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Author Topic: Android Dragonfly Recording App  (Read 11734 times)

Offline s1ni5t3r

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Android Dragonfly Recording App
« on: July 19, 2012, 11:02:06 PM »

As stated elsewhere I have been working on an app for android devices (such as smart phones and tablets) that allows users to record their dragonfly observations located by the devices GPS.

The app is now available from the Android Play Store.


Click the logo:




or just search for UKDragonflies on the Google Play Store.


Here's some screen shots:




#









An app to facilitate the recording of dragonflies within England, Wales and Scotland. The app allows records to be submitted to the county recorder in a format approved by the British Dragonfly Society.


Contents:




1. Recording.
2. Editing records.
3. Sending Records.
4. Managing Files.


1. Recording


On first starting the app (or after a break of an hour or more) the "Settings" screen will be displayed. Here you can set various fields that will be used in all records.
There is also the option to change the size of grid squares that are used. 10m squares are probably of little use but may be used to record exuvia or emergent individuals.
Once these details are correct press "Done" to save them.
It is recommended that a new file is started from the "Actions" menu when a new location is visited.


There are 2 distinct modes for recording, single count and quantity input. In both modes the species to be recorded is selected from the dropdowns at the top of the screen. The first dropdown selects a smaller group for the second dropdown making finding the right species quicker.


If "Single Count" is checked in the "Settings" menu The screen will display 6 buttons, one for each life stage that the BDS request for their records. These are Adult, Copulating, Ovipositing, Larva, Exuvia and Emergent. If any of these buttons is pressed and no record for this species has been made in this grid square a new record is created with one indivdual of the type selected. From then on each button pressed will add a single individual of the type selected. Recorded copulating or ovipositing individuals also count as an extra adult.


If "Single Count" is unchecked on the "Settings" menu the app will record in quantity input mode. In this case the screen only displays one "Record" button but there are six dropdowns that allow the input of a quantity coresponding to the quantity codes used by the BDS. When the "Record" button is clicked a record is created. If there is already a record of this species in this grid square the "Editing" screen is opened. The exception to this behaviour is when the quantity dropdowns are in their default position (ie. 1 adult and all other quantities set to zero). In this case the record behaves as it would in single count mode unless the adult quantity has already been set to a quantity code.
 
Records created are shown in a list at the bottom of the screen.
As it is quite common to see a species more than once at a site, a species can be selected as the active species for recording by clicking any record of that species in the list. This saves time over selecting the species from the dropdowns.

A map showing all the grid squares with records in can be reached from the "Actions" menu ->"Show Map". Long clicking on any grid square on this map will bring up a list of all the records in that square.


2. Editing Records


By long clicking (holding down for a second) on a record in the list the Editing Screen is opened for that record. Here all the attributes of the record can be altered. The record can also be moved by selecting the map button and long clicking a location on the map until the map zooms to that position and displays a red grid. All changes can be saved or canceled from the menu or the buttons at the bottom of the screen.
Note that if the quantity for any life stage is changed it will remove the ability to single count that life stage and if the adult quantity is changed ovipositing and copulating individuals will not be single countable either.




3. Sending Records


Selecting "Send Records" from the "Actions" menu on the main screen gives you a choice of ways to share the record. If an email app is selected, the records will be attached in excel format and if all records are from the same vice county the county recorder's email will be put into the "to" field.




4. Managing Files.


Files are named from the location selected and the date and time at which they were created.
Selecting "Browse Files" from the "Actions" menu will bring up a list of all files created by the app. Clicking on one will load it into the app. Long clicking on one will give the option to delete it.


Known compatible hardware:


Samsung Galaxy S2
Samsung Galaxy Ace
HTC One
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 07:54:34 PM by s1ni5t3r »


Offline s1ni5t3r

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Re: Android Dragonfly Recording App
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2012, 11:07:26 PM »
This thread is open for comments and bug reports and for any advice anyone needs. Please feel free to offer any remarks or to ask any questions.

Offline jccurd

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Re: Android Dragonfly Recording App
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2012, 06:44:44 AM »
Crikey, I've been wondering what use a modern phone might be to me. Well done! I'll be stealing my wife's Android phone next.  :laugh:
John

[http://www.odonata.org.uk]

Offline s1ni5t3r

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Re: Android Dragonfly Recording App
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2012, 08:47:09 AM »
Crikey, I've been wondering what use a modern phone might be to me. Well done! I'll be stealing my wife's Android phone next.  :laugh:




I hope you do. So far I've only run it on the emulator and on my Galaxy S2. (I'm hoping to run it on an HTC sometime over the weekend.)
If you do please let me know if there are any problems.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 08:47:43 AM by s1ni5t3r »

Offline pdwinter

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Re: Android Dragonfly Recording App
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 09:12:55 AM »
If the species has already been recorded in this 100m OS grid square the edit screen will appear. (See below.) This allows you to keep all records of each species within the grid in one place.

