Obtaining Grid-Refs. The Easy Way For All The UK - (15/10/2008):
Working out OS Grid References for species records/sightings has always been slightly problematical both in terms of the time it takes, the physical resources required (maps etc.), and the potential accuracy/inaccuracy of the result. It is not all that easy 'guesstimating' the exact position within a 10Km square to a six-figure accuracy never mind an 8 or 10 figure. (N.B.: Please see also, the post below this one !!!!!).
However, such times are now in the past !! The rECOrd website has a new data-entry facility (RODIS – rECOrd On-line Data Input System) to allow recorders to enter their own data (and to export it back to themselves, or to others, as spreadsheets). Within this facility there is now a `new' button next to the Grid-Ref entry field called "G Map". Click this button and a window comes up with a map from Google Maps (hence G Map). Or, click this link: https://record-lrc.co.uk/RODIS/RODIS.htm
You can zoom in and out of the map, you can move it around by holding the mouse button down and dragging the map, you can jump to named places by typing in a place name (e.g. town name) or a Post Code and clicking the 'Search' button - OR - you can jump to a specific Grid Ref by typing in the Grid Ref and clicking the 'Search by Grid Ref' button. More importantly, you can turn on 'Satellite View'' which overlays the map with satellite based overhead imagery/photographs of the area being looked at whilst still showing road names, etc. This means that you can, when zoomed all the way in, even see individual trees in hedgerows, etc.
Clicking on the map when zoomed in will deliver an OS Grid-Ref at 8 figure accuracy (and in certain areas of the Country (e.g. Stockport, London, etc.) even up to 10 figure accuracy) and there is a button to click to drop this Grid-Ref directly into the data entry field in RODIS. Could recorders please use at least a 6-figure Grid Reference to accurately place their sightings and to enable future recorders to attempt to verify their finds at specific geographical locations. 4-figure GR's are acceptable but are nowhere near as useful as 6, 8 or 10 figure references as these can always be displayed/plotted at 4 figure resolution BUT 4 figure references can never be displayed/plotted at a higher resolution - this means that if a map is displayed at a 6-figure resolution then all 4 figure records must be left out !!!!
Grid-Refs can be obtained in this fashion for ANYWHERE in Britain !!!
That should save the cost of buying loads of maps every time one goes away and 'does' recording on holiday.
We hope it helps you in your recording. If you have any feedback on the operation of 'G Map' and/or RODIS or any suggestions for enhancements to RODIS, the rECOrd website, or any of the other facilities available on the website, etc.. then please do contact the staff at rECOrd (01244 383749) or by e-mail at: (info@rECOrd-LRC.co.uk).