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orm Bird Identification - Wildlife Field Guide

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Posted By: JimLudden Views: 2,253
Date Added: Tue, Jun 14 2011

I created the “Bird Identification” model (and prototype database) a few years ago. It was inspired by bird field guides, but with the idea that a GIS (Geographic Information System) and GPS (Global Positioning System) on a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), a field biologist could get much more specific clues for identifying wildlife.  Technically this is all quite possible, but managing the associated data is a large task: assembling sighting statistics and land cover and translating these into probabilities of finding wildlife.


The concept is this: You are in the field. The GPS will tell (within a few meters) where you are and give accurate date and time. The GIS will identify the habitat, thus reducing the number of species you are likely to see. The time of day and season will further constrain (or possibly expand, in the case of migrating species) the species list. The historical sighting statistics will allow the software to make a list in order of probable sighting. Anatomical characteristics (such as “red head”, "long tail") can further restrict the possibilities. Photos and flight videos (for birds, anyway) help positive identification. “Illustration” could even be expanded to include voice recordings, and the microphone on your cell phone could pick up the bird song or call, with software to compare it to the recordings for probable species.


This is all wrapped up with a record of actual sightings in the “Observation” section of the model.


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