Compass Informatics with the National Biodiversity Data Centre announces the release of a new app for biodiversity and species recording. Available at no cost for Android and Apple phone.
A new biodiversity app for smartphones means that casual and professional nature watchers can contribute to the building of the national information resource on our environment. Compass Informatics, a Dublin-based information and location technologies company, have designed a mobile app that is easy to use and allows the recording of a photo, a location, and details of species, with upload to the data management and mapping system of the National Biodiversity Data Centre for Ireland. The National Biodiversity Data Centre is also the national node for the worldwide data collection that is the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (gbif.org) and so the humble records captured by the app users ultimately go global.
The complexity involved in proper species recording is very well-hidden in the app, with ease of use a first objective, but behind the scenes a taxonomic dictionary of species names ensures the records collected are suited to use in the national and global information collection. The app developers have also used an approach that means the app works across different phone types without special IT development.
The biodiversity app is another part of the information management infrastructure that is provided by the National Biodiversity Data Centre – which is itself an initiative of the Heritage Council and funded by the Council with the Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht. The Centre is operated by Compass Informatics and its team of expert ecologists and IT and data specialists. The Centre’s website at www.biodiversityireland.ie includes a mapping system for viewing of species distribution across both land and sea, and explanatory data on the distribution of the species records over months of the year – useful for species such as butterflies; and over the years – useful for understanding movements of species such as red and grey squirrels.
There is no better way to test a new tool such as the biodiversity app than its active use in the field, in hail, rain, or shine – and so the Centre’s director, Liam Lysaght, is making active use of the app in his Wild Ireland Tour (WildIrelandTour.ie) cycle around Ireland. Over his 3,200km cycle he will capture species records using the app and hopes that records for each of his ten bucket list species will be in there too. See Liam’s list that goes from the massive Basking Shark to the smaller but equally intriguing Humming-Bird Hawk Moth.
For further information contact Gearóid Ó Riain, Managing Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, tel +353 1 2104580, mobile +353 87 2902343).
Technical note: The app has been developed by Compass Informatics developers with expert ecologists, and uses .Net coding in Xamarin (xamarin.com) for efficient cross device app development and support. In other words we develop once for all phones rather than develop separately for each.