To: "Peter Shute" <>
Subject: Birdstack
From: "Dave Torr" <>
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 17:56:39 +1100
Use of Google maps may not be such an advantage in Aus, given the woeful
state of broadband in this country! They are certainly nice but can make
things awful slow!

As to the other questions - I guess some people like to play with new
technology (I do, hence my efforts which have stalled rather recently). It's
only human to think you can do better than other people and indeed - as
technology changes - it is easier to build a new website with "exciting"
features (like Google maps) than to update an old one.
I would have relatively little worry about the financial side of things -
website hosting (especially outside Aus) is pretty cheap so not too hard to
fund it as part of your hobby - and always the chance I guess for adverts.
Interesting that Eremaea started out as subscription and became free!
Data security is more of an issue - a good webhost (the more expensive
ones!) should be pretty secure against data loss. More of an issue is long
term viability - something run by an organisation such as BA or BOCA (which
have been around 100 years or so) is I guess more likely to be still here in
50 years than something run by an individual. That may not concern you too
much if you are my age of course! But it is important if you think your data
may ever be useful to help track the change in species distribution, for
example. I would want to know exactly what the plans of the owners are in
case they decide or are forced to stop running the site - will it go to
another organisation (as is the case I believe with Eremaea). How will those
plans be implemented? (Owner dies in a car crash - do the executors know
what to do or will the site just be turned off? Sounds extreme but something
similar happened to me once with a cheap webhosting site I was using - just
disappeared one day with all my data!) And finally is the issue of the
ownership of data - what can the site do with your data - do you know?

On 21/01/2008, Peter Shute <> wrote:
>  wrote on Monday, 21 January 2008 1:57
> PM:
> > I haven't looked at it, but do we need more of these?  Does
> > it do anything the other online databases don't do?
> Now that I've had a little look at it, it does look a little more modern
> than "ours".  It seems to integrate Google maps, and allows you to
> determine whether your data is public or private and to "publish" your
> sightings to RSS feeds.
> On the other hand, the database uses IOC's world bird list.  I'm not
> familiar enough with taxonomies to know if that's going to cause
> problems for Australian birders.
> Some other questions:
> - Given that there are several other online databases around, what
> prompted these people to create another?  Did they not know about the
> others?  Did they think the others weren't good enough?
> - Why are they doing it for free?  Will there be requests for money down
> the track?  Will they run out of money and close?
> - How secure is the data?
> Peter Shute
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