eBird Mobile App Updated for iOS to Support Keeping your Tracks

eBird recently updated the iPhone eBird Mobile app to record your path via your phone's GPS. Yesterday I was annoyed when the app was updating while I was leading a group bird walk. But today I gave the new functionality a try. I walked from my house to Lake Creek Trail (my neighborhood hike-and-bike trail where I do most of my birding), birded part of Lake Creek Trail, then walked back to my house via a different route. The app made it pretty easy to make 3 separate checklists out of this trip. And eBird prefers to have multiple checklists for shorter distances (less than 1 Km).

Interestingly, the app still lets you edit the total distance travelled for your traveling checklists because (1), the GPS path might be flawed, and (2), eBird still wants you to only record "the unique distance you covered." See the "Recording Distance" section of the above linked page for a good explanation of this.

Using the new was pretty easy, and you can look at your path at any time. After submitting a checklist from the mobile app, I can still access its path from the app. But I cannot access the path from the eBird website. I assume this will be possible in the future.

I've gotten into the habit of recording my trail with another GPS app when I'm eBirding, Gaia GPS. This app has been working well for me, and I have lots of recorded paths that correspond to eBird checklists. Right now there does not seem to be a way to add any of these old GPS paths to their corresponding old eBird checklists. My phone's battery usage didn't seem to be different than when I use Gaia GPS to record the trail.

Here are the checklists I recorded this morning:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S40597634
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S40597635
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S40597639

Posted by mikaelb mikaelb, November 19, 2017 19:35

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