Board logo

Subject: A Suggestion [Print This Page]

Author: cgeoff    Time: 23/10/2006 07:47     Subject: A Suggestion

I have a suggestion regarding the arrangement of photos of bird species on the Forum, which it would be good to get feedback on from photographers, users of the board and from Forrest regarding its feasibility.

The Forum (and the old BBS) is not only a great way for photographers to share photos and for board users to appreciate the beauty of the photos and the abilities of the photographers. It also provides an excellent resource that enables people to learn about bird identification and even allows those researching this topic to make advances in understanding which species or subspecies of birds occur in HK. The Records Committee has benefitted from this recently (more on that in another thread later!).

However, one of the problems with the old BBS was that there were hundreds of pages of photos, with, in some cases, many different threads for individual species, which at times made searching and looking at photos of different birds of the same species problematic. I was wondering whether, instead of having numerous threads for, say, Richard Pipit photos, it would be better to have only one. This would mean that all Richard's Pipit photos would be concentrated in one place, thereby making it easier to look back at previous photos and make comparisons etc. It would also make it easier for those who are unsure of the identification of birds in their own shots to check previous postings of similar species and correctly identify their own photos.

I would also suggest that for photos that are put up specifically to be identified, that once this is done these photos are then moved into the appropriate species thread, in order to concentrate photos of the same species

One problem is that misidentified photos would need to be renamed and moved. Any that remain unidentified could be put in special threads (e.g. Phylloscopus sp.).

One further advantage is that records of rare species, for which photos are an important part of the identification process could then be compiled more easily than was the case on the old BBS. From a Records Committee point of view, this would be very helpful.

What do you all think about this suggestion?

Geoff Carey
Author: wgeoff    Time: 23/10/2006 08:06

I agree with Geoff's suggestion. I think we should have a seperate slot for each individual species.

One way is to adopt the same groupings as, which allows you to get to individual species using 3 keystrokes. I'm sure many of us are familiar with the orientalbirdimage website and I would think that all the species we need are identified there, so a map for the site is already available. Or we can use the official HK bird list as a single list.

As Geoff says, one problem is to ensure that birds are correctly identified and posted. I don't know how OBI does this or whether it just relies on the photographer making the correct posting. But some sort of review and reallocation system must be available. Perhaps all new photos should go into a 'holding tray' for say 1 week to allow time for the experts to review the id before they are posted into the main file.

Geoff Welch
Author: tmichael    Time: 23/10/2006 18:55

I would like to strongly support Geoff W's suggestion, and Geoff C's too.

Specifically, I too was using the OrientalBird Images site just yesterday and it made me wonder why we can't have basically the same taxonomically rigorous, well-laid out, yet essentially simple system for organising our photos, which are, as Geoff C. has pointed out, a resource of inestimable value for ALL of us, from complete beginners to the very most knowledgeable birders in HK, and indeed anywhere.

As Geoff W. says we need some kind of triage system for id checking, and aging/sexing of birds in photos before posting - I and I'm sure others would be willing to play a role in that if required, though we'd frequently need to check others' opinions too, and occasionally mistakes might be made, as they have been with photos on the OB site, but they can be questioned and rectified if necessary.

Viney et al cannot, in my opinion, be used as a basis for sequencing as for perfectly valid, but non-scientific reasons given on p. 7 (Arrangement) they have created their own sequence.

If the OB type approach is adopted you just build in the Avifauna order and photos are pasted accordingly.

NB a difference between our image base and the OB's would be that we would probably have many pictures of a relatively limited no. of species (mostly photographed in HK, certainly in the region), whereas OB has fewer pics of many more species from a much wider geographical area.

Mike Turnbull
Author: ddavid    Time: 23/10/2006 20:26

I would agree with the above suggestions by the two Geoffs and Mike about organising the photographs on a species basis.

The old BBS site was very valuable in terms of honeing  ID skills but there was the problem that photos and comments could be scattered across 2-3 different sections of the BBS making access to the material rather difficult & time-consuming.

Putting all the photographs (and ID comments) into one folder at species level with other closely related species a mouse-click away could make this site truly excellent. Think how useful it would be, to take one example, to have all the photos of the Hong Kong accipiters put into single species files but grouped together generically. This would enable straightforward access to numerous photos of, say Besra, and would enable easy comparison with photos of Crested Goshawk, Chinese Goshawk, Jap Sparrowhawk and  Eurasian Sparrowhawk (although there seem to be surprisingly few photos of the last two available!!)

I would also stress that the ID comments made on specific photos should be retained to indicate what exactly makes the bird what it is e.g the recent Asian Lesser Cuckoo and Chestnut Bittern on Po Toi. Many of the finer points of ID are not covered in the Birds of Hong Kong and  South China and unfortunately at the current time this part of the world lacks the equivalent of the Collins Bird Guide to the birds of Britain & Europe.

A re-worked BBS in the way suggested by Geoff Carey would be very useful in going some way to making up this deficit.

David Diskin

Welcome to HKBWS Forum 香港觀鳥會討論區 ( Powered by Discuz! 6.0.0