RFI: PDA for birding?

To: birding birding-aus <>
Subject: RFI: PDA for birding?
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 23:47:13 +1100
Hi Ian and Carl

There are a range of PDA applications available for North American (and possibly European) birding, and I think you can even buy a dedicated PDA for birding, with built in field guide, calls, images, database, etc. I don't know of anything like that for Australia as yet, but I guess it will come eventually, but probably as software only.

For my trip to New Caledonia last January I took an iPod Touch and pre- loaded it with images and calls I'd downloaded from the web. I think it was OK to do this for personal use as long as I didn't share any of the images/sounds, all of which is the property of various copyright holders. I used this instead of a field guide because (a) I didn't have time to get one shipped to me and (b) I didn't find a decent one in any bookstore in Noumea. I also loaded some of the calls and images onto my phone (Nokia N70) and this was useful for playing calls in the field.

The iPod was great because I could zoom in to look at details in images, and the interface makes it easy to find an image or sound quickly. There is now a Software Development Kit for iPod/iPhone so maybe we will see an iApp soon for birdwatchers ... but I won't be holding my breath.

I think there is a wonderful opportunity for someone to put together a Field Guide application for Australian birds - ideally something cross- platform so that it could run on popular PDAs and maybe some smartphones that use Symbian OS, etc. They will need access to images and sounds, so it will probably need to come from one of the national organisations - or from someone with a lot of time on their hands!!

Russell Woodford

On 25/03/2008, at 2:27 PM, Carl Clifford wrote:

What exactly do you want to do with it and what type of computer you use will determine which one to buy. There are some fairly good PDA applications for birding available, but I think that they all require a computer with Windoze.

Carl Clifford

On 25/03/2008, at 1:33 PM, Ian May wrote:
g'Day all

I have been intending to buy a PDA with integrated GPS to use in the field as an aid for bird recording and navigation. After reading,2000938760,240055066,00.htm , I learned that one should consider; Platform | Screen | CPU | Memory | Expansion | Connectivity | Camera | Synchronization | Power

Well that's great but I still have not got a clue which one to buy. Is there any thoughts/ discussion re PDA as a birding tool? Are there any special considerations and recommendations of which one to buy from birding-aus member?


Ian May
St Helens, Tasmania
currently at Price SA


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