Thursday, December 4

BirdTrax Update: What's Happening to the Checklist Tab?

eBird now offers an elegant interface for perusing recent checklists submitted in any county or state. If you haven't already, bookmark eBird's Region Explorer. It provides you with fast and easy access to a wealth of information.

BirdTrax requests information from eBird databases every time you load your gadget. An ever-growing community of BirdTrax users worldwide is beginning to make data requests overwhelming, thus it's time to direct your checklists tabs directly to eBird.

Important Note: If your gadget opens up in the checklist tab by default, you need to change that. If you are operating a personal gadget on Google Sites, for example, open up the preferences tab and change the default view setting. If you have embedded BirdTrax on your website, go back to the BirdTrax embed code generator and enter all the same information as before (only checklists is no longer an option for default view).

We appreciate your understanding and are grateful together with team eBird for your support and use of this wonderful dataset. We hope that you continue to enjoy the wide variety of data exploration tools available. More are on the way!! Just after New Years we'll put up a teaser here on the website for a new tool on track for release before Spring migration.

Wednesday, August 6

Find those eBird Personal Locations that should be merged with Hotspots!!

eBird should totally, totally develop a tool that allows users to detect whether their personal locations are very near hotspots (or should be merged with the hotspot). Maybe they are working on that, but in the meantime here's a little app to help you clean up your locations and get your name on more Hotspot Explorer pages :)

Hotspot Alignment Tool

To use this program, download your eBird data (the link is in the My eBird page on the right toolbar), then upload that file directly to the page.

This is just a primitive idea of what a tool like this really ought to do, but I just wanted to share this little functionality with the eBirders out there in case it can be useful.

Saturday, May 24

Added Language Support for BirdTrax

Species names in BirdTrax can now be viewed in French and Spanish in addition to English! This was in high demand for a long time, so I anticipate much excitement. I hope this new possibility will provide impetus for further growth in eBird participation worldwide. When embedding BirdTrax, simply select from a choice of languages (option beneath country drop-down box). If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at
The new "Espanol (MX)" eBird Gadget!

Embed a BirdTrax Gadget on your website by clicking here or add it to your Google Site.

On a side note, I could use some help translating the basic text of BirdTrax into Spanish. I have received French and Portuguese assistance, but would greatly appreciate an email with the translations of non-species text used in the gadget from users who are fluent/comfortable in Spanish. I will keep this request updated once I obtain the information I need to proceed.

Monday, October 21

Google Sites: The Best Way to View BirdTrax Gadgets

My favorite way to view a collage of personal BirdTrax gadgets is using Google Sites.

To begin, go to:

  1. Create a new site. Simply click "create". You can fiddle around with style all you like, but I just selected "blank template". Once you finish up on that page, you should have a new website.
  2. Edit your page. Click on the pencil in the upper right area of the page.
  3. Add a BirdTrax gadget. In the upper left menu bar, hover over "insert" and then click on "more gadgets...". Click on "add gadget by URL" and enter the following URL:

  4. Customize your gadget. Type in your settings as you so desire, and when you click OK, you'll have inserted your first BirdTrax gadget into the site.
The rest of the features are fairly self-explanatory. You can change your privacy settings -- by default the site is public.

Here's a sample site for you to check out:

BirdTrax Demo Dashboard

Friday, June 14

eBird Checklist Map

Yesterday I threw some code together that generates a map of all eBird checklists submitted in my area.

I haven't had time to perfect the idea yet, and I may add a few more features. In the meantime, here's how you can do this too:

Wednesday, April 24

Map your eBird History!

Here's an awesome new map of personal eBird checklist submissions over time from Brian Sullivan:

Thanks to Jared Fischer for the idea and development work!

Here's how to do this:

Friday, January 4

BirdTrax Website Embedder

Here's a simple tool to help you embed BirdTrax on your website. Fill in the information below, then click "Get Code!" to copy the code you need to paste on your website to place the gadget. If you encounter any issues, please comment or email me.

Tuesday, December 4

Make your own LifeMap from your eBird Data

In about 10-20 minutes, depending on your proficiency with technology, you can put together a map showing your worldwide travel routes based on your eBird data. This is awesome for travelogues, date error detection in data cleanup, and quite frankly, it's cause for a good sense of personal satisfaction.

My eBird Record of 2 Weeks in Europe

Tuesday, July 17

Tutorial: Embed eBird Rarities Data on your Website

If you're a web-developer, programmer, website owner, or blogger, you may wish to embed eBird Data on your website. What are the advantages?
  • Fast download time, much faster than a Google Gadget
  • Flexible design, so you can customize it so it blends into your website
  • You can write your code in JavaScript, an easy-to-learn and easy-to-use programming language
In this post I'll walk you through a code designed to display recent rarities in your area. All you need is a little tech-savviness, a website, and an hour or two.

Using eBird APIs, a set of XML databases containing recent bird observations, we'll output the latest rarities in a region and give it a little formatting. In the end, your result should look something like this:

Friday, July 13

Embed Google Maps in eBird Checklist Comments!

View Checklist:  S10505942
How often haven't you bawled over a listserv post when you couldn't describe the location of the bird you saw? Finally you decided to just send everybody a set of latitude-longitude coordinates. Even then, to make sense of those numbers, your readers had to go plug them into Google Maps.

But technology is better than that. Just embed that Google Map into your eBird comment! Why not? It's easy, fast, and beautiful!

I've built an automated code generator below which spits out an image code you can copy into your eBird comments. You can now have a Google Map embedded in your checklists comments in less than 1 minute. It will look just like the checklist on the right.