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Orniverse platform

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Old Wednesday 20th February 2019, 17:16   #1
locustella80
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Orniverse platform

Hi everybody!

I would like to introduce Orniverse, a new online platform for birders. Our vision is to create a free online resource with details on all birding sites in the world. It's still quite a long way to get there, but the release version already contains some really cool features, like a comprehensive, easy to use tool to create beautiful reports of your trips and excursion.

Have a look at:
www.orniverse.com

Good birding!

Mathias
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Old Wednesday 20th February 2019, 17:55   #2
Hauksen
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Moin Mathias,

Quote:
Originally Posted by locustella80 View Post
I would like to introduce Orniverse, a new online platform for birders.
Sounds promising. Care to briefly describe what the platform actually does in more technical terms? (Or compare it to ornitho.de or naturgucker.de, for example?)

I'd like to understand it at "mental model", high abstraction level. The "about us" page has more motivational character, while I'd like to understand the capabilities.

Regards,

Henning
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Old Wednesday 20th February 2019, 19:18   #3
locustella80
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Hi Henning!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hauksen View Post
Sounds promising. Care to briefly describe what the platform actually does in more technical terms? (Or compare it to ornitho.de or naturgucker.de, for example?)
Thanks for your interest. We are developing Orniverse for several reasons, the main being:
  • platforms like the ones you mention or others like eBird for example are amazing tools, but they collect either single data points (observations) or checklist from a specific site and date. They do not provide the option to combine data from various sites and dates into a single, attractive report nor to add detailed information on sites, logistics, etc.

  • there are lots of trip reports online that contain this kind of data, but either on static websites or often as a PDF. These reports contain plenty of valuable geographical data (observations and details of sites), but since these data are not in a database/GIS system (which would allow all kinds of queries) they are very hard to access. Similarly, there are lots of great "Where to watch birds" guides printed on paper, but the problem here is the same and moreover, they are usually quickly out of date (and of print).
So what we are trying to do is to develop a system that does not have these constraints.

The basic and most important entity in Orniverse are the sites, which are created by the users and carefully curated by the Orniverse team. It is now already possible to create attractive, customizable reports. All the data from these reports are assigned to the sites and flow into our database and GIS system. Like this, we can collect a lot of important information for each site. Each site has an overview page, where this information is displayed or can be queried. The next step will then be to develop a system that allows all users to collaborate on detailed maps and descriptions for each site.

Does this answer your question? Otherwise let me know.

Cheers, Mathias
www.orniverse.com

Last edited by locustella80 : Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 19:24.
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Old Wednesday 20th February 2019, 20:58   #4
Hauksen
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Hi Mathias,

Thanks a lot for the explanations!

So do I understand it correctly that Orniverse will include

- site data,
- map data, and
- observation records?

I'm not quite sure about the scope of the last point, as you mentioned them being assigned to the sites, which could also imply a list form. But probably each observation would be individually geo-indexed, I presume?

Something I noticed on your terms page was that the licence for all user-contributed data seems to include the term "no derivatives". As that seems to be a bit limiting (even though I don't really understand what that would mean for a large set of records in a GIS), I would be interested in the rationale behind this choice.

Regards,

Henning
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Old Thursday 21st February 2019, 06:45   #5
locustella80
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Hi Henning!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hauksen View Post
I'm not quite sure about the scope of the last point, as you mentioned them being assigned to the sites, which could also imply a list form. But probably each observation would be individually geo-indexed, I presume?
In their reports, users need to provide a partial or complete species list and may optionally add specific sightings which can include photos, sound recordings (embedded from xeno-canto) and, of course, exact location. For example, have a look at the species list of this report: Under "sites & sightings" links, the individual sightings are listed. If a map marker is displayed, an exact location was provided (and can be viewed). If there is only a "sites" link, no specific sightings were provided, the species was just listed.

Now if you go to a site page, for example of Laguna de Sonso, you notice that there is a species list available (combined from all reports) and you may display exact locations for each species in the map (since we just started there are not too many locations available yet).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hauksen View Post
Something I noticed on your terms page was that the licence for all user-contributed data seems to include the term "no derivatives". As that seems to be a bit limiting (even though I don't really understand what that would mean for a large set of records in a GIS), I would be interested in the rationale behind this choice.
We have included this particularly for photos. There is no consent what "no derivatives" means exactly from a legal point of view, but usually it is assumed that a photo cannot be edited or transformed to an extent that would alter its character or significance and, in a way, represent a distinct original work.

