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This is a log of the changes that have taken place with each release of Gilbert 21.

Version, 29th January 2019

Added an iNaturalist format option to the export functionality. This will export into a CSV file with header names matching those described here:

There is also a new export for RODIS - "RODIS Excel" - which outputs into Excel 97-2003 format (.xls), rather than CSV, and has minor changes to header names.

Version, 30th July 2017

Added an iRecord format option to the export functionality. This will export into a CSV file with header names matching the defaults template downloadable from here: There is one exception - the comment column header has been changed from 'Sample comment' to 'Occurrence comment' since the comment in G21 pertains to each individual record rather than a sample.

The G21 fields 'Location' and 'Town' are joined (separated by a comma) under the iRecord 'Site name' import column. Similarly the G21 'Abundance' and 'Units' fields are joined (separated by a space) under the iRecord 'Quantity' column.

Version, 29th May 2017

Fixed an issue ( with the incorrect reading of geolocations from photographs when longitude greater than zero degrees but less than one degree (east of Greenwich Meridian).

Fixed an issue with incorrect handling of taxonomy retrieved from the NBN Atlas where some taxonomic ranks had no value (, causing some search results not to appear. Also improved the display of search results by separating 'exact' from 'fuzzy' matches and making sure matching list always scrolled to top when first presented to user. Also enabled users to select higher level taxa and populate scientific name field from this.

Version, 9th Apr 2017

Update to migrate the taxonomy search from the old NBN Gateway taxomony web service to the new web service provided by the NBN Atlas.

The NBN Atlas does not support the old taxonomy groupings used by the NBN Gateway and utilised by G21 for grouping taxa. So if you are adding a new taxon to your local dictionary by searching the NBN Atlas taxonomy, you will now need to assign the taxon group manually - either selecting from the drop-down list of taxon groups that you've already used, or typing a new one yourself.

The ability to view a distribution map from the old Gateway WMS has been disabled.

Gilbert 21 is now open source. The GitHub repository is here:

Version, 2nd Jul 2015

Bug fix to cope with variations in Visiontac CSV file format.

Version, 3rd Apr 2015

Bug fix. Gilbert 21 desktop had a bug that meant when opening files from the G21 Android App, it confused unique date/time stamp and associated some files with existing records. The bug would only have been evident if you used one of the new filename formats (Simple OSGR or Simple Lat Long).

Version, 22nd Jan 2015

Bug fix. Minimising form sent G21 to system tray even when 'Watch' option not checked. This release addresses that bug.

Version, 22nd Jan 2015

Bug fix. When the NBN Rest Taxon Dictionary was used to select a dictionary entry with no common name (e.g. Sternus vulgaris or Larus argentatus) G21 set both common name and scientific name to a blank value. This fix addresses that. Note that, for both of the examples given, the NBN taxon dictionary does not associate the expected common names with the scientific names (Starling and Herring Gull). This is probably because those species are split into sub-species in the dictionary. You can still associate a common name with such a scientific name by specifying the common name manually (it will be remembered in the local taxon dictionary).

Version, 21st Jan 2015

New release whose main purpose is to update Gilbert 21 to use the new NBN Rest services in place of the old SOAP services which are due to be retired early in 2015 (e.g. for the Taxon dictionary).  Other major changes were introduced to streamline the integration of G21 desktop with the G21 Android App. These include:

Several minor enhancements were introduced and problems addressed in response to user feedback. These included the following:

Android G21 app version 1, 24th Jan 2015

Released first version of G21 app for Android. It is available as a download via this website and is not yet released via the App Store.

Version, 10th Nov 2014

Implemented a small change to cope with a change in the Evernote export format between Evernote 4.x and 5.x.

Version, 10th Apr 2013

Implemented some minor enhancements: field visibility options are now remembered between sessions; polygon filter files can now be KML files exported from Google Earth. (The KML file must contain a single polygon.)

Version, 28th Mar 2013

Added new export format - BirdTrack Casual - to enable export into format suitable for bulk upload into BTO's BirdTrack. Updated the online help to document this new feature.

Version, 18th Mar 2013

Bug fix to overcome problems experienced by new users before a database is set up. Gilbert 21 now handles this situation better and gives better guidance on where to find help to set everything up.

Version, 12th Mar 2013

Added phenology graphing capability. This new feature takes advantages of graphing capabilities of the .NET framework version 4. Read more about it here: 21.html.

