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Fall Fund Drive


When I do a "search" for Oklahoma or *Oklahoma it doesn't give me everything. I only get one page of pics. I've tried clicking "images" only and "images" plus "guide" but still get the same result. I know for sure that there are more than one page of images from Oklahoma. I started my search at the start of the Guide at the Arthropoda page then type in my search and hit the search button. I would just like to be able to search for every image or instance of "Oklahoma" (or any state) in the guide. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Search areas
There are a couple of quick and dirty ways one can tackle such a function. A few that come to mind are:

1. My own kludged creation:
2. The kind of thing NLBIF has:

But, both these solutions require geocoded images/specimens/whatever. NLBIF's complex polygon function requires a spatial index but my "draw a box" doesn't. So, one way to accommodate that is to have a quick "click-to-geocode" function like I have in Spider WebWatch: These appear to be buggy with Safari, but that's my fault because until now, I haven't had a chance to use that browser to see what happens.

John V. is working on updating BugGuide's underlying software to the latest version of the content system. I'm sure he'll do a great job, as he wrote the book on it! However, I don't think he's planning to add new features to BugGuide during the's more of an administrative task. New features are something we can do after the update is complete.

In the meantime I am experimenting with BG data to possibly improve the mapping feature. I wrote a quick-and-dirty search tool that I have shown to a few BG editors. It will let you search by state or user or taxonomy branch, but it's not particularly user-friendly. If someone needs to query something like that, let me know and I'll send you a link.

Once the update is completed, I'm hopeful we'll be able to add some features to the BugGuide browsing, like narrowing results by location.

I think I would like to try y
I think I would like to try your search function. What do I need to do to get the link you mentioned ?

Contact me
Hi Sam, you don't have an email address in your profile, so click on my profile and use the contact link, and I'll send you back the search link. Thanks.

I'm using your search function. I enter "velvet ant" and select "Oklahoma". Why won't it find this one ?

You just updated the title and description 15 minutes ago. I'm pretty sure even the local search at bugguide is only indexed nightly.

Two reasons: first, I was only searching the description and not the title, but I've just changed it to search both. Second, your image was previously titled "Dig This", and since I don't have a "live" copy of the data, the new title does not turn up in a search. I just updated the data this morning, though, so it's up-to-date as of yesterday.

Your search

Is it possible to add this field to the Advanced Search? I often want to see what has been posted for a specific location, e.g. a particular preserve I volunteer at, or a set of those (by entering "open space" or "OSP"), or a place that I visited on a trip.

It would also be nice to be able to resort by county, but I'd rather have the above.

I think I've done that
But a lot of times I like to see the date and title, and the regular search just shows the thumbnails.

You should be able to do this in the regular search.
Just type your desired location in the box at the upper right and see what happens.

Very Cool !!
I appreciate it!
And, just so you know, I'm trying to go back through my old pics and fix the names so that there aren't any stupid ones like "Dig This".

That is AWESOME !!!! VERY co
That is AWESOME !!!!
VERY cool ! Will it be incorporated into the main BugGuide ?

Awesome! Thanks.
Awesome! Thanks.

If you have time
how about a Photo Focus Group display arranged by Order?

Pretty sure it can't be done...
Our image search doesn't appear to pay attention to the county or state fields, so the results you are getting only contain your search term in the title, body or city/location, and many of these results might not even be photos submitted from Oklahoma.

I recommend selecting only the user checkbox during your search so you can find all the users from Oklahoma (it's a short list) and then view their images. You don't have to be in any particular place in the guide when performing a search.

Ok, but since BugGuide code i
Ok, but since BugGuide code is being re-written couldn't that be included ?

Or, what if when you are in "Data" if you click on a state it could show you everything from that state that's in the Guide ?

It just seems like being able to search everything BugGuide has for a given state would be very handy, especially if you wanted to know what kind of critters exist in a particular state.

Mike Boone is working on just
such a search as we speak. He may sign on to tell you more about it or we may learn more when he and John VanDyk figure out how compatible and useful it will be to include. There are 1770 images on BugGuide from Oklahoma. If you have a particular order or family that you are interested in, we could probably email you a list of image numbers.

Ok, great! I'm really not
Ok, great!

I'm really not after a list. I'm more interested in just being able to search by state, especially as time goes on and the guide gets fuller. I just think it would be nice to be able to see what might be out there for any given state and see if others have found things that I haven't or even help me narrow down an ID or just to know what a given state has to offer as far as critters.

Oklahoma insects
Sam if you will go to my page and click on images by this contributor, I have about 50+ pages of Oklahoma bugs.

Yea I think you and I are pro
Yea I think you and I are probably the two main Oklahoma contributors....or at least since I've been on here. Like I was saying though, I just want to be able to see all critters by state, and Oklahoma in particular. I think this would be helpful, especially as the guide grows.

Not available yet
but apparently browsing by location is in the works - see recent discussion here. Maybe someone else more tech-savvy can explain why using search and the state name doesn't turn up all images from that state.

My guess as to why

A) The search program doesn't look at all the fields
B) The state/province information isn't stored in the format you might think.

Regarding the second, most databases don't bother with storing the full name, since there are well-known 2-letter abbreviations for all US states and Canadian provinces. Why waste all the disk space for "Massachusetts" when you can just use "MA"? If they really want to save space, they could even store it as a number that takes the same space as a single character. A dozen characters may not seem like much, but multiply it by 100,000 (and counting) and we're talking a megabyte. The bigger the database, the slower access gets, because data is physically farther apart on the disk drive.

An example of this is the way dates are stored(see this comment for an example): they're really stored as a number representing the number of time intervals after the end of 12/31/1969. This is a standard format which anyone who does web programming would recognize immediately (I don't, so I've forgotten the details). Since the date is stored as the number 1112331600, searching for the word "April" won't find anything, unless the search program knows to convert the numbers to character dates before looking at them.

As far as I can tell, BugGuide is a PHP-based database system. That means that there isn't a file on the server somewhere for each page in BugGuide. Rather, there are separate tables for each group of data, and a program creates the html file you ask for from those tables at the time you ask for it.

I'm pretty sure there are separate tables for nodes, users, comments and subscriptions- but only because it would be hard to design a system like this without them. I'm sure there are other tables, but I have only vague ideas about what they are.

I'd love to apply some... "creative methods"... against the search engine to get the results we want, but I think John might come after me with a hammer. :-)

Mike's new search is very nice -
That's how we knew there are 1770 images in BugGuide from Oklahoma. If you are really interested in a particular set of images, he has offered above to send you a link. We would take him up on it. It's amazing to see what you can ask for from the database.

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