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Distance/time edit
 
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[Solved] Distance/time edit

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Posts: 175
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(@magmatic)
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I will word this in Agile-speak.

As a Birder’s Diary and eBird user,

I would like the mobile app
to allow me to edit the time and distance of an outing,
so that the eBird export window in the desktop app sees the values I want eBird to see, and I don’t have to laboriously manually change these values in the desktop app. This is because eBird’s distance requirements are not necessarily the distance the cell phone registers.

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Jeff
Posts: 990
 Jeff
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(@jeff)
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Joined: 4 years ago

Hi David,

Here are a few things that come to mind for this request.

  • The mobile app lets you modify the start/end times on the Finish Outing window. Just tap on either the start or end time to modify either. This, of course, will recompute the elapsed time.
  • You cannot modify the track distance in the app. It is simply the correct recording of distance traveled since starting the outing, up to when you finish the outing. 
  • You have two, rather easy, ways to modify these values on the desktop:
    • Edit the newly created Trip after import and plug in any values you like. 
    • During export of an Outing to eBird, you can modify either value there. This seems like the likely spot to make changes that eBird wants/requires. It is simple and part of the export process.
      image
  • What are eBird's distance requirements such that it differs from the distance of the track traveled during your outing? If you started and finished the eBird mobile app at the same time as BD Mobile, they would both show the same distance. I must be missing something here.

 

Let's dig into this more so that I can understand what needs to be done. Thanks. 

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Posts: 175
Topic starter
(@magmatic)
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Joined: 4 years ago

First of all, I did not know you could modify the time and date! Is that documented somewhere? It is not intuitive. I had no idea I could tap on that text at the top of the screen and something would happen! But it does! But nothing happens when I tap on the text in the green bars, which is where I would expect something to happen.

The eBird app has clearly marked text boxes, and it is intuitive to try tapping in those boxes. When I try that, I can edit the data.

Even so, as a Birder's Diary user:

I do not want to change the start/end time/date of the outing. I want to change the distance and bird time recorded, regardless of what the start/end time is. These are not necessarily the same thing. It's fine to leave the comments to say whatever the mindless phone calculated. But the text box in the trip should say the distance that goes to eBird.

Sometimes I have to pause my birding. For example, I run into a neighbor and have to stop and chat. I would prefer if that time was not counted.

As for the phone track being an accurate distance. On my phone, it is not always accurate. And it is relatively new. So, I often want to correct the distance to the distance I know is right.

In addition, for example, if my loop is 1 mile, and I walk it twice, the phone might register 2 miles (or so). But eBird only wants 1 mile. They don't want you to count ground you already covered. They say that in the documentation somewhere, which I cannot find right now, but I have seen it more than once.

I don't want to edit these things in BD desktop, which is what I have been doing. I want to do it on the spot in the app when I am thinking of it. Last night, I had a backlog of outings, and it was a pain to have to go into the Trip and then the HTML track map and figure this all out and then the eBird export window.

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Jeff
Posts: 990
 Jeff
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(@jeff)
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Joined: 4 years ago

In testing, I uncovered bugs in how the calculations were made based on some circumstances. I have fixed that code in Build 6.

I have also added a section that describes how start time and duration are calculated.

image

I am thinking that maybe the errors I had are at the core of your suggestion above, even though I am still not sure.

Here is the logic being used. 

  1. If ALL selected Sightings being exported are attached to the same Trip, then Export Start Time and Duration use the BD Trip values for this.
  2. Otherwise, Start Time is set using the earliest selected sighting's date/time value. Duration is calculated by the difference between the latest date/time and the earliest date/time from the selected sightings.

Let me know if this is capturing what you intended or if there is more to this story.

Thanks. 

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Jeff
Posts: 990
 Jeff
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(@jeff)
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Joined: 4 years ago

Posted by: @magmatic

I don't want to edit these things in BD desktop, which is what I have been doing. I want to do it on the spot in the app when I am thinking of it. Last night, I had a backlog of outings, and it was a pain to have to go into the Trip and then the HTML track map and figure this all out and then the eBird export window.

Ah, now I see where the pain is coming from. When you have a lot to process at one sitting.

I think all of this can be solved by a combination of a couple things.

  1. BD Mobile
    1. Before submittal from BD Mobile, note any thing you will need later on the eBird export, such as "minus 20 min" and "ebird dist=1mi", in the Outing Comments.
  2. BD Desktop
    1. eBird Export window will auto-add Trip comments to the export Checklist Comments field. Available for you to edit and reference before creating the eBird export file.
    2. Modify Start Time, Elapsed Time, and Distance Traveled on the eBird Export window using the comments you created during your Outing with BD Mobile.
    3. Modify the Checklist Comments (BD Mobile 'Outing Comments') on the eBird Export window to suit your needs.

Distance

I don't store this on BD Mobile, but calculate it on submittal by summing up the distances between all the points. I think the best thing for you to do in this case, is to make a note in the comments like "ebird distance=1mi"; so you will now have that comment readily available (after Build 6) on export. It is only created and stored on import into BD Desktop; stored with the Trip.

Start & Elapsed Time

BD Mobile doesn't have a way to pause. As you now know, you can modify the start/end times on the submit window. This will of course change the calculated elapsed time automatically. For anything other than that, I think another comment on submittal such as "talked to neighbor for 20 minutes", or "subtract 20 minutes from elapsed", or "minus 20 min". Again, these comments will now be visible and available on the export window going forward.