Version, 23rd Feb 2013

Fixes to bugs on export functionality. Adds capability to append to existing exports of type 'None'. Improved features for KML output files for Google Earth export and Google Earth quick view, including optional 'atlas' style distribution layers for exported records.

Version, 17th Feb 2013

Introduces a new suite of functionality to track exports and export recipients and to keep an export history for each individual record. Also migrated from version 3.5 of the .NET framework to version 4.0. Gilber 21 itself has moved to version 3. This will not upgrade automatically from version 2. To install version 3, you must install it from

Adds new record open functionality to select records based on their export history and who they have been sent to. This complements the new export history functionality. In addition, the different methods of opening (selecting) records have been integrated into a single dialog where the four methods can be used in conjunction.

Added a new tool-button to remove records from the records displayed on the main form without removing them from the database. This helps with preparing records for export.

Removed the option from the record properties dialog to omit record checking for a record and, at the same time, made it possible to save 'invalid' records to the database. Added functionality to the options dialog to make the colours of records displayed on the main form user-selectable. Also changed the way that records marked to be excluded from exports are coloured on the main form. Instead of changing the record colour, these records are now highlighted by changing the colour of the record header column (the column where the records are sequentially numbered) on the main form.

Version, 28th Dec 2012

Added a new ability to import Evernote ENEX export files. This overcomes a problem introduced in November 2012 when Gilbert 21's direct connection to Evernote notebooks stopped working due to a change in security policies introduced by Evernote.

Added a new option on record details form to map associated track of currently selected record.

Added a new option on record details form to map the locations of other records currently open on main form.

Changed default handling of Visiontac/Columbus files so that candidate records are only generated from voice tags. This can be changed to make candidate records from all tags - the previous behaviour - by setting an option on the options form.

The current database folder is now displayed on main form so you can be sure what database you are updating if you have more than one.

During the importing of multiple files, the name of the currently importing file is now displayed to the right of the progress bar.

Version, 17th Oct 2012

Accounted for bug whereby totally empty CSV files - which are sometimes producted by Visiontac/Columbus for some reason - caused a crash.

Version, 4th Oct 2012

No longer any need to rename non-Visiontac/Columbus CSV import files so that they have a different file extension to '.CSV' (e.g. '.txt'). They can now be left as CSV files - Gilbert 21 will recognise that they are not Visiontac/Columbus files. No longer need to rename import fields called 'Date' and 'Time' to 'RecDate' and 'RecTime' respectively - Gilbert 21 will treat fields called either 'Date' or 'RecDate' as a field containing the date and fields called either 'Time' or 'RecTime' as a field containing the time.

Version, 3rd Oct 2012

Upgraded NBN taxon search to use version 3.5 of the NBN Gateway web services (was version 3.1).

Added tool-tips to NBN species distribution map dialog.

Fixed bug that caused unsaved edits to be lost even when user asked for them to be saved.

Modified code so that Gilbert 21 does not crash when opening a Visiontac/Columbus file for which the association sound (WAV) files cannot be located.

Version, 27th Sept 2012

Added facility to view NBN species distribution maps over the Bing/Google maps displayed on Where tab of Record Properties form (see NBN Mapping).

Updated documentation for the Where tab of the Record Properties form.

Version, 4th Sept 2012

Put error traps into code to deal with instances where Gilbert 21 can't open an external program (e.g. a browser or Google Earth) for some reason.

Version, 3rd Sept 2012

Added stdole.dll to the distribution to overcome a reported installation problem.

Version, 19th July 2012

Added option to export records in the format required for importing into the RODIS on-line recording program. The export function outputs a CSV file which you must open in Excel and save as an Excel workbook (*.xls file extension) before it can be imported to RODIS.

Version, 7th June 2012

Fixed a bug with the polygon selection function of previous versions. This bug could cause records outside the selection polygon to be incorrectly selected or, in some cases, caused some records within the selection polygon not to be selected.

Version, 4th June 2012

There was a bug with the previous installation file (due to a problem with the Microsoft ClickOnce installation builder) which meant that it didn't build properly and would not install Gilbert 21 on some machines (noticed first with Vista OS). This new build was produced to correct that problem.

