Header image  
line decor
line decor


We want you to enjoy all the features of Wild! software. Since the software is so feature-rich, we realize that a "show and tell" approach to instruction in its use may be of great help.

From time to time, we will add new instructive descriptions and links to short video clips to help you get the most out of your Wild! experience. Check back often!

Lesson 1: Read the Manual that installs with Wild! Choose "Open User Guide" under the Resources menu. Well okay, maybe you don't want to do that. Some people don't. Check back later for Lesson 2, which will assume that you didn't really want to settle down and read a user manual.

In Lesson 2, we'll show you how to Add species to Wild!, assuming that you may want to know about things that we didn't include in the default list. We'll show you how to quickly add one Species or a thousand. If you want to jump ahead, check the YouTube video here. Its an older video that was made before we added the Merge feature that allows you to add the entire list, but adding a single species is an important concept too.

Lesson 2: Wild! installs with a number of common bird Species, but its almost certain that you'll want to add some of your own. With Wild! Lite, you can add up to 50 Species of your own choice. In the Deluxe and Premier versions, you can add as many as you wish.

The "Add from Master List" feature is the easiest way to add Species. If you watched the YouTube video mentioned at the end of Lesson 1, you probably already have an idea about how this works.

To get to the Master Lists, start here:

Lesson 2 Image 1

Once you've done that, you'll see the "Add Species" Window. From there, you can choose what type of List you'd like to load and choose a Species from it. If you're following along with your copy of Wild! and have either the Deluxe or Premier editions of the software, you may not want to Merge the entire list just yet.

Lesson 2 Picture 2

Once you select a Species and press Enter or double-click on a list entry, information will be transferred to the "Add/Edit Species" window. When you Save the record there, your new Species will be added to your dataset.

There are some more advanced options available in the "Add Species" Window, described below.

Lesson 2 Picture 3

Associating Species with a particular Area can be very useful later on. In this Lesson, we've focusing on the basic techniques for adding Species. In Lesson 3, we'll take a look at how you can define your own Areas and talk about why that might be important to you. If you want to take a sneak peak at adding Areas, check out this video clip at YouTube.

Snow Day. This may be the first ever Snow Day on the internet. But those of us who live in northern climates look forward to them, so I'm going to declare one. No class today, but watch this video pertaining to Wild!Quiz. There will be a quiz. Well, it IS a quiz sort of, so there won't be a quiz. Have fun on your Snow Day!

Lesson 3. You should now be able to add Species to your list from our Master Lists, but before you add many of them, let's take a look at Areas. They're critical for reporting observations that have a lot of scientific value or for developing quizzes that include only certain Species.

The Latitude and Longitude information needed for good scientific data, as well as distance traveled and the Protocol (Stationary, Area or Traveling), come from your Area information.

Lesson 3 Image 1

Once you've opened the Add/Edit window, you're ready to define a few characteristics of your new Area.

Lesson 3 Image 2

You can either enter the other data manually or use a special mapping function to help. Watch the video below to see how easily that can be done.

After you've set up the basic information for your Area, you can then associate particular Species with that area.

Lesson 3 Image 3

After you've set up some areas, you may wish to define a "default" Area. This is the Area that will automatically be set when you record a new observation record. To do this, return to the Areas list in the Areas tab of the main Wild! window and do the following:

Lesson 3 Image 4

Before we move on to associating a large list of Species with a particular area, we'll take a look at how the "Hide/Show" feature can help you manage very large lists of Species.

Lesson 4. Okay, let's say you have ambitiously added every species of bird in the world to your list. And then you added all the butterflies in the North America, followed by all the plants in North America. Your list is now pretty huge and you'll notice that some of the procedures may take awhile. Simply loading your main list will obviously take awhile, but there are some things you can do to make life a little easier in some of the other areas of Wild!

Think of it this way -- hidden Species might be termed "inactive", while Species that are not hidden might be described as being "active".

The "Hide/Show" feature can help a lot. In many areas of Wild!, the list of Species shown will be limited to only those which have not been "hidden". For example, when you edit an Area to change the Species which might be seen in that area, the list will show only the Species which aren't "hidden". The same holds true in the Add/Edit Habitat window and in the Generate Report window.

If you choose to export an entire list of some WildType, like Birds, only those species which are not hidden will be included.

New Species that you add by merging from a Master List will be "hidden" by default. If you add new Species using the Import function, you can choose to have them "hidden" by checking the appropriate checkbox.

Managing the hidden vs. non-hidden Species can be done from the main Species list, as follows:

Lesson 4 Image 1

Should you happen to record an observation for a Species that is hidden (a new "lifer"?!), Wild! wll automatically un-hide that Species for you.

In the next Lesson, we'll take a look at how you can keep the main Species list pared down to a sensible level using the "Area Filter" function.

Lesson 5. This is a short lesson to teach you how to shorten your Species list. If you've added every bird in the world to your Species list, you may want to limit the records you see to only those that occur in a particular area.