Hi Tim

Not had a chance to use it yet as our only android phone is in the wife's handbag !

As I usually record at the 1k level is the 100m OS grid square alterable to 1k grid square as an option to the user?

Thanks, Paul
Paul, Rownhams, Hants


Offline s1ni5t3r

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Re: Android Dragonfly Recording App
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2012, 09:15:00 AM »
Not at the moment but it's an option I coild add without much bother. I might also add 10m squares as well.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 01:01:57 PM by s1ni5t3r »

Offline red_fan

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Re: Android Dragonfly Recording App
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2012, 04:27:13 PM »
Shame I have switched from a HTC Desire to an iPhone as I currently use pen and paper.  :sad:
To know the truth, you have to understand the lies - SA

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Offline s1ni5t3r

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Re: Android Dragonfly Recording App
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2012, 09:37:13 AM »
A couple of changes made.


As Paul requested records can now be made in 1Km squares. While I was there I also added the ability to use 10m squares. This is probably pointless but may be useful for recording exuvia or emergent individuals. If you do use 10m squares I'd advise you to check them on the map on the edit screen before submitting as the accuracy of GPS is only about 10m in most cases so it could easily put you in an adjacent square.


When you send your records the app passes the email address of the county recorder to the email app as long as all the records are for the same county. Note that the app doesn't check whether you have selected the correct county. I may add a rough guess at this which will provided a warning if it thinks you are wrong but it will never be 100%. 


Fixed a bug which caused all sorts of mayhem if there was a comma in the reporters name or location.


The file sent is now an actual Excel spreadsheet (.xls) rather than a comma separated value (.csv) file. This removes the need for the county recorder to be more tech savvy than they might be.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 07:11:38 PM by s1ni5t3r »

Offline s1ni5t3r

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Re: Android Dragonfly Recording App
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2012, 11:59:30 AM »
A few more changes:


I've tarted up the front end a bit and added tiny icons to represent the individual species. Hopefully this makes finding them in the list a bit quicker.


From the "Browse Files" screen it is now possible to delete files using a long press.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 12:13:15 PM by s1ni5t3r »

Offline s1ni5t3r

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Re: Android Dragonfly Recording App
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2012, 07:45:27 PM »
Fixed a bug I created during the last build that caused the wrong item to be selected for editing when the record list was touched.


Added vibration feedback for when a new record is created; when a record is successfully edited and when a record is moved on the map view.


Offline s1ni5t3r

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Re: Android Dragonfly Recording App
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2012, 06:52:07 AM »
Added a simple check on the vice county when records are created or edited. This only works to the nearest 10km square so will rarely give a definitive answer but should help to irradiate the most obvious errors.

Offline s1ni5t3r

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Re: Android Dragonfly Recording App
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2012, 09:49:37 PM »
A bit of a face lift for the front end. I found that in the field, in bright sun, selecting the species could be time consuming. I've now split this which seems to make it quicker. First you select the genus (or at least a broad group based around genus) then from a second pull down you select the actual species. This avoids trawling through 50+ species to find the right one.


Fixed a few rare case bugs that I knew existed in theory but would be difficult to actually see in real life. (The app will now not crash if you try to move a record outside the UK. etc.)


Fixed a bug that caused the app to crash if you rotated the phone while on the edit screen then cancelled the edit. This has introduced a new bug which causes a duplicate record to be produced if you rotate the phone while on the edit screen and then save the changes. :headwall: I should find that during the week but it's such a rare bug I thought it wouldn't matter if I made a release with it still active. If you do rotate the phone while on the edit screen be sure to return it to it's original orientation before selecting "Save".

Offline gobby1

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Re: Android Dragonfly Recording App
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2012, 03:27:16 PM »
Hi just tried to download the app to my htc desire. Got a html viewer screen nothing else.can you help

Offline s1ni5t3r

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Re: Android Dragonfly Recording App
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2012, 09:53:27 PM »
Hi Gobby,


I think I know what you mean. Were you trying to download the app direct to your phone?


I have just tried the same thing on an HTC and it failed as well. Something to do with the HTC browser I think.


Can you try again using the PC to do the download and then transfer the file to the phone?


I'll be getting an Android developer account in the next few days so these problems should be avoided in future.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 09:02:16 PM by s1ni5t3r »

Offline s1ni5t3r

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Re: Android Dragonfly Recording App
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2012, 10:35:15 PM »
OK. I've finally got around to getting a Google Developers account so no more manual install. If you have already installed a version manually you will need to uninstall it before installing the new version. After that new versions will automatically download when they becomes available.


Since the last release I've been tinkering and testing in the field and have made a lot of changes. The colour scheme is changed to be more visible in bright sunlight. There is an option to single count adults now which I have found very handy.


I've extended the vibration feedback. It now lets you know when you have crossed a boundary into a new grid square.


Hopefully the manual in the first post is helpful.