22 July, 2013 11:48 by Simon S

In the time between this post and the last post, a pair of African elephants could have conceived and given birth to a calf. She’d be a month or so old now, trailing behind her mother on the Savanna. I call her Kimba.

Although the blog has been quieter than a field devoid of crickets, we have been busy, as have some other people with the Field Guide code. Over the past 704 days

  • Simon O has jetted off to San Francisco to improve design in the US. We still miss him.
  • We proposed a more general framework for field guides called Genera.
  • We received funding from the Inspiring Australia project to work with museums around the country to produce field guides for each state and territory.
  • We produced the Bunurong Marine Park Field guide for both Android and iOS platform
  • We’ve updated the original Field Guide on iOS  and produced an Android version
  • We’ve moved from hosting the code at Google Code to GitHub, along with a number of other MV projects, and
  • We helped Goulburn Broken Catchment with their iSpy Frogs app

What happens from here? Well, the iOS Field Guide code on GitHub has been updated so that it works with iOS 6 and has a placeholder image for iPhone 5.  Github will be the place for all future updates.

For the Inspiring Australia project, we’ll be using the Genera code base rather than the Field Guide code base. Why have we done that? Well, the idea behind the Genera project is to produce a platform that can be used to produce guides that involve things other than animals. We wrote a paper about it and the code is also up on GitHub .

The other big news is that three independent developers have published three new apps, using our Field Guide code. They are:

So the field guide code is now being used in three countries – only 201 to go.  Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing a picture of Kimba when someone produces a field guide to Kenya.

<< A Face for your Field Guide: Part 4

Comments (8)

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MIchael Jefferies 28 July, 2013 11:37
Very good to see; I am teaching myself coding so that I can try an app based on yours! keep up the good work Michael
Bill Higham 2 August, 2013 19:57
Hi Simon - a big thank you to you and the team for so kindly making available the source code for your Field Guide app. I have used this code to develop a Flowering Plants of Tasmania app which is now available in the app store. The app details 460 native flowering plants of Tasmania and has over 580 photos. This would have been almost impossible without the source code you made available. Many thanks. Bill Higham
Lawrie Conole 14 September, 2013 16:55
Great app that I've recommended to many since it appeared. My only issue is with the frog Limnodynastes tasmaniensis. There are two callraces in Victoria with very different calls. The app only includes the northern call race, whereas the one that 80-90% of Victorians would hear very commonly (southern call race) is not provided. Get that sorted and the app is super useful to most folks.
Adam Walker 24 January, 2014 14:37
Hi, I would like to use the Genera code for IOS7 development of a field guide. Is Simon still the person to contact for assistance?
Brook Dunstan 1 July, 2014 07:49
Hi, I love this initiative (the field guide) but, as an animal enuthiast AND a hunter (yes they do go together if you only hunt ferals), I can't help but finally comment on the distribution maps. I have not the luxury of time to study any but the more common native species but the ferals species such as fox, sambar deer, fallow deer I do hunt and have some experience with in various locations around Victoria etc. in these 3 cases alone the current distribution maps are grossly incorrect. For example, in the past 2.5 years I have culled 25 sambar deer out of a 2km square section of forest in the east of the Vic Alps that according to the guides map is devoid of this species. The fox distribution map is the most painfully inadequate. Apparently we don't have them in Victoria? I saw one dead on the Monash FWY yesterday. I suggest an alternative info source for these animals that might be more current. The department of sustainability and environment should be able to provide reasonably accurate data without any bias. The Australian Deer Hunting Association could also provide observation data on all deer species distribution, although theirs would probably only be subjective guesses at population density .
Discovery Centre 18 July, 2014 09:50
Hi Brook, thank for your feedback about the maps in our Field Guide to Victorian Fauna app.The data for our maps is sourced from the Atlas of Living Australia and is based on specimens held in Australia’s museums as well as human observations. We acknowledge that these maps sometimes underestimate the actual distribution of species. Ironically this is particularly a problem for common and feral species as they are underrepresented in museum collections and the public are less likely to report their occurrence to us.

We are in the process of replacing some of the maps (those that are a particularly poor representation of a species’ range) with custom-drawn maps (that accurately represent a species’ range). We replaced many of the fish maps in the last update and we will replace others as we receive feedback such as yours. The Red Fox and feral deer maps are now on the list of maps to replace and you should see new maps in the next update. Thank you for helping us to improve the quality of our Field Guide app. 

A. 14 August, 2014 19:11
As a teacher, I find the app extremely useful. It would be great to include information about the way each animal breaths. Thank you
john 22 July, 2015 11:48
very nice code. i'm trying to use the android code.
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About this blog

We've released the source code for MV's Field Guide Project under a MIT style license. This blog will help you identify all the material you need to collect so that you can publish a field guide of your own.

MV's Open Sourced Code on Github

View all Museum Victoria's apps

Blog authors

Simon S is the programmer behind the field guide app.

Simon O is the designer behind the field guide app.