In Lesson 3, we showed you how to set a Default area. If you don't have any active Record Palettes, filtering by area will limit the Species list to those that are associated with your Default area. If there is a Record Palette active and an Area has been set for that observation record, filtering the list will show only the Species that are associated with that "active" area, regardless of which area you've set as the "Default".

Lesson 5 Photo 1

We've gone to some length to design Wild! to perform well even if you're lists are very long and you haven't filtered them, but the filtered view makes it easy to see at a glance how many different Species you've observed in that area or when you've observed a new one.

Lesson 6. Now, since you've added some Species and defined some Areas, let's do something a little more interesting and see how to record an observation. It can be done very quickly, as demonstrated in the video clip that is presented on the Home page for Wild!. If you haven't watched that clip yet, you may want to do so now.

The key to rapid data entry is understanding how Wild! can search your list.

When Wild loads your list, it will automatically sort it according to the number of observations you've recorded for the Species that are shown. If you haven't yet recorded any observations, it will sort the list alphabetically.

Lesson 6 Image 2

Lesson 7. When you record observations that are associated with an Area, Wild! automatically creates a Trip, which by default will begin with the first observation you recorded and end with the last observation you recorded.

If you do nothing further and later export a file, Wild! will "Close" the trip for you and calculate the elapsed time based upon the first and last observations.

You can also Close a trip by selecting that Trip in the Trip list and clicking the "Close" button. This procedure is most often used if you've suspended recording observations for awhile and want to maintain accurate "effort-based" records. This may be a common practice if you're recording real-time observations of your feeder birds, for example. If you can't watch for a period of time and plan to begin recording again later, you should Close any open "Trip" before you start a new session.

If you're reporting observations to eBird, there is another procedure you should follow. When you Close a trip that will be submitted to eBird and you wish to specify that all species have been recorded, you should use the Add/Edit Trip window to Close the trip.

To do that, select the open Trip in the Trip list and click "Edit". The Add/Edit Trip window will open.

Lesson 7 Image 1

Lesson 8. Wild! is designed to help simplify sharing of data with The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology's eBird database, so let's take a look at how quickly that can be done.

This lesson assumes that you've recorded some trip observations that have not yet been submitted to eBird.

First, go to the "Reports" menu item in Wild! and select "Export to eBird Record Format (Extended)". Wild! will show you the "Generate Report" window.

Lesson 8 Image 1

Lesson 8 Image 2

Lesson 8 Image 3

Lesson 8 Image 4

Lesson 8 Image 5

Once you've submitted data a time or two, you'll find that sharing your Wild! observations with eBird takes just a moment or two. You'll be able to submit observations that may span days (or weeks, if you happen to put it off for that long) with no trouble at all.

Lesson 9. Getting exact coordinates for your observations is the first step toward creating fascinating Google Earth maps for your data. Here, we'll show you how to use Wild!'s GPS integration.

Lesson 9 Image 1

You can use any GPS that can "speak" generic NMEA sentences, including inexpensive USB receivers like the GlobalSat BU-353. If you have a more sophisticated GPS, just make sure that its set to send NMEA data instead of a proprietary (e.g. Garmin) format.

When you launch Wild!, it automatically checks to see if a GPS is attached to your computer via a USB port. If it finds one, the "Get GPS Coordinates" menu item under the Settings menu will be automatically checked. If you've attached a GPS to your laptop, launched Wild! and see that menu item is checked, then you're ready to go. Wild! will automatically get a GPS coordinate stamp for any observation you record.

If you've properly installed any drivers that support your GPS and have made sure its set to send NMEA data, there's a good chance that it will work right away.

If you're not that lucky, there are a couple of simple things you can do.

First, manually select the "Get GPS Coordinates" menu item. Wild! will look for a GPS again and if it can't find one, it will present a list of possibilities that you can select from. The possibilities will include any serial data ports that are active. They may have odd technical names, but if your GPS is listed, you'll probably recognize the name. On my Macintosh, its called "usbserial".

Lesson 9 Image 2

If you select what you believe is the GPS driver and Wild! still doesn't connect to the GPS successfully, then your GPS may be talking in a language that Wild! doesn't understand. Change your GPS settings so that it is talking in the generic NMEA language and Wild! should then be able to obtain data from it.

If you don't see anything that seems like a GPS driver in the list, then its possible that you need to install a driver for your GPS device.

Do you use your GPS with other GPS-enabled software on your computer? That's another possible problem. If another software program is listening to the GPS port, Wild! won't be able to access the port.

Make sure that you're not running any other GPS-enabled software when Wild! is trying to connect to the GPS.

Using another GPS-enabled software like Google Earth can help you work through possible issues. Google Earth allows you to select the "Garmin PVT" protocol as well as the NMEA protocol. If the GPS support in Google Earth activates with the proprietary protocol setting but not the NMEA protocol, then you will need to change the protocol setting in the GPS itself.


For more information, please contact fullcirclesoftware@gmail.com