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Grid ref

Any queries about using the BSBI database

Re: Grid ref

by welshofficer » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:50 am

Hi John

There is a way to import all non-mapmate records into your system - but it seems to struggle especially if >50,000 records are returned from the search. Tom obviously hasn't checked this board for a few days... it may be worth copying your message and emailing him directly! He should be able to send you all non-mapmate records as a sync file for your MapMate (they will be archived and therefore not synced onwards).

We are well aware of the need for manual/ documentation. Unfortunately you do just have to bear in mind that the whole DDb is still work in progress!

I'm not really sure of the solution to mapmate centres who don't or can't amend their records. If someone has completely stopped recording it might be possible to seek control of their cuk (but you would need their consent unless they were actually deceased). I might be wrong but I think at the moment even if you edit them on the DDb they remain MapMate records and therefore cannot be exported in the same way as non-mapmate records?

I'm also not sure there is a solution to multiple gridrefs being wrong. Again, need info from Tom but I am not sure that the site is a separate entity in the way it is on MapMate.

Sorry not to be very helpful

Polly
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Re: Grid ref

by admin » Thu May 03, 2012 5:21 pm

Hi John,

Sorry not to have replied to your queries much earlier.

As Polly said, it's possible to export records back to mapmate, I've emailed you with the details.

Your second request is more problematic. It's possible for you to edit other peoples mapmate records in the DDb. Such changes will take precedence over any subsequent reimport of the record from mapmate - so as far as the DDb is concerned that 'solves' the problem of non-editable mapmate records, but does not allow the update to be externally applied to the records in mapmate.

Except for the approach that Polly describes of taking over an abandoned mapmate account, it's not possible to update records in mapmate which you don't own. Short of a major redesign of mapmate (which is not something that the BSBI can do) I don't think this is likely to be resolvable. There's no mechanism in the mapmate database to take-over individual records, and the mapmate synchronisation system can't cope with conflicting edits to a record. Although I could technically disregard protocol and allow the DDb to export edited records owned by other mapmate users, as soon as you resynchronised the changes would be overwritten again.

The medium-term solution may be to use the DDb rather than map-mate as the master dataset for your county (as you can edit everything in the online DDb). That is the goal which I am working towards, though it brings other problems and I am aware that an on-line system will not suit everyone.

I definitely welcome suggestions and feedback about how the DDb should develop and I'm sorry to have neglected to answer your message sooner. Improved user and how-to guides for the DDb system are being produced - they are definitely needed.

best wishes,

Tom
Tom Humphrey
Database Officer, Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI)
c/o Centre for Ecology and Hydrology,Maclean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BB, UK.
tom.humphrey@bsbi.org
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Re: Grid ref

by admin » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:57 am

Hi John,

I still don't have a good solution for bulk editing grid references. That is something I am actively working on. If you have large numbers of grid references to change then I recommend waiting until bulk editing is possible, because at present the task would be excessively slow.

To edit the grid references of individual records open the edit screen for that record either by clicking on the edit button ( Image ) next to the record in the search results, or the 'Edit this record' link if viewing an individual record. The edit screen for an individual record includes a grid-reference field, which can be updated, affecting just the current record.

Bulk editing of the grid reference of all records associated with a named site will be possible soon. The obstacle is that, unlike MapMate, the DDb stores grid-references as a property of the occurrence record rather than associated with a named site. There are good data management reasons for that structure and it is the convention that most recording systems other than MapMate follow - but I'm aware that it does create some problems when correcting faulty mapmate sites that are used by many records.

I have just released a revised version of the edit form which should make it much quicker and easier to change the vice-county or named site for individual records using a new 'quick edit' ( Image ) button next to the locality. That makes the site name and vice-county editable without needing to create a whole new locality entry from scratch.

The browser freeze ("stop running this script") messages you are seeing when trying to view maps are a separate problem. It may be possible to work around the problem by using a more update to date web browser (assuming that you are currently using Internet Explorer). There's a link here to some possible solutions that may improve things. If changing browser is not feasible or does not solve the problem then I'll will need to look again at whether I can make design changes to resolve the problem. The slow loading of some of the map pages is due to the complexity of loading multiple map versions (from both Google and Ordnance Survey) and plotting county boundaries on top of the maps - which is causing your computer to slow down too much making the web browser think it has failed. It's likely that there are optimizations that I could apply that will speed up the process.

best wishes,

Tom
Tom Humphrey
Database Officer, Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI)
c/o Centre for Ecology and Hydrology,Maclean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BB, UK.
tom.humphrey@bsbi.org
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