NBN Conference iSpotnature autumn Bioblitz

Help us countdown to the NBN Conference on Wednesday 18 November by joining a mini Bioblitz with iSpot to capture a map of autumn’s wildlife!

These are challenging times, but being around nature helps us cope and is good for our wellbeing. So, let’s do this collectively, sharing observations of what we can see around us.

The Conference is online this year and being held in collaboration with iSpot, the Open University’s citizen science platform for biodiversity. From now until Monday 16 November please join us in taking a little time away from computer screens to get involved in this interactive activity, from wherever you are, capturing and sharing snapshots from nature. Please do follow the latest COVID-19 guidelines.

Post all the observations you can find by adding the ‘descriptive tag’ NBNconf20, which will help the iSpot Team collate and showcase a map of all the records posted. If the weather or other restrictions prevent you from getting outdoors, do still get involved by helping with identifications of other observations or adding comments. Have a look at the postings so far on iSpot.

Join in and attend the NBN Conference, themed – “NBN at 20 – Changing Times” – to find out the results!  Who will record the most species, or the most unusual? It would be great to see observations from your area.

For those new to iSpot we have provided some tips and guidance on using the website below.  For returning users, thanks for your ongoing support!

If you are unable to attend the Conference but would still like to participate in this autumn Bioblitz, add the NBNconf20 tag to your observations.   

What will happen to the data?

Although some iSpot data is added to the NBN Atlas via iRecord we have been interested in exploring other options to do so and see this initiative as a means towards this.  As the Conference is being held in collaboration with iSpot this year, we thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to trial ideas, which we have already been discussing, to have iSpot data available on the NBN Atlas through a more direct route in the future; therefore this iSpot autumn bioblitz dataset is a starting point.  We will share more about this at the Conference.

Guidance for using iSpot

New to iSpot? Here are ten top tips to help you get the most out of your experience using the website:

  1. Browse observations: Look at some of the latest observations. Anyone can see what’s on the site without registering, just go to the home page, and click on the photos for the latest observations.
  2. Register: To join in the activity you will need to register (it’s free!). Click on the Sign up to iSpot button and provide a username, email address, and password. Check your email for an iSpot account confirmation message.
  3. Add an observation: Adding your own observations allows you to get more out of iSpot and participate fully. Click Add observation, then Choose images to select and attach a photo or photos of the wildlife you have seen.
  4. Provide a location: Add a title; you can find your location on the map provided; upload a photo that has location information attached to it and the longitude and latitude will be automatically added; or fill in the fields. You can also add the OS Grid reference if you have it and any additional details about the location. Tick Hide precise location if you do not want to reveal the precise location of the observation.
  5. Observation details: Add a title to get your observation noticed, include the date observed and a description of the wildlife you have seen. Select the habitat where it was found i.e. garden and parks, woodland or freshwater.
  6. Descriptive tags: Tags are sometimes added to help pull together a group of observations i.e. within an iSpot project. For example, to link to the NBN 2020 Conference bioblitz add NBNconf20 to your observations.
  7. Add an identification: If you think you know the name of what you have seen, add a Scientific name or a Common name; select How sure you are about this and the Group. If you don’t know the name, leave it blank and others will help you identify it.
  8. Submit: Remember to click the Confirmation button to create your observation.
  9. What to spot?: For help and advice on what to spot, where to see it, and how to identify it, select Explore community, open the Species browser and select the group pf wildlife that interests you.
  10. Add agreements, IDs & comments: Once you are registered and have added an observation, you can also assist others by agreeing with or adding identifications to their observations. Click Filter by Group to view the latest posts that may interest you.

Good luck iSpotting!




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