BirdBlog and Generic Metadata Tools

Wetlands, marshes, swamps, coastal estuaries are a consistenly and heavily modified landscape. Historically regarded as an economic wasteland, the site of huge programs of earth modifcation whenever possible, and seemingly impossible. Say the entire country of Holland, or San Francisco Bay, filled in to half the area of its 1850s extent. Only recently has science, and somewhat slower policy, understood the ecological importance of wetlands: they rank with coral reefs and rain frorest in net energetic productivity, are home to a high number of species, and play an important role in filtering contaminants from the environment.

This summer we visited many wetlands, on the look out for bird life. And some other drier places, also with birds. I’ve put them altogether, in a geocoded weblog. Viewable as a weblog and a map.

Each observation is geocoded, using the Radio Userland Location Tool. I can easily see other appropriate metadata — time of observation (rather than post), weather conditions, species observed, landscape conditions. Adding the location metadata to Radio’s weblog posting, and rss generation, was straightforward, and easily made generic — could see a generalized, configurable metadata tool. Integrate pinging of some central service, and you’d have distributed environmental modelling on the cheap!

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