Hope this answers your questions?

Cheers, Mathias
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Old Thursday 21st February 2019, 14:56   #6
Hauksen
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Hi Mathias,

Quote:
Originally Posted by locustella80 View Post
Hope this answers your questions?
I think I get the idea now ... it's a bit like a user-maintained version of the book series, "Vögel beobachten in ...deutschland", only with world-wide coverage, plus some geo-indexed sightings. Does that sound accurate? :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by locustella80 View Post
We have included this particularly for photos. There is no consent what "no derivatives" means exactly from a legal point of view, but usually it is assumed that a photo cannot be edited or transformed to an extent that would alter its character or significance and, in a way, represent a distinct original work.
The statement says "all data and images", which got me thinking. As a user, when I contribute to any platform, my concern always is what happens if the platform ends its life one day. If the license prevents exporting the data and continuing the effort on another platform, that makes contributing a lot less attractive to me.

Of course, I also understand the benefits of preventing the project from jumping off the original platform, but if I commit in a unique format to a propretiary platform whose continued existence depends on ad revenue, there's always the risk the platform will vanish and take all my work with it.

Still, I'm quite enthusiastic about a new birding platform, so please don't mistake me for a pessimist! :-)

Regards,

Henning (HoHun)
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Old Thursday 21st February 2019, 16:16   #7
locustella80
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Hi Henning!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hauksen View Post
I think I get the idea now ... it's a bit like a user-maintained version of the book series, "Vögel beobachten in ...deutschland", only with world-wide coverage, plus some geo-indexed sightings. Does that sound accurate? :-)
Yes, that sounds quite accurate. Only that we hope there will not be "some", but a lot of geo-indexed sightings ;-). And of course Orniverse can do more than that, like providing tools to create reports, connecting with other birders, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hauksen View Post
If the license prevents exporting the data and continuing the effort on another platform, that makes contributing a lot less attractive to me.
I totally agree and this is absolutely not the idea! In contrary, the license only prevents to alter data or images, but we encourage to share the data with others, especially for conservation and scientific purposes (this is explicitly stated in our terms) and we are currently also developing tools to download the data and reports from Orniverse.

Cheers, Mathias
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Old Thursday 21st February 2019, 20:27   #8
Hauksen
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Hi Mathias,

Quote:
Originally Posted by locustella80 View Post
Yes, that sounds quite accurate. Only that we hope there will not be "some", but a lot of geo-indexed sightings ;-).
The concept that I don't yet understand is how the geo-indexed sightings are linked to the sites.

Would it be feasible to report random sightings all over the world, and let the system decide which site, if any, the sighting will be assigned to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by locustella80 View Post
I totally agree and this is absolutely not the idea! In contrary, the license only prevents to alter data or images, but we encourage to share the data with others, especially for conservation and scientific purposes (this is explicitly stated in our terms) and we are currently also developing tools to download the data and reports from Orniverse.
Sounds good to my layman's understanding. It just seems to differ from the approach platforms like Wikipedia or Openstreetmap have chosen ... not that I really know what I'm talking about, legal stuff actually tends to give me headaches ;-)

Regards,

Henning
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Old Friday 22nd February 2019, 08:11   #9
locustella80
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Hi Henning!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hauksen View Post
The concept that I don't yet understand is how the geo-indexed sightings are linked to the sites.
Once you create a report you will understand. First you choose all the sites that you have visited on your trip and then you compile the species list and assign each species to the site(s) were you have seen it by using simple checkboxes. Optionally you may then add specific sightings with exact locations for a site.

Cheers, Mathias

Last edited by locustella80 : Friday 22nd February 2019 at 08:15.
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Old Friday 22nd February 2019, 10:12   #10
Hauksen
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Hi Mathias,

Quote:
Originally Posted by locustella80 View Post
First you choose all the sites that you have visited on your trip and then you compile the species list and assign each species to the site(s) were you have seen it by using simple checkboxes. Optionally you may then add specific sightings with exact locations for a site.
Thanks for explaining the workflow! I'll give it a try.

Regards,

Henning
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