Marked Birds Database – Version 2.8.0 available

I’m happy to announce the release of the Marked Birds Database version 2.8.0. It contains new features, various improvements, and some changes.

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.

Summary

  1. New: support for adding videos to an observation.
  2. New: keeping track of birds that were recently viewed.
  3. New: searching within the text of a life history and highlighting the found results.
  4. Improved: loading of the Bird Overview and Observation Details screen.
  5. Improved: using Google Maps to obtain location details, especially coordinates.
  6. Improved: message shown when saving or deleting an observation takes a long time.
  7. Improved: where applicable, the Current Marker Code at the time of the observation is now shown instead of the ‘current’ Current Marker Code.
  8. Changed: when clicking media in a grid, the preview is now shown in full screen mode instead of in a pop-over.
  9. Changed: when manually adding a bird, the option to include an image for an observation has been removed.

New features

Although I don’t add any new major features anymore, I will continue improving existing parts of the database where needed and fix issues that are broken.

Click images for a larger view.

Support for videos

Videos can now be added to an observation. It works in the same way as adding images: they can be added one-by-one or multiple videos placed in a folder can be added in one action.

mbdb-2.8.0-video-added-to-observation.jpg

mbdb-2.8.0-video-large-view.jpg

The following video formats are supported:

  • avi
  • m4v
  • mov
  • mp4
  • m4p
  • mpg
  • mpeg
  • qt
  • wmv

The option for adding multiple files allows to simultaneously add images and videos from the same folder.

Videos also appear in the overviews for all media for a bird or all media for an observation date.

Known issue: because of technical limitations, a video preview cannot be shown. View the video by opening it in large view.

Recently viewed birds

A list of recently viewed birds is now kept. This makes it easy to quickly return to a bird without having to search for it. The list is accessed from the Bird Overview screen.

mbdb-2.8.0-recently-viewed

Notes:

  • The bird is only logged when the Bird Overview layout for it is visited.
  • The feature can be turned off via Manage MBDB > Preferences > Features (see also the changes in performance improvements below).

Life histories

It is now possible to search within the text of a life history. Any found matches are highlighted in yellow. This can be handy to quickly highlight all references of a name, location, year, and so on.

mbdb-280-life-history-search-highlight

The feature can be accessed by clicking ‘Search in Text’ when viewing a life history in text format.

Note that the search is done in a separate layout showing a copy of the original life history. To preserve the original text, the text in the copy cannot be changed.

Tip: instead of clicking Search, you can also press Tab to perform the search.

Improvements

Various improvements have been made.

Performance

When accessing the Bird Overview or Observation Details screen, many processes were run in the background. As a result, loading these screens could be experienced as slow, especially on slow systems.

These processes are now performed in other parts of the database, thereby speeding up the process of loading these screens.

Note: When accessing Bird Overview, a process is run in the background to log the bird in the Recently Viewed Birds list. When this action impacts performance on slow systems, it can be turned off via Manage MBDB > Preferences > Features.

Google maps

It is now easier to get hold of location information by using Google maps, especially coordinates.

A Google maps view is now shown together with the fields for a location. Use it to view an existing location, or find a new location.

mbdb-280-google-maps-view.jpg

To easily add coordinates to the Coordinates field, click somewhere on the map. Google maps will show a popup:

mbdb-280-google-maps-view-popover.jpg

Click the coordinates. They will appear on the left side of the map display.

mbdb-280-google-maps-view-coordinates.jpg

Select the format in small print (the format in large print is not recognized by Google maps) and copy/paste it into the Coordinates field.

This feature is available in the following layouts:

  • Observation details
  • Marker Events
  • Locations
  • All forms for adding a bird (except BirdRing import)

The feature is accessed by clicking ‘View/edit in Google Maps’ (with the exception for the Locations layout in which it is added to the Edit layout directly).

Observations

  • When saving or deleting an observation, the last observed date for all other observations is updated. For birds for which many observations exist, this can take some time. To make it more visible that this process is taking place, a message is now shown. This is done for birds with more than 20 observations.

mbdb-280-saving-observation-message.jpg

  • When viewing the ‘View all observations’ overview, the Search Extra (Observations) screen, or an image or video in large view, the Current Marker Code at the time of the observation is now shown if that code has changed after the observation was made. Before, the Current Marker Code that the bird currently has was shown which could be confusing, especially when the bird was re-ringed.

In this scenario, the Current Marker Code is shown in parentheses. No background colour is used. When hovering the mouse pointer over the code, the current Current Marker Code is shown.

mbdb-2.8.0-current-marker-code.jpg

Changes

  • All references to ‘images’ have been changed to ‘media’.
  • When clicking media in a grid, the preview is now shown in full screen mode instead of in a pop-over.
  • When manually adding a bird, the option to include an image for an observation has been removed.

Fixed issues

  • MBDB-106 Marker Events: add Google Map view.
  • MBDB-114 Option to add video to observation.
  • MBDB-257 ‘View All Observations’, Search Extra Observations, and large image view should show Current Marker Code at time of observation.
  • MBDB-1189 Deleting items: replace all red crosses by trash can icons.
  • MBDB-1223 Observations: make it easier to add coordinates using Google maps.
  • MBDB-1224 Manage Locations: add Google Map view.
  • MBDB-1225 Add search highlighting to text version of life history.
  • MBDB-1226 Observations: show message when saving takes a long time.
  • MBDB-1227 Observations: show message when deleting an observation takes a long time.
  • MBDB-1228 Show recently viewed birds.
  • MBDB-1229 Add bird manually: add Google Map view for setting the ringing location.
  • MBDB-1235 Improve process of loading layouts by removing background tasks.
  • MBDB-1236 Images are stored as type = ‘observation’ instead of ‘image’.
  • MBDB-1239 Image grid should open media in full screen layout instead of in pop-over.
  • MBDB-1240 Image grid full screen layout: add navigation option.
  • MBDB-1241 ‘View all images’ in Observation shows no images.
  • MBDB-1242 Change bird gender to bird sex.
  • MBDB-1231 Add birds manually: remove option to include image for an observation.
  • MBDB-1237 Adding image: remove notes field.
  • MBDB-1244 – Option to search on marker display mode for uncoded rings and flags is missing in Bird Settings > Search.

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