Marked Birds Database – Version 2.4.0 available

I’m happy to announce the release of the Marked Birds Database version 2.4.0. It contains various improvements, some changes, and fixes.

For a full list, see the bottom of this article.

A link to the download file as well as instructions about installing, setting up and using the database can be found on the Marked Birds Database page.

Users who are using a previous version can import their data into the new version.

Improvements

While working on the database the last couple of months I came across various areas that I wanted to improve.

Improved display of life histories

Each type of life history (text, image, PDF, file, or Web link) is now shown separately instead of all together on one page.

This makes each type easier to view and read.

You access each type by clicking its button: when content for a type is available the button is blue, the button for the content that is currently shown is green.

The last viewed state is also remembered.

For Web links, the web site is now also shown (this obviously requires an Internet connection). If you want you can also have the link shown in your Web browser.

Current Marker Code colors

The Current Marker Code has its own colors for the background and the text. This is used when showing the Current Marker Code in overviews such as search results.

These colors are mostly set automatically and changing them could already be done in Bird Settings.

To make it more visible which colors are used and to make it easier to change them, the Current Marker Code that is shown at the top of layouts such as Bird Overview, Observation Details, Marker Events, and so on, now shows these colors. The colors can be quickly changed by clicking the cog wheel next to the field.

Navigation options after saving marker details

When changing or updating the ringing date or bird age in Marker Events and clicking Save, you were already asked if you wanted to update the bird age for all observations.

When confirming to do this and the process is completed, you are now given the option to navigate to either Bird Overview or to the life history.

This can be practical when processing ringing details when first the Marker Events are updated after which the life history itself needs to be added.

Bird Overview now shows observer names for 3rd-party observers

When an observation is set to type ‘Observation by 3rd-party’, the name(s) of the observers are now shown in the Bird Overview for that observation on the right side.

Adding a link to an observation

Adding observations made by another observer are often based on references found on the Internet (such as observation.org or waarneming.nl).

In Observation Details it is now possible to add a Web link to the page on which the reference was found. A viewer also shows the Web page (when an Internet connection is available).

Hidden feature: when setting the observer to ‘waarneming.nl’ (create an observer with first name ‘waarneming’ and last name ‘.nl’), the name shown in Bird Overview can be clicked and opens the link directly in a viewer.

Database startup

When opening the database, the last viewed bird is now shown instead of the last added bird.

Working with Visual Displays

Visual Displays are used to show how rings are fitted to the legs of a bird. To correctly show these rings in these displays, the correct position needs to be set for a ring. For example: one display might require position ‘Tarsus, left leg’ while another might require position ‘Tarsus, left leg – bottom’.

To make it clearer which Visual Display type is set for a bird and to make it easier to change it, the Visual Display is now shown at the top of the Marker Events layout. Click the cog wheel next to it (or the info icon next to the Position field) to change the display type, or to look up the marker positions that each display uses.

Remove preceding dots from marker code

When copying a code from a metal ring in a life history, the code could be preceded by a dot (‘.1234567’). Such dots are now automatically removed when they are added to the Code field in the Marker Events layout.

This functionality can be disabled via Manage MBDB > Preferences > Features > Marker Codes > Remove preceding dots.

Observation Details: disabling reporting options

In some scenarios, the reporting options ‘Observation submitted and ‘Life history received are not used for a particular bird (for example when you have ringed the bird yourself).

It was already possible to hide them via Bird Settings, but this can now also be done by clicking the cog wheel next to the Reporting label in the Observation Details layout.

Observation type ‘Electronic device’ added

To track observations based on electronic devices such as GPS-loggers, geo-locators, and so on, an observation can now be set to type ‘Electronic device’.

Formatting text

Where applicable, a formatting bar can now be shown with which text can be formatted such as highlighting text, making it bold or italic, and so on.

It can be accessed by clicking the Aa button.

Note that in some fields formatting is automatically stripped, such as when adding a life history in text format.

Automatic reminder to update bird calendar year

On January 1st of each year, a new calendar year is started. Because bird ages are also tracked in calendar years, the current age of a bird also needs to be increased in the database. To remind you of this, a notification is now displayed at the bottom of the Bird Overview layout when a new calendar year is started.

Clicking the notification shows a message with more information about what the notification is about and allows you to start the automatic update. It is also possible to cancel the message with running the update. The update can at any time be manually started via Manage MBDB > Actions > Update Current Age for all Birds.

The notification is displayed as long as the update is not run.

BirdRing import

When importing a CSV file in the BirdRing import, you now don’t first have to choose the version of the BirdRing app that was used (the regular version or the RUG version). Instead, it is assumed that the regular version has been used.

To import a CSV file from the RUG version, select the check box ‘Use RUG version’ check box first.

And finally…

Just to remind you to regularly create a backup of your database, simply by creating a copy of the whole folder. Preferably store it in a different location (such as on a USB-stick) than the system on which the database is installed. You might also want to add the date to the folder name so that you can easily recognize when the backup was made.

Do this especially after adding many birds, observations, life histories, images, and so on. Basically, each time you think: “I don’t want to have to go through the process of adding that again”, make a backup. This could be daily, weekly or any time you see fit.

Remember that it is software and computers, anything can happen…

Release Notes – Marked Birds Database – Version 2.4.0

  • MBDB-1099 Add automatic reminder to update Current Bird Age in January.
  • MBDB-1139 Improve display of life histories.
  • MBDB-1141 BirdRing import: incorrect matching bird status given for existing birds with no observations.
  • MBDB-1142 Visual Display: colours missing in List View.
  • MBDB-1144 Marker Events: when setting bird age to >3CY, Current Age is incorrectly calculated.
  • MBDB-1145 Add option to go to Life History after bird age has been updated in Marker Events.
  • MBDB-1146 Improve speed for batch updating ‘Observation submitted’ and ‘Life history received’ actions.
  • MBDB-1147 Make formatting bar available for all users.
  • MBDB-1148 Add ‘Electronic device’ as Observation Type.
  • MBDB-1149 Observation Details: ‘Show x images’ does not update after changing observation date.
  • MBDB-1151 Observation Details: make it possible to clear the Submitted and Received fields in batch.
  • MBDB-1153 BirdRing import: make choosing the RUG version a Preference.
  • MBDB-1154 Adding bird using Standard form: Marker Display Mode not remembered when ‘Remember Markers’ is selected.
  • MBDB-1155 Add Marker and Event: Event details are not cleared.
  • MBDB-1156 Make it possible to disable the reporting options from within Observation Details.
  • MBDB-1157 Make the Current Marker Code colors more visible and easier to change.
  • MBDB-1158 Make setting the Visual Display part of Marker Events layout.
  • MBDB-1159 Add Marker and Event: Ringing centre should be set to default.
  • MBDB-1160 Not all data is imported when importing the same database version containing new fields.
  • MBDB-1161 Inform user when importing data from a newer version.
  • MBDB-1163 Current Age is not updated for some birds.
  • MBDB-1164 Marker Event: remove dots in front of code for metal rings.
  • MBDB-1166 Add Marker Display type to search forms.
  • MBDB-1167 ‘Image’ check box is not selected when uploading images in batch for an observation.
  • MBDB-1168 ‘Image’ check box is not cleared when deleting all images of an observation.
  • MBDB-1169 ‘View x images’ is not reset when deleting all images of an observation.
  • MBDB-1171 Make it possible to add a hyperlink to an observation.
  • MBDB-1172 Bird Overview: Show name of observer for 3rd-party observations.
  • MBDB-1173 Startup: show last used bird instead of last added bird.
  • MBDB-1178 Custom data: error messages when using ‘Reset all fields’.
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