Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The grand plan for 'eBird Alerts'


We recently launched a new service called 'eBird Alerts'. The first alert we have available is the "ABA Rarities" alert, which lists all of the rarities reported in the ABA area of Code 3 and higher. This simple feed will keep you up to date on all the rare birds seen recently, like the Ivory Gull in Georgia (!) or the first North American record of Amazon Kingfisher from TX a few days ago.

We're soon going to launch another service called "State Needs Alert". This one will compare your list of birds in a given state against all the new reports coming into eBird for that state, and list the reports of species you have yet to see in that state. This tool will be great for people interested in keeping abreast of their state lists. Next iteration of this will be "County Needs Alert", as in some places (e.g., California) counties are huge, and people are really interested in things at this level.

My question to this group is, now that we've started heading in this direction, that is feeding data directly from eBird into your email inboxes (at your request only of course), what types of other feeds might you find interesting?


Team eBird

Brian, Chris, and Marshall

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Contest for free BirdsEye iPhone apps

Just in case you hadn't seen it, the eBird homepage is now featuring news of a contest we are running next week (24-31 Jan) which will award as a prize 20 versions of BirdsEye (the cool new app that draws on eBird data). All of us at Team eBird are big fans of this new application, which puts much of the best bird-finding info from eBird in the hands of the BirdsEye user. With a commitment to data entry coming down the pike too, we are hopeful that BirdsEye will become an even more useful tool for eBirders in the future.

The full story on the eBird homepage gives details of the contest (basically, the 20 eBirders submitting the most checklists over that time frame will win free versions of the app). The story also provides a summary of the app and what it does, as well as our Team eBird review.

If you have an iPhone though, you might as well register! The app sells for $20, and we don't yet know what kind of totals would be required to win!

If you don;t yet have BirdsEye, we highly recommend it. If you already own BirdsEye, we'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Better yet, comment on it in the App Store.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

eBird switches to a new database server


For the past several months we've been preparing to migrate the massive eBird database and all the front-end functionality over to a newer, more powerful server. Thanks to the work of all our IS staff, that migration was completed yesterday, and all went smoothly. eBird users woke up on Tuesday morning with lightning-fast response times on most of the eBird output tools, and the My eBird pages.

Sometimes we have to spend time working on the back-end of eBird and prioritize that over creating new and exciting functionality for the front-end users. Now that we have eBird back on a solid database platform, we can proceed forward with much of the development we've been putting off for some time. We hope to focus over the next several months on making world-wide data entry a reality for eBird users, as well as unveiling a few neat tools we have up our sleeves.

Thanks for continued support of the project,

Team eBird

Brian, Marshall and Chris