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Embedding maps in eBird checklists

posted by Ryan O'Donnell at
on Sunday, December 9, 2012 

The comments field for each species in an eBird checklist allow you to describe the details of your observation, including the points that led to the identification of rare species.   You can also embed photos you took of a bird to help support your identification.  For particularly rare sightings (that are not likely to be disturbed by visitors and in public areas), you might consider also adding detailed directions to a bird so that others can go find it again.

Zachary DeBruine, at birdventurebirding.com, has developed a simple tool that will allow you to add a very specific image from Google Maps detailing the exact location of a bird you have found.  This can be a big help to others that go to look for the bird.  For example, here is the location of the exact Himalayan Blackberry bush at Lytle Ranch where I found a Harris's Sparrow a couple of weeks ago.

Generated by eBirdGM

When this image is embedded in a checklist, it includes a link to the location on Google Maps.  So if you wanted to look for this bird, you could get directions from your house to this specific shrub with just a few clicks!

Here are a few sample checklists with embedded maps:
Harris's Sparrow, Lytle Ranch
Blue Jay, Smithfield
Dickcissel, Farmington
Greater White-fronted Geese, Logan Polishing Ponds

For thorough directions on how to use this tool, and for the tool itself, see eBirdGM.

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Blogger sissypants said...

Ryan, glad to see you got a hang of this great eBird trick! Have fun!

December 10, 2012 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger Chas said...

I have been embedding screen captures of my walking routes from runningmaps.com into my eBird lists (using the snipping tool in Windows). Here is an example: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S12016402

December 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger Ryan O'Donnell said...

Charles, I don't see the screen capture in that checklist. I assume it is in the comments field for the entire checklist? Keep in mind that while the comment field for each species (entered on the "What did you see or hear?" page) is visible to the public, comments on the checklist as a whole (entered on the "Date and Effort" page) are always hidden from public view. They are only visible to the submitter, and to the eBird reviewer for your area. This is a good thing to remember when adding maps to an individual bird you saw or when describing the details that led to your identification.

December 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger Oliver Hansen said...

Ryan, thanks for the info. I didn't know that entire checklist comments were not public. I'll make sure to use the species comment field more often. =)

December 17, 2012 at 9:52 PM  

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