Let me know if I am getting closer to solving the issues here with these changes and suggestions. Thanks. 

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Jeff
Posts: 990
 Jeff
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(@jeff)
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Joined: 4 years ago

Build 6 is now available!

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Posts: 175
Topic starter
(@magmatic)
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Joined: 4 years ago

I see. What I'm asking for is not possible, given the design of the system. So, the workaround is to put adjustments in the comments.

This also explains some disagreements I have seen between the time and the time in the comments. Time is calculated by Desktop, Time in the comments is put there by Mobile, but Desktop doesn't pay attention to it.

If I understand this right, I could bird for 60 minutes, and Mobile knows it's 60 minutes. But if I made no sightings for the last 10 minutes, Desktop would not know it's 60 minutes. It would calculate 50 minutes. And if I treat all row-taps as one sighting, a mere new sighting at the 60 minute mark would not be enough. It would have to be a sighting of an additional species at 60 minutes for Desktop to know I birded for 60 minutes.

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Jeff
Posts: 990
 Jeff
Admin
(@jeff)
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Joined: 4 years ago

Hi David,

Not exactly.

BD Mobile calculates elapsed time from the moment you click on Start Outing until you click on the Submit button. It calculates distance traveled by simply adding up the distance between all GPS readings. It does both calculations when you click submit and it sends the data to the cloud (or email). ONLY IF, you have Create Trip on import... set on the Submit Checklist Options window before you submit. 

Trip vs No Trip on the Desktop

  • If you have a Trip defined and created on import, then this will hold the start/stop times of your outing. And the elapsed time on your desktop will be calculated as the difference between the two. Same as on Mobile.
  • If you have a Trip defined, then the Distance Traveled is stored with it as well as the start/stop times.
    image
  • If No Trip is created on import, per the Mobile setting, this this information is not saved in BD Desktop. The Trip is the entity that stores your track points, distance traveled and start/stop time.
    If No Trip is created, then the elapsed time is calculated as the time from the earliest sighting to the time of the latest sighting. That is all the data we have if there is no trip defined. If No Trip, then there is no distance traveled.

 

Posted by: @magmatic

If I understand this right, I could bird for 60 minutes, and Mobile knows it's 60 minutes. But if I made no sightings for the last 10 minutes, Desktop would not know it's 60 minutes. It would calculate 50 minutes.

As long as ALL sightings you are exporting belong to the same trip, it will auto-calc the elapsed time as the difference between the Mobile/Desktop start and stop times. But if you are exporting any sighting (per rules in my last post above) that is not attached to a trip or attached to a different trip, then that goes away, and we revert back to latest sighting minus earliest sighting.

It seems complicated, but it is logical. NOTE: please remember I had some bugs in these calculations that I just found today, that may have been causing you some heartburn. Hopefully that is all corrected in Build 6 and it should operate as I have explained here.

So, in this example of yours, if you are exporting only sightings from the same Trip, it will use 60 minutes, even if you saw no birds in the last 10 minutes.

Posted by: @magmatic

And if I treat all row-taps as one sighting, a mere new sighting at the 60 minute mark would not be enough. It would have to be a sighting of an additional species at 60 minutes for Desktop to know I birded for 60 minutes.

You are right about the treat all row-taps as one sighting option. All sightings of that species will have the timestamp and gps coords of the first tap on that name. But, the calculation of elapsed time will be like it is explained above.

Let me know if this generates more questions.

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Posts: 175
Topic starter
(@magmatic)
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Joined: 4 years ago

Yes, it does generate questions, and headaches, I'm sure.

If the time/distance fields in the Trip come from mobile, then why can't there be editable fields for distance and elapsed time in Finish Outing? If you can edit these things in Trip in desktop, why not in mobile? Why can't that override what mobile would calculate at the moment of submission? Why do we have to concern ourselves with a stop time anyway? Why can't it just show the start time and then an editable elapsed time text box and be done with it? To make that happen, it would have to stop counting while you are on the Finish Outing screen, but I think that would be a good thing. That would even be like a pause.

All this assumes we say to create a Trip.

Because...if mobile creates a trip, then desktop looks at the time/distance mobile calculated. If mobile does not create a trip then desktop is on its own figuring these things out, and it might not give the whole picture.

All this assumes the phone gave correct distance, which it might not. On my phone, I've seen the eBird app get fooled too.

(Personally, I would do away with the option to create a trip or not. Make it always happen. We get into trouble when we don't make a Trip.)

By the way, having the comments from the trip port over to eBird export very helpful and is pure genius, (if I do say so myself.)

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Jeff
Posts: 990
 Jeff
Admin
(@jeff)
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Joined: 4 years ago

Hi David,

Glad you like the new comments functionality on the eBird export window. Pure genius.

Let me know if I can assist with anything further.

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Posts: 175
Topic starter
(@magmatic)
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Joined: 4 years ago

Having the trip comments port over to the eBird dialog is indeed helpful. Even more helpful: an extra two or three lines in the Comments box. It would mean less scrolling and clicking, as I am looking for the comments not to delete, which are at the bottom.

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Jeff
Posts: 990
 Jeff
Admin
(@jeff)
Creator & Technical Support
Joined: 4 years ago

That window is getting a bit long. So I reduced the font size by 1 pt and squeezed in 2 more lines.

It was this:

image

It is now this...

image

Let's see if this helps. Nice to be able to see more text.

Coming in Build 7.

fyi

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