Updated: 15/03/2022

These FAQs relate to the SyrphBoard platform developed by Maploom for the Hoverfly Recording Scheme (HRS).

What is SyrphBoard?
SyrphBoard is an online platform for recording Hoverflies. It is an additional new way for people to enter and view hoverfly records for Great Britain. For more information, please see the ‘About’ menu.

How do I access SyrphBoard?
If you would like to submit hoverfly records using SyrphBoard, please request to join the UK Hoverflies Facebook Group where further details are given in the Welcome Pack and where you can also access resources, advice and help with identification.

Why not just use iRecord or iNaturalist?
Although iRecord might be modified to record nil returns, it won’t do all of what we hope to achieve with SyrphBoard. Our big ambition is to develop a system that allows you to see in ‘real time’ how recording is taking shape over the year. We also hope that it will allow you to interrogate your own records and aspects of the submitted dataset. In so doing, it is hoped that hoverfly recording becomes an even more enjoyable experience for those people who are fascinated by the lives of hoverflies.

Why can I not select ‘Male’ and ‘Adult’ the life stage?
Currently anything recorded as ‘Male ’ or ‘Female ’ is already assumed to be an adult. The ‘Adult’ option should be used when an adult hoverfly is seen or photographed but the gender can not be determined.

How do I enter the weather value?
The weather buttons allow a single value to be entered for the weather conditions during the recording session. While the weather may change for longer sessions, please enter the prevailing weather conditions for the period you were observing.

How do I save a site?
When you first start using SyrphBoard, there are no sites saved. However, once you start entering recording sessions, if you give the recording location a site name, it will appear on your list to the right of the map. If you enter more than one grid reference for the site name, it will save the ‘zoom to’ extent to all grid squares having that site name.

Why does the map grid bend?
This is due to the fact that most web maps (including GoogleMaps) use a global mapping projection and coordinate system (‘Web Mercator’) and not the British National Grid (BNG) which is a local system and which British people are familiar with. In the Hoverfly Recording website, data are collected and stored as BNG but presented on a world map using Web Mercator which leads to distortion in the shape of countries and BNG grid further from the equator. It also means that towards the extreme east and west the grid cells appear tilted. This is nothing to worry about, the mapping software is capturing the grid references correctly but just flipping the projection system to Web Mercator so it can be shown on a global map.

Why can’t I edit the species in the observation?
The way we generate observations relies on defining the species name at the outset. If this is entered incorrectly or needs to be updated, you need to remove the observation with the minus (-) button and add the observation again with the correct species button. This will affect the order of the species that you entered but should be fairly quick to do.