Manta Sighting Virtual Training
Lesson #1 – Add Location
The Manta Global Database has identified more than 150 locations where mantas have been sighted. Some of these locations are covered by manta affiliates others are rumors or reports by photographers. Each location needs a short description and map.
In order to create and submit the short location description, three actions must be taken.
First, within the assignment area, you need to collect what is known about the local manta population including who has knowledge, photos or video. Are there scientists or organizations working in this area? Are there manta affiliates including local dive shops, operators, resorts or resident photographers?
Second, the most important of the available local sources need to be contacted for assistance. And finally other materials to complete the description can be collected from the Internet such as a map.
In order to add a new location description, the research assistant first needs to register online. This can be done on the home page or by clicking [here].
Once registered, please send an email to Robert@mantas.org for upload clearance and to be assigned one of more countries. Please indication how many countries that you are willing to take on and if you have any preferences. We will email your location assignments based on your request (if available). We will also send you any email contacts that might be in our database.
The work for any location or country is divided into the following tasks:
1) Background research
2) Local outreach
3) Map creation
4) Writing and proofing (spelling and grammar)
5) Posting description
The actual description will vary from location to location. Some areas will only be able to be identified on a map as tentative sightings. Other areas will have so much information that only one or two of the largest efforts will be summarized. If a much more comprehensive report is desired, please use Submit a Field Report (http://www.mantas.org/index.php?name=Submit_News)
Background Research (Outreach)
The first task for each location is to identify and contact affiliates and others in the country of interest. They should be contacted by email to collect information on the sighting locations and local activities.
For example, to research Belize, search Google for “belize manta ray locations” Other locations may have more specific site name to search for such as Glovers Reef Belize.
Look for search results where “mantas are often seen.” There maybe images or even video with email addresses to follow.
Adding Google Map Link to Global Database Location Description
To obtain the Google Map Link code, go to http://maps.google.com/ and enter the location to search. Select the Satellite link. Then zoom and position map.
Click “Link” in the upper right hand corner and a window will open. Copy “Paste link in email into the code below.” A “screen copy” can be taken of the image or other maps could be selected.
Copy the HTML code shown below to the end of the location description. Insert the Google map link code in between the two double quotations.
<a href=”paste google map link here” target=”_new”> <br>
<img src=”http://www.mantas.org/graphics/forward.jpg” alt=”" />
<strong>Google Map Link</strong></a>
Example for Dampier Archepelago, Australia:
<a href=”http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Dampier+Archepelago+WA+6714,+Australia=-20.649491,116.680984&sspn=0.206253,0.213203&ie=UTF8&ll=-20.654631,116.680984&spn=0.412491,0.426407&t=k&z=11″ target=”_new”>
<img src=”http://www.mantas.org/graphics/forward.jpg” alt=”" /> <strong>Google Map Link</strong></a>
Adding Google Ocean Link to Global Database Location Description
Google Earth has added the Ocean Layer. This new feature can be used instead of Google Map to generate a map image that can be uploaded as part of the Location Description.
Google Earth v5.0 needs to be first installed on your computer. Open Google Earth and display the Sidebar from the View menu. Select Oceans from the Layers menu. You may need to adjust the view to give a better picture of where the location is.
To add a custom placemark, first select Placemark from the Add menu. Enter a Name and Description.
Name: Belize WildCam
Location of National Geographics Society’s WildCam. To view the live camera visit: <a href=”http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/wildcambelize/”>Belize WildCam</a> or <a href=”http://www.oceanpresence.com/wordpress”>Ocean Telepresence Network</a>
Click on the pushpin icon in the upper left corner to reveal a set of icons. Select custom icon and enter the following icon location:
Then select it to be used on your location map. You will see the icon in the upper left corner. Select OK to finish the placemark entry. You can now email this image to yourself or use screen copy to select a portion of the map. Select “Graphic of 3D view.” Rename the image with a title appropiate for the location.
You can copy and paste the above code into the description. Make necessary changes such as modifying the links that appear in the first href=”enter my link” code.
Use an image editing program such as Photoshop to crop and size the image to no more than 400 pixels wide (72-96 dpi) and save it as a jpeg with an appropriate name. It should now be ready to be uploaded as part of your location description.
Writing and Proofing
The collected information including descriptions, maps, activities and involved individuals and groups should be assembled into the location description. You should work offline in any word processor until you have created the text. Use this tool to check spelling and grammar. That will make our job easier.
When you registered, you were cleared to upload locations descriptions into the Manta Global Database.
For each assigned location, use the “Add Location” feature on the global database directory page. Detailed instructions can be found online and in the Manta Field ID Guide that can be downloaded.
Once location descriptions are submitted, we will review and approve each entry.
Good hunting and have fun!
List of Sighting Locations:
Manta Field ID Guide (pdf download):
Manta Research assistant Training (pdf download):