Roberts VII Multimedia Birds of Southern Africa PC Edition
Roberts VII Multimedia Birds of Southern Africa is a comprehensive and interactive multimedia program. It combines multimedia data on over 960 Southern African bird species, with eight interactive modules that facilitate almost every aspect of "computer birding".
The BIRDS database includes
In the interactive modules you can.
Requirements: Windows XP/Vista/7/8 (excl. Windows 8 RT), Internet Explorer 5 or later, Pentium 2 or better. Minimum hard drive space 2GB. The program is distributed on both DVD disc for PC, and SDcard for small PC’s without a disc drive.
One of the many new program developments has been the introduction of ‘wizards’ to help the user select the appropriate module or function, while some such as Identification have been developed into sequential screens that guide you through the process. The wizards also include links directly to pages in the Help File. These wizards have proved to be a wonderful way of showing the many functions available in the program.
The Bird Lists module has been upgraded to include GPS-based records imported from the PDA edition. The Birding Spot module has the added functionality of adding or editing birding spot data, including adding your own photographs and bird lists. On the Bird Pages you can add your own notes and photos as well. Other improvements include a fully adjustable program window and sizing of fonts in both the bird list and general texts.
In terms of data we have entirely new and expanded texts from Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition and field guide texts from the Roberts Bird Guide by Hugh Chittenden, new illustrations with identification pointers, maps updated with distributions of subspecies, rare bird records updated, the photo database expanded to over 6000 quality photos, completely re-edited bird sounds, and alternative bird names expanded to include many languages. In fact not much of the data has been left untouched.
This module includes the full text introduction from Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition, an introduction to this program Roberts 7 Multimedia PC Edition, and a description of all the bird families.
The bird list panel is an integral and permanent part of the program, allowing quick access to any species. You can choose the type of list, what language or names are displayed, and how the list is ordered. The search function works progressively as you type.
At the foot of the bird list are buttons for adding to your personal bird list, the species total for the list, and controls for sound playback.
Bird Page Options
The Bird Page Options highlight the modules and functions available in the BIRDS module.
The Family Pages function as a comprehensive electronic field guide. You can page through the family pages, select a bird, view the field-guide text and distribution maps, and listen to the bird sound. Alternative names are also listed.
The bird pages present all the available data on a species, including field guide text and full handbook text, illustrations, distribution maps, bird sounds, and photographs. The distribution maps are colour-coded to indicate status of resident, breeding migrant and non-breeding migrant, and shaded to indicate density of distribution. The status bar indicates both occurrence and breeding throughout the year, while endemic and red data species have colour-coded indicators. The text page also includes a summary of rare bird records for rare species, notes for the sounds presented, your own notes on a bird, and a summary of your bird list records for the species. The text can be expanded to full screen, as can all images be expanded to fill the program window.
In this module you can view similar species side-by-side for direct comparison of all the bird page data, including texts, illustrations, maps, photos and sounds. Similar Birds will select the species for you, while the Compare option can be used for your own selection for comparison.
The Add/Edit module is used to edit the names or add multimedia data to any bird in the list, add a new species to the SA list, or add birds from the world list to your personal list.
The search function will look for any bird name, place name or word combination throughout the texts in the program, and return a list of links to follow.
This page highlights the range of identification options available, including identification of birds, sounds, nests and eggs. The Family pages and Similar Birds module also facilitate comparison of species.
The Identification Wizard guides you through the selection of distribution, habitat, bird shape and plumage characteristics. Unlike a dichotomous key which discards all options except that selected, the program allows multiple selections within a category, and sorts between categories to generate a short-list. The bird list changes dynamically as you make your selection. Once your selection is completed the wizard returns to the Identification Module below.
The identification module presents a gallery of the species shortlisted by the selection of distribution, habitat, bird shape and plumage characteristics. The bird list changes dynamically with each selection, the filter option allows de-selection of any characteristic, and the Bird Page or Similar Birds functions can be used for final identification.
Bird List Options
The program includes a comprehensive range of functions for generating and manipulating bird lists. The Interactive Distribution Map is a powerful tool for generating a bird list for any area and selected time of year. Pre-generated Source Lists include all regions and Birding Sites. Personal Lists report to a life-list hierarchy, and include a full suite of sighting details including GPS co-ordinates. Search Lists finds any combination of data, and Import/Export, Backup/Restore and Photo Lists complete the list options. Create New User accommodates multiple users, with a list database for each user.
