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Having a ball with moths

Mandy Rudd, GiGL Director

Data entry and validation are two key but under-utilised services that we provide to our partners in order to help them mobilise their data. GiGL has been able to offer these services free of charge to the voluntary organisations who contribute their data to GiGL. For the last couple of years the cost has been covered by core funding generated through service level agreements and income from our data search service. In providing this service, the data available via our services is improved, benefiting all end users.

On one such project, we worked closely with Colin Plant, London Natural History Society’s lepidoptera recorder. Over recent years, Colin has been collating moth records for the vice county of Middlesex sent to him by email, on paper and in bespoke electronic files. Colin uses the popular biological recording software MapMate. He needed to collate and import the Middlesex records into his database in order to verify them and make them available to us, so we offered to help him with the data entry and validation.

Lyndsey, GiGL’s Data Entry Officer has undertaken most of the work using various resources to supply Colin with a useful file of data, including checking species names in the National Biodiversity Network’s (NBN) species dictionary.The species dictionary is managed on the NBN’s behalf by the Natural History Museum.

The next stage of the project will involve Colin importing the new spreadsheet of over 20,000 records into MapMate where he can validate the work we have undertaken and verify identification of the numerous species within the dataset. Once complete, Colin will supply GiGL with a final version of the Middlesex moths dataset for use by the GiGL partnership.

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