Marked Birds Database update – March 2015

A few months have passed since I last reported on the database that I am creating for keeping track of the ringed birds (gulls) that I observe, so it is time for another update.

Work on the database is still very much ongoing and many small features have been added or improved.

Most of the work though has gone into finding a way of visualizing the position of the rings that a bird is fitted with. This visualization is initially used for making it easier to enter a bird with various rings by clicking on a position instead of having to manually choose the position from a list (which can be quite cumbersome).

Adding a bird with a single metal ring

So we started with the simplest of scenarios: a bird that is fitted with a single metal ring.

The advantages of this new method are that the form that you have to fill out only contains the relevant fields for adding a metal ring and that you can quickly set the position of the ring by clicking on a visual display of the bird’s legs.

Here is how it works:

Adding a bird with a single metal ring plus one coded color ring

The next scenario was adding a bird with a metal ring plus a coded color ring. The additional challenge was displaying the color ring including the reading direction of the code. Again we make use of the same visual display:

Working towards support for wader projects

Both methods seem to be working well and we will fine-tune them over the coming months. The method of adding a color ring will be upscaled to add a combination of 2 color rings without a metal ring and 2 color rings with a metal ring. This will lead us up to adding support for the complexity of wader projects, which can potentially include up to 8 different rings fitted in 16 possible positions. Finding a way of adding these quickly and efficiently will be quite a challange.


If you want to follow the latest developments, you can now also do so on Facebook.


Development improvements

Now that more and more features are added to the database and many issues need to be fixed, I decided to start getting more organized by using the JIRA and Confluence systems by Atlassian.

In short, JIRA is a reporting system in which technical issues, improvements and feature requests can be reported. It can be coupled to Confluence which is a documentation system which I use for keeping track of how I implement a feature. Together with beta tester Henri Zomer we use this to keep track of all the things that still need to be done and those that are not working as they should.


That is it for now, until the next update!

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