Interactive Distribution Map
This module generates bird lists based on bird distribution, and is a powerful and effective function. You can draw a route or an area to generate a list, filter it with the time of year, and switch on an overlay of bird distributions to check which birds coincide with your precise locality. Other functions include lists for quarter-degree-squares and Birding Sites.
Source List Module
The source list module has pre-generated lists for all regions and Birding Sites. Personal lists can also be loaded as source lists. The lists are used either within the program as a reference list, or printed for use in the field. A range of print options are available.
Personal List Module
The Personal list module works by graphically ‘adding’ a bird from the source list on the left to your personal list on the right. Almost all possible sighting details are catered for, while the range of functions available include creating a new list, adding species to your list, adding notes to a diary, searching for records, and printing the list.
Personal List Hierarchy
Personal lists are added to a hierarchy that reports to the list above, so adding up to your life list. Within a list there can be multiple sightings of the same species but with different places, dates or GPS co-ordinates.
Birding Sites Options
The Birding Sites module includes details of over 270 birding localities, with an interactive map, index of localities, birding spot pages, and functions of adding your own spots and photos or searching for where to find a bird.
Birding Sites Map
The interactive map includes yellow dots which can be selected to identify the locality and double-clicked to open the birding spot page. Selecting a name from the index will find and highlight the locality for you. Add Spot is for creating your own birding spot.
Birding Sites Pages
The birding spot pages include a full description of the locality, with bird names highlighted and linked to the bird pages. Edit Spot can be used to add your own notes and photos.
Habitat Module Options
The habitat module includes an interactive habitat map, detailed habitat pages with descriptive texts and typical birds, habitat photographs, and bird lists. Functions include a slide show of the habitat photographs with accompanying habitat soundtrack, a slide show of the birds associated with the habitat, and a search function.
The habitat pages include habitat photos, descriptive text listing typical birds, and a habitat bird list with illustrations and distribution maps. During the habitat slide show the photos expand to fill the program window.
Sound Identification Wizard
The Sound Identification Wizard guides you through the selection of distribution, habitat, and sound characteristics. The program allows multiple selections within a category, and sorts between categories to generate a short-list. The bird list changes dynamically as you make your selection.
Sound Identification Module
The module comprises a selection panel of sound characteristics, a dynamic bird list that updates with each selection, and a display panel of either the example or bird selected by the user. Once a characteristic is selected, the shortlist can be explored for similar sounds. The display panel includes all the bird page information, allowing a detailed exploration of a species directly in the module.
Nest and Egg Module
Nest and Egg Identification Wizard
The Nest and Egg Identification Wizard guides you through the selection of distribution, habitat, and nest or egg characteristics. The program allows multiple selections within a category, and sorts between categories to generate a short-list. The bird list changes dynamically as you make your selection
Nest and Egg Identification Module
The module comprises a selection panel of nest and egg characteristics, a dynamic bird list that updates with each selection, and a display panel of either the example or user-selected bird. Once a characteristic is selected, the shortlist can be explored for similar nests or eggs. The display panel includes all the bird page information, allowing a detailed exploration of a species directly in the module.
The stunning screensaver includes over 4000 quality photographs.
The Main Menu
The Main Menu found on the Home Page links to the main modules and wizard pages from where you may select more specific functions.
The Modules Menu
The Modules Menu found on the menu bar provides a full list and direct access to the main functions.
The Shortcut Buttons
The Shortcut Buttons found at the top right of the screen provide quick access to some important functions, including the home page, bird page, search function, help module, and program sound on/off toggle.
The sound toggle can switch the program sounds on and off. The program includes both sounds of individual bird species, and general habitat soundtracks which play in the background. Clicking the little arrow opens the sound adjustment panel for setting the relative volume levels of each sound, and applying the sound toggle to one or both sounds.
The Family index
The Family Index provides an alphabetical quick-link to any family.
The Setup option on the menu bar is used to customise the program, including adding new users, changing the language and adjusting fonts and font sizes.
Adding new users
Changing the language
Adjusting screen colours, fonts and font sizes
The program includes a detailed context-sensitive help function available from the shortcut button at the top right of the screen.