Apr 102009

One of the first e-mails I received after releasing WildObs Observer was “where is the intro video?”. DOH, that makes sense! Yup, I guess I better get one that (next week.) So, in lieu of that…

First thing to highlight (from working with the users/observers so far) is:

To use WildObs Observer you’ll need a WildObs account. So Sign-up here.

If you cannot log into WildObs Observer using the username/password you signed-up with, the problem is most likely that you have not clicked on the confirmation link in the address confirmation e-mail that WildObs sends you. Maybe your spam filter ate it, maybe it is waiting for you. Please look for that e-mail and click that link (basically to confirm you aren’t a robot spammer.)

Once you have that:

  • Let the application download it’s species lists. The initial download is long/slow, but needs to get done. Please do this while connected to a WIFI network if you can.
  • To record an encounter pick the species (either from the main tab screen with picker, or from the species tab with table view of species) and then press “RECORD”.
  • If you are on an iPhone the location ought be determined via GPS. If it cannot be, or you are on an iPod Touch, pick or enter a new location. WildObs attempts to geo-locate places (although this is imperfect for more remote locations) so enter an description address/placemark name.
  • Press “SAVE” to record the encounter to the local database. The red circle w/ number is how many encounters are locally stored, ready to be uploaded to WildObs.
  • Press “CONNECT” to synchronize your iPhone/iPod with WildObs.
All encounters are recorded on WildObs, sharable with your friends and others, and entered into the WildObs database. Not only do you get an encounter to remember/enjoy, but you help build a live/dynamic database (some citizen science) for species/places.
WildObs Observer is best used to record things, important sightings, unimportant sightings … whatever takes the whim. Be it an American Robin in a park, or a Moose in some wilderness. Record, record, record … it could help somebody else find somebody new for them.

On the back of the record pane there are “Extras”:
  • Tags are a great way to organize observations. Mark encounters with any keyword you think organizes them for you, e.g. “funny” or “road-trip” or “first-of-season”.
  • Syndication: set this if you want the encounter published in feeds (RSS/Atom) or tweeted.
  • Public: set this OFF if you DO NOT want to share with others.
Nice to haves: