Compass Informatics, with the National Biodiversity Data Centre, has released a new, free app for biodiversity and species recording. This means that casual and professional nature-watchers can help build the national information resource on our environment
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Compass Informatics, with the National Biodiversity Data Centre, has released a new app for biodiversity and species recording that is freely available for Android and Apple smartphones. The new biodiversity app means that casual and professional nature-watchers can help build the national information resource on our environment.

Compass Informatics, a Dublin-based information and location technologies company, has designed the easy-to-use app to allow for the recording of photos, locations and details of species. Users can then upload the information to the National Biodiversity Data Centre’s data management and mapping system. The Centre is Ireland’s node for the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and so the records captured by the app users ultimately go global.

The complexity involved in proper species recording is very well hidden in the app, and ease of use was the first priority of the developers. However, behind the scenes, a taxonomic dictionary of species names ensures that the records collected are suitable for use in the national and global information collection. The app also works across different phone types without special IT development.

The biodiversity app is another part of the information management infrastructure provided by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, which is itself an initiative of the Heritage Council and funded by the Council with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The Centre is operated by Compass Informatics and its team of expert ecologists and IT and data specialists.

The Centre’s website includes a GIS mapping system for viewing of species distribution across both land and sea, and explanatory information on the distribution of species records over the year – useful for species such as butterflies and for understanding movements of species such as red and grey squirrels.

There is no better way to test a new tool than active use in the field – in hail, rain or shine – and so the Centre’s director, Liam Lysaght, is making active use of the app in his Wild Ireland Tour cycle around Ireland. Over his 3,200km cycle, he will capture species records using the app and hopes that records for each of his ten ‘bucket list’ species will be in there, too – Lysaght’s list includes the massive basking shark as well as the smaller, but equally intriguing, hummingbird hawk moth.

Download from the App Store or download the Android app.

For further information, contact Gearóid Ó Riain, managing director of Compass Informatics, at goriain@compass.ie or phone +353 1 2104580 (mobile +353 87 2902343). The app has been developed by Compass Informatics developers with expert ecologists, and uses .Net coding in Xamarin for efficient cross device app development and support.

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  Compass Informatics, with the National Biodiversity Data Centre, has released a new app for biodiversity and species recording that is freely available for Android and Apple smartphones. The new biodiversity app means that casual and professional nature-watchers can help build the national information resource on our environment. Compass Informatics, a...