New MapMate guidance


Running the MapMate biological recording database on Windows Vista and Windows 7 caused quite a few problems at first. Things seem to have been sorted out now, and if you run the latest version of MapMate (currently 2.4.0) on Windows 7 you should not encounter any difficulty.

However, problems can still arise with older versions, and depending on the route you’ve taken to upgrade. I’ve just posted a new downloadable document on my website that summarises these issues and offers some guidance on resolving the problems and keeping MapMate running happily.

Please let me have any feedback you may have from using the new document – does it make sense to you? Do the recommendations match what has worked for you?


MapMate: new user queries available


For MapMate users, I’ve added a few new queries to my MapMate resources page (see the SQL for user queries heading on that page):

  • Information on creating queries that combine synonyms into the latest version of the name
  • Query to update the date in a block of records
  • Query to export data from MapMate in the format required to send it to the NBN Gateway (thanks to Graham French for help with this one)

analysing county moth datasets


County moth datasets tend to be large and ‘messy’ affairs – messy in the sense that they are large aggregations of data from a variety of sources, collected using a variety of methods. Some people will run a mercury vapour trap all night long in their garden, several times a week; others will run an occasional actinic trap for a few hours on a nature reserve; others will just send in a few sightings of moths they’ve found by day. Is it possible to draw any overall conclusions about which moths are increasing or decreasing from this mass/mess of data?

In an attempt to look at this for the Berkshire moth database, I’ve set up some user queries for use in MapMate that compare numbers of records and of individuals of particular species against total numbers for the year. Full details and a download of the queries are here on my kitenet website. Here are the resulting graphs for Mottled Rustic, currently doing very poorly in Berkshire:

revised MapMate user queries


Ages ago I circulated a set of MapMate user queries to extend the standard “Browse all records” query with extra details, including determiner, national status for rare species, some higher taxon classifications, etc.

I was recently asked to revise these queries, updating and slightly extending them. The revised versions can be downloaded here.

(see the fourth bullet point “SQL text (.txt file) for custom User Queries to browse records with additional details”)

Using SlideShare for MapMate presentation


I’ve used the MapMate species recording database for about seven years now, both at home and in my jobs, and I’ve run a number of training workshops for people wanting to use this program. I’ve just been experimenting with putting up my ‘MapMate overview’ presentation onto SlideShare. The procedure I used was:

  • Create a powerpoint presentation
  • Record a commentary to go with it – I recorded mine in Powerpoint 2007, but this was a bit of a pain, and I ended up having to edit the commentary using the WavePad Sound Editor (a great free download), so will record it separately next time
  • Upload the presentation to SlideShare
  • Upload the audio to a file store (I used Internet Archive)
  • Use SlideShare’s slidecast tools to link the audio to the slides

The result:

(NB that this presentation is now available for others to use under a Creative Commons Share Alike licence)