Saturday, October 24, 2009

Parsing help

Our eBird bloggers include some of our most active, committed, and tech-savvy eBirders. It is this last element that we'd like to draw upon in this post, since it is really a call for help.

We periodically receive communications from birders who have years (even decades) of their bird notes in text form. Often in MS Word, or a similar format, these notes tend to be formatted in very regular ways which makes it possible to write some smart scripts to parse the information into a CSV or Excel file for eBird upload.

Unfortunately, the three eBird Project Leaders are pretty good with bird ID, but at the moment, none of us has the expertise to quickly and easily convert long text files into a CSV or Excel-compatible file that we can use via the eBird upload tool. An our eBird developers are busy developing RSS feeds and improving eBird queries and building other new cool stuff for the site itself, so we can't really draw on them.

We are wondering if there is anyone out there in the eBird Blogosphere that would have the expertise and willingness to assist us with converting text to CSV. Email Marshall directly at if you think you can help or have ideas (or if you have bird records in this format that you'd like to convert). Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. Marshall, Chris, and Brian,
    I may be able to help with this. I have a program that already parses my AVISYS reports into ebird format, so I don't think it would be too hard to convert this to another format like a word doc that is ordered uniformly.

    I don't currently have a lot of logic built in to my program, because my records have always been very consistently entered. There will always be something funny that comes up, but with text files, it isn't too hard to fix the problems.

    Let me know how I can help with this. Also, if you need a program that converts AVISYS to eBird data, I think I have pretty simple program that could be used. It just needs a slightly better interface and a little more interactivity with the user so anyone could understand how to use it.

    Let me know.