bring them in synch. I see the App as purely "Record your sighting - send it off to iRecord - done". No more than that needed. Any changes or editing you do on iRecord itself.
Having said that, my wish list for the app still includes:
a) user defined "favourite" species lists that I can scroll through, select Species 1, Species 2 and Species 4 and have the app generate 3 records but only have to fill in the location data once.
b) The facility to lock/remember location names.
c) dynamic pages for different groups, if I record a bee then I get presented with the various fields BWARS would like to see.
Hi Matt, thanks for putting the wish list to app issue tracking system. I have broken them down to different feature requests there.
Just re-found this thread, and thought I'd try out the web version on my iphone. I admit I've only skim-read the thread, but I think I saw something that said I'd need to make a new account for testing purposes, which I did (after I'd recorded three trial items). That seemed to have worked, and I got an email in response to setting up the dummy account, which linked to the irecord site, but then I couldn't use that userid to log in. So now a bit confused. Is it possible to view the dummy records somewhere, other than in the input page? I think it must be, because someone else mentioned editing them?
I'm not too keen on "let's add one" either! Not that important, but it is there all the time, and already a bit irritating. :)
Can I sign up somewhere to test the ios app when it comes out, please?
The app is now on the app stores:
iOS - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/irecord-app/id1094633183?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo...
Android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.ac.ceh.irecord&hl=en
Hi, I've downloaded the app for Android and have started using it. I was wondering if there was an option to submit the records with an OS grid reference as opposed to Lat/Long. The records appear to have an OS grid ref on my phone but when I log in to iRecord website to view them the coordinates are displayed as lat long.
Appart from that annoyance the app seems to work really well :-)
Thanks for your feedback. You can switch a GridRef<->LatLon option in App Settings, but this would only change the way a location is displayed on your phone. The record would be still sent with latlon as its primary location and an attached calculated Gridref as a separate attribute.
Using the map and the gridref tabs as locaion sources should really have the primary location set as gridref and that is one of the issues that I still need to solve. Thanks again :)
Thanks, I'd found the option to switch on Grid references on my phone. I was just a bit surprised that after having done that my record was still being displayed using Lat/Long on the website and not the grid reference displayed on my phone.
So is the plan then to offer the option to the end user of using BNG as the default coordinate reference system? If so that would be excellent and would make the records gathered integrate far more easily with existing data.
Yes, but not to GPS sourced locations. The plan now is to make a map click and manual GR enter add a GR as primary location to the record and the GPS option would add a precise LatLon point instead. I hope that makes sense :)
Ok thanks, that does make sense. Good luck with developing the map click option - one of the issues with Indicia based web sites on a mobile device is the finger tapping to click is bigger than the grid square, resulting in multiple squares being tapped and the web site not registering any of them!
As a general point though why will the app stick to LatLon for gps sourced locations? Is it an accuracy thing? The vast majority of records so far gathered in Britain have an OS grid reference, I was just wondering why this app and a number of other iRecord apps seem to use LatLon by default.
Yes, it partly because of the accurracy, a point rather a square, but possibly more important is the fact that it is easier to develop software with LatLon. That's because all the mapping and other libraries that the apps use has much better support for LatLon rather than GR.
Thanks for the explanation. I'd personally prefer to see GR as the default as having to manage my records in 2 different coordinate systems is a bit of a pain (my existing records are in GR apart from the new ones I've started entering in iRecord based apps). GR has generally been the default coordinate reference system used for terrestrial biological recording in Britain so it would be good if the apps could use it as a default.
Grid Reference should be the default mapping scenario and should be default value displayed on iRecord. Certainly from a verification point of view they are much easier to work with in terms of checking and mapping.
As far as I can see the grid ref is calculated from a point source. Surely the simplest solution is to calculate the OS grid ref as is done now, but for the app based records just ensure this value is displayed in the geo-location field when uploaded to iRecord. Just store the Lat Long "original GPS reference" is a new field on iRecord just in case anyone ever needs it.
I used the manual GR entry in the app, but it seems to still interpret my location as a point. When I download records that I entered as a 1 km grid square, I see they are stored as lat/long with a 100m or 10 m Output grid ref with precision 50. Is there anything I can do to change this in future, and is there anything I can do to change those records now without having to edit every one in iRecord?
Currently the app treats all record locations as LatLon, storing a separate Gridref_calculated attribute as GR. It caculates the location precision from your entered GR. I understand that this is not ideal, so we will be fixing this issue. Here you can find the issue on our system: https://github.com/NERC-CEH/irecord-app/issues/69
At the moment I personally don't know any other way of updating a bunch of records other than individually.
Thrilled to find that I could download the app, and that it worked straight away. Brilliant!
As I was recording something that I'd photographed earlier today, I needed to put the location in manually using the map. It was a bit of a fiddle getting to the right point - I clicked on a zoomed out map, and got an x-mark by tapping. Moving the x-mark was a bit unpredictable - sometimes it would move on the zoomed out map, but not if I zoomed in, other times it would move to a new point if I tapped. Maybe to do with the connection? I got it where I wanted it in the end anyway.
Thanks for all the work put into this.
Hi Pieris, I am glad you like the app.
Yes, I need to update the map tapping finctionality. I think double tap should zoom in without changing the X marker position..
If I cannot identify a species in the field, I sometimes enter it under a broad name, like the family, and record it on the app. Then I edit the record and change the taxon to the species when I have got back home and identified it, sometimes several days later. I have noticed that when I have done this the record has been duplicated: the original is there with a source of the app and then the edited version appears with a source of general data. Is this supposed to happen?
I have looked at my records again, and it seems that it is not the editing that is causing duplication: some of my records from the app are duplicated, even if I have not edited them.
Yes, that is true, thanks a lot for letting us know. The app does sometimes generate a duplicate with a poor network connection. I can automatically track such records, but the removal is manual, so I will be from time to time removing the duplications until we solve this issue.