Saturday, March 7, 2015

Scythebill 12.0 - better locations!

Scythebill 12 is here!  As always, download here, and please let me know if you have any problems, let me know either on Google+Facebook, or by email.  The big items this time around include:

  • Greatly improved location support
  • 24 newly reconciled checklists - the United States and West Indies are (almost) done!
  • and Waarneming import support

Better locations

The big new feature is improved location entry.  Locations can now have latitude and longitude, and full text descriptions.  But since it's tedious to enter latitude and longitude, Scythebill will automatically search for those locations using Google and eBird's "hotspots"!  When it finds a result, it can:
  • Enter the latitude and longitude automatically
  • Show you a map of the location
  • Automatically find the state or even county, so you don't have to
Here's Keoladeo National Park in India - Scythebill (or, rather, Google) found it and automatically placed it inside Rajasthan State.

And here's Golden Gate Park, automatically located not just in the state of California but also into San Francisco County:

And, finally, Magoebaskloof in South Africa:

Latitudes and longitudes are now part of the Scythebill import and export format, and will also be grabbed out of eBird imports.

This is all new code, and there may be a few rough edges - please let me know if anything doesn't work.  (And in case you're wondering, no, Scythebill doesn't send any personal information - cookies, for example - to Google or eBird.)

More checklist improvements

A number of checklists have been reconciled for accuracy and rarity status:
  • The last of the states in the United States is done!  Kentucky was cleaned up by Bill D., and the wonderfully helpful Zack W. took care of Maine, Maryland, Hawaii, Florida, and the District of Colombia!
  • I've handled (almost all) of the West Indies - Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Bermuda, the British and US Virgin Islands, Cayman Island, Cuba... you get the point.  (The Netherland Antilles and (French) St. Martin aren't done yet;  information on these is harder to come by.)
  • Abdel B. contributed a number of corrections - mostly southeast Asia, but also some African fixes too. and Waarneming imports

Scythebill now offers some experimental support for importing from files - which also supports and  Do let me know if you have a chance to try this out!

Other fixes and improvements

  • Western Whistler - a species newly available in the last IOC update - can now be entered.  (I invented a new Clements subspecies of Golden Whistler for those who want to enter this in Clements to be ready for the future.)
  • The "Domestic Form" of Rock Pigeon now imports cleanly into eBird.
  • Reports now show a family count next to the species count.  Thanks to Eric S. for the idea!
  • If you use the arrow keys to navigate while entering species, a few species of context at the top and bottom always stay visible - again, thanks to Eric S. for the suggestion.
  • You can now edit the "Complete list of sightings?" setting for a visit after initial entry.
  • An error message that could appear when creating a new .bsxm file - especially for first time users - has been fixed.
  • If you clicked the "Back" button while entering sightings, you lost all your work and had to re-enter everything.  (Ugh.) It's been fixed.