Wednesday, April 4, 2012

App Review: Birdseye Birdlog-USA

At last! We finally have an eBird data entry app for iPhone, iPod, and Android! 
It's called Birdseye Birdlog and just officially became available to the general public. This new app was created in conjunction with the eBird team at Cornell U and is now the quickest, easiest way to enter bird sightings to eBird directly from the field. 

I gave the app a test run today and was quite happy with the results. Entering data via the app takes no more time than it does if you did it via In some ways, it's actually faster since, if you're using an iPhone, the app will use the built-in GPS function to quickly determine your location. This also allows you to enter checklists quickly, directly from the field as you're birding. It doesn't replace the good old fashioned pencil and notebook, but it does remove several steps in between.

With this app, you can also access all past locations, any checklist you have entered via the app (under "my sightings", any hotspots in the area, etc.

What it does NOT do, is explore data. It is only designed for entering data. The original Birdseye app fills the exploring data part to some extent, but an official app for this purpose would be nice.

One of the nice things about this app is that it gives you the option to create a checklist offline, even if there is no Internet or cell coverage. You can then upload the checklist later on. 

If you're wondering about the date, time, effort part, that has remained fairly simple and in the same format as on the eBird site. The screenshot below details what it looks like: 

The app will work wonderfully for those who have a smartphone. Unfortunately, for iPod touch users such as myself, the only advantage I see is that you don't have to log in on your laptop any longer, so it makes it slightly more mobile. You just need to find the nearest WiFi before you can upload your checklist for the day.

You can check out the intro vid below for more on this awesome new app:

For those birders who like to travel abroad, there is also a world version available for entering bird sightings from countries outside of the ABA area. 

(note: this is a voluntary review and the app was purchased. Most of the review work I do is new field guides and only occasionally for new apps like this one.) 

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