help

discussion
Default_user
about 6 years ago

I'm brand new to the bat detective project.

Is there a little youtube or other clip showing a tutorial on how the sounds are supposed to be highlighted, submitted and identified? I would like to see this being done to a complex sonogram at least once before I attempt the same. Otherwise I really don't know if I am doing the right thing. For example - there are MANY individual sounds/clicks etc on one sonogram - do I "box" each one individually?

For example - the first sonogram I see would appear to be of a bat that is searching (there are a number of higher frequency "clicks") across the mid range of the sonogram, but part way through is sounds like a feeding buzz (which shows up lower down in the sonogram). Do I box the "entire range" vertically and then the "buzz sequence" AND each "individual search click" horizontally

I see that I can't create two separate boxes in step 1 - so I assume I box the "entire" range and select feeding rather than searching in step 3.

And maybe it's just me, but I would suggest you add a "Field Guide" title to the bottom half of the page or remove the word "field" - as soon as I read "field guide" I was looking for another page and expecting details on various calls from different bat species to perhaps narrow it down at bit

Also - when I "play" a sound recording the audio sounds always occur a short time "after" the vertical bar has already passed the matching highlight in the sonogram - this "shift" certainly adds some confusion - I suppose this may just be the way it is for technical reasons but it would certainly be nice they were aligned.

Default_user
about 6 years ago

Hi Doug,

Firstly, thanks for your interest in the project!

We haven't made a Youtube tutorial, but instead you should have been offered a walk-through when you first looked at the 'Classify' page. Did this tutorial not appear for you? It shows what verticals and horizontals you should be high-lighting and waits for you to copy before moving to the next stage of highlighting a call ... Anyway. You should've seen that you can box multiple frequency ranges. E.g., say that there are two bat searching sequences at different frequencies. Concentrating on the first individual at frequency A, you would span the vertical height of the calls, and then pick out each calls by spanning each call's horizontal length. By clicking 'Save Selection', you are saving these classifications, and you are then free to pick out the next noise you spot. You would then do exactly the same for individual bat number two at frequency B. Once you've highlighted all the noises, you could move on to the next sound.

Ideally, we'd like it if the bat searching calls could be individually boxed because there's rarely more than four from an individual in a clip anyway (if any at all)! Insects' clicks are fine to be boxed together however because there can be hundreds tight together in a single clip! Similarly for bat social clips.

Finally, I agree on both your 'Field Guide' and playback delay comments. I see why the term is confusing when it isn't then directly referenced! The delay is a recent issue, however, and one that I hadn't noticed until you pointed it out. It definitely hasn't always been this way though, so thank you for your comments! I will let the technical team know. #technical

Thanks again for your feedback,

Kim

Default_user
about 6 years ago

Thanks Kim,

I didn't follow the proper "walk-through" - I think partly because the instructions are a bit ambiguous and happen at bit out of sequence (I don't want to be critical but I am a very seasoned science textbook author/reviewer and have a pet peeve about instructions that can be misinterpreted or are missing key bits of information). So the following is ONLY meant to be HELPFUL - I think your website/project is FANTASTIC - but I know that when students begin they could be confused and this could be an immediate turn off - especially if they try this at home and don't have a teacher there to fill in the blanks so to speak.

So for instance, when I started on the Classify page there was no formal indication that this "was" a tutorial - it seemed to be just a few animated sample instructions to get you going - I was "looking for more examples" elsewhere. So - to follow through on the logic I used . . . .

  1. I did press play - since this was the instruction. That part was ok except for the fact that the sound came AFTER the horizontal line was beyond the sonogram "mark" really did throw me off - I wasn't sure what I was supposed to make of that disconnect. I think really needs attention.

  2. Anyway - then it moves to the "Mark the Frequency Range" instruction AND the first (55kHz) set of calls is "highlighted" twice. This "highlighting" happens IMMEDIATELY after the playing is done so it is actually done BEFORE you have a chance to start reading the description and instructions related to marking the range. I think it would be much more useful if the "highlighting" happened AFTER you read the "Mark the . . ." box (perhaps with a button to "Show first range")

Some ambiguity also exists in the instructions that read . . .

. . . _Generally, spikes in noise within the same frequency represent an individual call. You'll need to drag vertically down the spectrogram to highlight the frequency range of a single call. Let's start with the first set of small calls about halfway down the spectrogram (at about 55 Khz).

A few points of concern - you use the terms "individual call" - which at first I had thought meant an individual vocalization - but NOW I think it means "the calls of one individual"? Then is says to highlight a "single call" but the next sentence says "let's start with the first SET of small callS" - BUT later this "set of small calls" are referred to as "noises" - not calls. So does the term "call" refer to an entire set of "noises" or just one noise? YIKES (also a little typo "Khz" should be kHz - no big deal of course but in a science class someone will point this out :-)

So part of my confusion was this bouncing around between singular and plural and not being sure what you meant by "individual call". I certainly assumed at first that all of this spectrogram represented the calls of a single bat - but now I "think" this may be three different individuals?

