Drew Heath — March 08, 05:09PM
Possible to view a list of checklists for a given area?
Is it currently possible to come up with a list of checklists for a given area?
I'm imagining a data exploration tool where I'd select an area, say ____ State Park, and then all checklists filed for that park by eBirders would be listed chronologically. I could then see, at a glance, typical species and counts for a given time frame as well as who has been active in the area.
Bits and pieces of the above are discoverable using current tools, but to my knowledge there is no way to pull up a list of lists besides your own... ?
Zachary DeBruine — March 25, 07:56PM
eBird does not currently have any such data exploration tool, but I recommend that you check out my Google gadget, BirdTrax. You can add it to any website. Visit my site to check it out, <a href="http://www.birdventurebirding.com/p/birdtrax.html">http://www.birdventurebirding.com/p/birdtrax.html</a>. This gadget allows you to view checklists in your area, county, or state over any period of time up to 1 month back.
Marshall Iliff — April 12, 09:03AM
Zach's gadget is great, and highly recommended, but it only allows lists back 1 month. If you want to see older ones, the best way to do it now is to look for a really common bird (American Crow? European Starling?) on point maps in the area and click on the relevant pin. You will see hundreds of lists.
We are currently building a better way to access this information. Stay tuned for our next release (hopefully this summer)!
Hutch — April 12, 10:01PM
One problem with the tool as you've described it. The most popular birding spots will have several (or even MANY) different location names. Even when there is a shared HotSpot, some users may not use it for any of several reasons. (For example, they may have observations aggregated to a larger area than the HotSpots indicate or, vice versa, they may have multiple, more specific locations where only a single HotSpot exists.)
Another problem: birds move. So at Location 1 (heavily wooded with narrow rides through the trees), you'll have one checklist. At Location 2 (open fields and swamps along the river's edge), you will have a WILDLY different checklist. But if Location 1 and Location 2 are side-by-side, one would generally expect to see a combined checklist. Although it would be somewhat unusual to see the Mallards (from the river) in the woods, it's certainly not going to be unheard of.
My idea is that there should be a way of doing something like the county lists, but being able to pick a point (either a mapped location/HotSpot or simply a point on a map) and tell eBird that I want to see all the records within X kilometers of this spot, over the past Y years, during months A, B, C, and D.
I have hand-made (so to speak: I use Excel :-) such maps by combining several counties results. This gives me (for example), the birds of the plains of Colorado without including the birds of the mountains. In Colorado it was fairly easy. However, now I've moved to the far southwestern "toe" of Virginia. In order to make the same sort of checklist (covering the same area, that is), I've got to query counties from FIVE different states: Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. It's a bit time consuming. It would be SOOOO nice to simply be able to click on a map and then tell eBird to give me a checklist combining every observation from the past 10 years during the last week of March, all of April, and the first week of May from anywhere within 50 miles of that map spot. (For example!)
eBird is able to provide the equivalent report from the entire continental United States in a reasonable amount of time. It shouldn't be hard nor too (computer) time-consuming to do the equivalent for a much smaller area. I think this would be MOST useful near important birding sites that are near state lines: Cape May, Port Arthur, Savannah, Myrtle Beach? Anywhere on the Chesapeake Bay? Anywhere in NEW ENGLAND? Anywhere on the Mississippi or the Ohio Rivers? The lower Puget Sound?
I've suggested it before. Hopefully something will come of it.
And once they get THAT implemented, then I'll ask to be able to draw shapes on a map and get results from within the shape: for example, to chop a city out of a large request area or to see the species reported within 50 miles of Boulder, Colorado ... but only to the EAST (on the plains, not in the mountains)
This question has received the maximum number of answers.