Saturday, 21 May 2016

I record with IRecord

We're down in London for the weekend, and spent yesterday afternoon wandering around Greenwich Park in the sunshine, which gave me an excuse to play with the new IRecord app. I've tried mobile recording apps before, but never really got on with them, preferring instead a humble notebook, or just relying on memory. Part of the problem is that while I'm out recording, my time is often limited, so I want to spend add little time as possible fiddling with my phone, so I can maximise my wildlife finding time.

The IRecord app might just be the app that converts me to mobile recording. It's incredibly quick to log a record, you just have to enter the species name and the app fills in the location using the phone's GPS. You can add in basic details of the record (count, adult/pre-adult, location and comments) either at the same time, or leave them until later. A nice feature is the ability to lock fields so the same value carries over, so you don't have to keep entering location name if you're entering a string of records from the same place. Another very sensible feature is that the app doesn't need to be online to allow you to enter records, which is likely to be very handy when I'm in more remote locations than yesterday.

I used the app to quickly enter ten or so records of some common hoverflies, bees and birds, including a photo from my phone where the subject cooperated. A minor complaint is that the resolution of the uploaded photos seems quite poor, which might limit their usefulness for confirming identifications, but they'll be useful in some cases.

That minor issue aside, using the app was quick and painless, and means I have no data entry to do, and no need to rely on the questionable accuracy of my memory for what I saw and where I saw it. It also means that all my records are immediately available to local recorders and recording schemes, which saves me the bother of trying to work out who I'd need to send my records to (a bother which I probably wouldn't have gone to for a small set of records like today's). All in all a very impressive package, and one I look forward to using on my future wildlife ramblings.

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