  1. After you are done bracketing the four (now called) noises :-) it says to scroll down to the field guide. It also says "from the frequency range, we can guess that this is a bat" I realize this is true but I'm not sure a "Citizen scientist" is going to know that this? In the field guide it makes ZERO mention of frequencies so how would someone know that an insect could not be in the same range?

  2. Lastly (you must hate me by now) when it says to "try the others on your own". For starters I think you should "walk through" the process for at least two of these and show the result. Also I think that for a tutorial you should always give the "answer" at the end to confirm what the individual thinks these are. I assume the second set of calls (three noises) is also a bat searching and the last set of calls at the bottom looks like a bat social call based on the spectrogram pattern. This last set of calls also sounded a bit like a feeding buzz to me as the "clicks" seem to get quite close together at the end - but I'm not expert on bats :-)

Anyway - hope my comments are helpful rather than just sounding like a rant :-)

cheers, Doug

Default_user
about 6 years ago

Hi Doug,

Thanks for taking the time to provide such detailed feedback! This is really helpful. I will have a chat with the project leader at the first opportunity.

In particular, I agree that the terminology can be really confusing! We use 'call' to refer to the sequence, which does seems odd when the searching calls are considered because they can be very infrequent and often only one part of the sequence will be heard in a recording ... then a single sound is referred to as a call. So 'call' then evolves into being used for a sequence or sound. We will take a look at how to avoid this, and the typo will be dealt with!

Your final suggestion is more than reasonable too, we'll definitely consider extending the tutorial to offer help with the entire recording! I'm surprised that we don't already at least provide confirmation of what's in the recording ...

Finally, I believe the problem of audio delay as already been fixed! I'm not sure when it broke or how, but thank you for bringing it to our attention :)

Thanks again for your suggestions,

Kim

#suggestions

Default_user
about 6 years ago

thanks for taking my suggestions to heart - I certainly didn't want to sound too picky :-)

I will try and get on when I can - but will also suggest this website/project to science teachers at my former high school (I am recently retired).

This is "real science" and I'm sure students would enjoy making contributions to the effort.

I wonder if the folks at Zooniverse have ever considered putting on a talk at the annual STAO conference (Science Teacher's Association of Ontario). These various projects would be very well received.

cheers, Doug

Default_user
about 6 years ago

I absolutely agree with Doug.

The introductory page and 'tutorial' is a mess!! I too have experience (teaching and research biology) and my suggestion is that your technical team select an intelligent and willing but completely unprepared individual, and get them to sit down at the zooniverse home page and just see how long it takes them to get to the point where they are actually contributing to the Bat project. Don't prompt them don't answer questions, just watch and observe the problems cause by the ambiguities and uncertainties. You should then have a much higher uptake rate on your most deserving project.

I nearly gave up completely, and am still having reservations about going back for second session. But I think your efforts should be rewarded with our help so keep up the good work, but do smething about helping the newcommer !!!!

All the best

ClashnessieMike

Default_user
about 6 years ago

I agree as well that the tutorial could use some work. I was able to understand it but I'm also good at picking up interfaces and have already tried a few other Zooniverse projects, so I'm used to encountering some quirks and filling in the blanks by asking questions.

About the text Doug Fraser pointed out, it could be changed to this:

"Generally, spikes in noise within the same frequency represent sounds which share a common source. You'll need to drag vertically down the spectrogram to highlight the frequency range of a group of similar sounds. Let's start with the first set of small calls about halfway down the spectrogram (at about 55 Khz)."

One of the problems I'm noticing is that new people are consistently mistaking slower 'clicky' type insect calls for bat social calls. That suggests to me that it is an issue that should be dealt with in the tutorial, and/or the field guide should tweaked to make the difference more clear. In the "distinct pulse" example the clicks are close enough together that people won't mistake it for a social call, so adding an example of an insect with more widely spaced clicks could help a lot. Also, you could add a comment to the social calls section of the field guide (and/or the insects section) that some insect calls might look like social calls, but that bat calls sound like chirps, not clicks.

Quote from Kim_M:

Finally, I believe the problem of audio delay as already been fixed! I'm not sure when it broke or how, but thank you for bringing it to our attention :)

Actually, I've been experiencing that problem since I started the other day. It would be nice to see it fixed since it takes a bit of effort to account for the delay.

Hope this helps.

Default_user
about 6 years ago

Oh, one last thing: if the tutorial does get extended, it would be good to include an explanation of harmonics (with an example), since I don't think people know what to do when they first encounter those. At first I was using tall boxes that included all of the harmonics of the sound, but 'these days' I use individual boxes for each harmonic.

Default_user
about 6 years ago

Yep, we've got a few things we want to improve on the tutorial page ... more examples and clarity are two of the main things that spring to mind! More detailed instruction on how to deal with certain calls will also come.

I'm not sure what's going on with the delay issue ... it seems to come and go :( I'll talk to someone about it!

Default_user
about 6 years ago

Alright. :)

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