notpop's picture

nbn map

how soon after an iSpot post does the record appear on NBN map.
i.e. how do I tell whether a dot on the map refers to my record or a previous one ?



ophrys's picture


I don't think it does! Some recording schemes do take records from here to include in their records and those records will end up on the nbn maps eventually, I presume. It would not work for records automatically to go onto the nbn map, as the records need careful vetting first.

An iSpot mentor will tell you more, no doubt.


My Flickr photos...

notpop's picture

iSpot map

In that case wouldn't it be a good idea for iSpot to create it's own species maps.
Even if the understanding was that the records were not vetted or verified,it would at least give a fairly general idea of each species distribution .
Without this feature perhaps much valuable distribution data is being lost.
Personally I would rather rely on such records than the current multiple and poorly subscibed recording systems.
In my area in particular the number of fairly common species not on NBN shows a lack of recorders.
iSpot has a great many recorders.
Surely the iSpot system of citizen science could fill many of these blanks.
I feel a great opportunity is being missed.
George Hogg

amantell20's picture

NBN gateway

I have found out it pays to be very careful when looking at data on the NBN gateway. As I understand it not everyone agrees with the principal of making data available that way, and not every County Recorder has the time to be able to upload records. Also, for the data that is available, you may well find you only have access to a proportion of it.

Personally, while I can understand that records identifying the location of rare or endangered species may need to be redacted, it does seem a shame that it is not more complete.

notpop's picture

old system

My gut feeling is that much more good than harm is done by making disribution data public.
This is the age of instant access to information.
If young people or beginners find the naturalist community to be secretive and unwelcoming,they will find another more inclusive interest.
On the other hand if a youngster finds he or she has made a scarce or new county record,
they will be hooked.
When every kid's mobile phone can take decent plant and insect pics,surely we have the chance of greatly addding to national wildlife records.
I know there are difficulties and old attitudes to overcome,but surely an iSpot national record mapping system has to come ?

Syrphus's picture

I might be able to help here,

I might be able to help here, as I manage datasets in the Gateway for HBRG. Nothing goes to NBNG unless a dataset manager puts it there, and iSpot does not manage any sets there.

One recording scheme (Bugs) harvested all the records then on iSpot and have it as a stand-alone dataset I think that is currently the only one that has made it all the way.

I harvest individual records of especial interest and add them to the HBRG database. Once or twice a year I will upload them to the Gateway. You can't add a single record to NBNG - you need to upload an entire dataset, even if you have only added or changed a single record. Many datasets are well out of date (you can check the date and other useful info in the dataset metadata on the site).

On the matter of data quality, it is very important that records on the Gateway are verified to the best standards (not all, sadly, are). These data are used for serious purposes, so it would be bad in many ways to have unverified data there.

The other points raised by amantell20 are important too. White space on the Gateway maps may mean nothing more than that the data have never been placed there, and should never be taken as meaning either that a species is absent nor that it is not known there. Level of access is set by individual dataset managers, and is not in the control of NBN. This leads to cases where the same record may appear in several different datasets, yet one may only allow you to see the dot while another will allow you to see and download everything. Lots of folk lose sleep over that - I don't!

So I hope this clarifies something. It has problems, and like all else in life will never be perfect, but as long as you use and interpret it correctly the Gateway is a superb source of data - one I typically access several times a day.



recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on

notpop's picture

Thanks Murdo

many thanks Murdo,the difficulties you describe are an example of why I think iSpot should develop it's own 'stand alone' system.

Matt Smith's picture


I-Spot is keen to get it's records out to the appropriate recording scheme and are working on means to make this available. My own scheme - The Tachinid Recording Scheme - has been sent a download of all the Fly records available on I-Spot up to the end of last year and from these we have validated and abstracted nearly 180 records. All of these were included in out last NBN Gateway update.

I'd suggest tht I-Spot making its "own" maps would just add another layer of confusion - I also suspect that many of the maps made this way would show a lot of empty space, apart from a very few common and easily idenitifed species.

Data quality and validation are big issues for the NBN. I'd prefer to see data being added to the NBN via recording schemes and the like, where you know that the national schemes recorders are happy to accept the record. Its not a case of "hiding" the records, more a case of if you see a dot you can be reasonably confident that it is correct.

Tachinid Recording Scheme

TRS Facebook Page!/pages/Tachinid-Recording-Scheme/376652392364707