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New KRAG Map Icons

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calumma View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15 Jul 2009 at 10:50am
As everyone is probably aware, KRAG is the data holder for herpetofauna
records in Kent. To date we have over 21,000 records on our system.
What you may not be aware of is that KRAG can now provide digital data
as part of a standard search request. This data is output as a kml file and
can be viewed in Google Earth (or any other compatible GIS software). We
have recently commissioned Jen Drage from Aye-Aye Design to create
new icons for use with this digital data. These icons are now complete
and really do bring the digital maps alive!



Image reduced in size to save bandwidth.

The above image illustrates records at one of KRAG's Key Amphibian Sites
(Ham Street Woods NNR). Each of the icons represents an individual
record and can be clicked in Google Earth to reveal further information.
The numbers used to label this information correspond to the record's
unique id and can be used to look up more details in a list that is
provided as a pdf. If a grid reference is supplied as part of the record
search, the record list will also reveal the distance and direction from the
point of interest to each available record.

The icons of older records appear more transparent, so as to highlight
the most recent observations. I am also considering further manipulating
the icons to better represent other meta-data (such as grid reference
precision).

All searches are of course completely free of charge to local recorders and
conservation land managers and we hope that by developing ways to
more clearly present results we will help folks to better interpret data for
the sites where they record.

Commercial users can also request the same digital data and more
information for such folks is available on the
KRAG website.

If you are interesting in seeing the icons in action PM me and I will send
you an example data file. If you have suggestions for how any aspects of
KRAG's data searches can be improved, please don't hesitate to provide
feedback.

Lee Brady

Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vicar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 2009 at 1:17pm
Hi Lee,

Interesting approach.

One of the design criteria I specified was that icons should be as small as possible, whilst being clearly visible at all zoom-levels.

Our core sites have many hundreds of records, and large icons led to overcrowding of the screen, and an inability to clearly discern useful information.

Filtering by year, species or whatever can help this, and has led to the development of species 'layers', where you can look at a sub-set of all species by simply clicking a tick box.

The requirement for small icons drove me to a colour-coded route, but shading is important (for the colour sight challenged), and for contrast against a variety of map and aerial images.

Here's a screenshot of where I'm at currently.



1 brownie-point if you know the location


Edited by Vicar
Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 2009 at 2:07pm
That would be Farnborough Steve
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calumma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 2009 at 2:55pm
Steve

Being colour blind means that colour coded maps often mean very little to
me

The icons we have commissioned are intended for volunteers (and
consultants I guess) and are meant to add a little 'jazz' to the data. They
are not suitable for all situations. We can present the icons at different
sizes and of course use different symbols for different purposes.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that I prefer black and white symbols
when producing material designed to be more rigorously interpreted (or
printed).

The KRAG data can also be viewed across different layers so that
individual species information can be pulled out. See the screen grab
below that illustrates just the reptiles at Ham Street (image reduced in
size):



Using Google Maps I am also encouraging individual recorders to draw
boundaries around their recording 'sites'. These boundaries are also then
available in Google Earth and species data can be plotted as required.

We have also asked Jen to design some standard 'habitat feature' icons
such as ponds, hibernacula, log piles etc. We hope that recorders will
then plot such features on their site maps so that we can make the
information available to those organisations involved in site management
work.

I'd certainly get brownie points if I took the kids to one of the airshows!
Lee Brady

Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calumma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 2009 at 2:58pm
Looks like Gemma got in before me while I was gassing on the phone!
Lee Brady

Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant



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