Version, 9th May 2012

Introduced a new internet-based help system built with HelpNDoc. Using this tool a professional help system can be implemented which supports keywords, text searching and all the usual features. The contents of the help system can now be more easily systematically compiled and added to. The new help system can be reached through the Help menue from Gilbert 21 itself or from the Help link at the top of the website pages.

Version, 2nd May 2012

Improved the way Gilbert uses 'ffplay.exe' for playing AMR audio files from Evernote mobile phone apps.

Version, 30th April 2012

Added an option for Evernote users to use ffplay.exe to play their AMR sound files from Evernote if they wish. This is useful for users who are having trouble playing AMR files in other ways. To use the facilty, download the relevant file, unzip to a convenient location on your computer and then set the 'Ffplay executable' option on the 'Data options' tab of the options dialog to the full path of this file.

Version, 30th April 2012

Added a facility for searching the OS 1:50,000 gazetteer for a place name from the Where tab of the record properties dialog. This is useful if you are entering records without any GPS grid reference. You can search for a location in roughly the right place then use a bing or google map to locate the exact grid reference.

Version, 23rd April 2012

Improved the panning behaviour for Bing and Google maps.

Version, 22nd April 2012

Added ability to use Evernote notes to create records. This means that Smart phones can now be used to make records. To do this you need to install the Evernote app which is free for iPhone, Blackberry and Android. You can then use your phone to make notes from a voice recording (in a similar way to the Visiontac data logger), from a photograph or from a simple written note. The phone's GPS is used to geotag the Evernote note and Gilbert 21 can derive the grid reference from this.

To use the feature, install the Evernote app on your phone and set up a free Evernote account; then set your Evernote credentials on the options dialog. When you have made some notes on your phone and synched them to your Evernote account, you can select 'Open Evernote notebook' from the file menu in Gilbert 21 and open your notes to make records. The feaure will be properly documented soon.

Version, 22nd April 2012

Added new mapping features on the 'Where' tab of the record details form. You can now map a record directly on the Where tab using Bing Maps or Google Maps. This is more convenient than using the Google Earth link. The best feature of this is that you can click a point on a Bing or Google map and elect to use the grid reference at the selected point for your record. So now you can really quickly make fine adjustments to the grid references you collect in the field where necessary.

Note that Google maps and Bing maps may be subject to certain usage limitations - for example you can only generate 1000 different Google map images in the space of 24 hours (the limitations on Bing, if any, are less clear). Since a new image is generated every time you pan or zoom or otherwise change the image, you could bump up against this limit if you are using the software a lot over the course of a day.

Note also that this new mapping facility and associated grid reference selection supersedes the 'calculate offset grid reference' (added 26th February) which is therefore removed.

Version, 25th March 2012

The taxon group field on the record details dialog is now editable - previously it was read-only. It now consists of a combo-box with all previously used taxon groups appearing in the drop-down list. The taxon group can be changed/set by selecting from the drop-down list or by typing in any value. (Note that new values typed in here will only appear in the drop-down list after one or more records with the new value have been saved to the database.)

Version, 25th March 2012

Changed behaviour when enter key pressed in personal notes field of record details dialog. Doing this now changes focus to dialog okay button. Line breaks can still be entered in the personal notes field (and now in the comments field too) by holding down the [ctrl] key whilst hitting the enter key

Version, 25th March 2012

Fixed bug that sometimes caused a crash when grid reference precision reset on 'where' tab of record details dialog.

Version, 25th March 2012

Fixed bug that sometimes caused strange behaviour - including setting incorrect values for scientific and/or common names when either of these fields was meant to be blank.

Version, 14th March 2012

Removed the 'Open by polygon' item from file menu and added this functionality as an additional filter on the 'Open by filter' dialog. This allows filters and geographic selections to be used together - for example to select all birds within a given geographic boundary.

Version, 27th February 2012

Added new page to the website with boundary file resources for download. These files can be used with the 'Open records by polygon' feature.

Version, 26th February 2012

Added new facility to calculate an offset grid reference from the GR recorded by the GPS without recourse to Google Earth. This can be used from the new 'Offset GR' button on the 'Where' table of the record properties dialog. This can dramatically speed up record processing when offsets are regularly used.

Version, 26th February 2012

Added a facility to enable new records to be initialised from a comma separated values (CSV) file with any of the following fields (which must be specified on the first row):

Not all of these fields needs to be included - none are compulsory. Extra fields with unrecognised names will be ignored. This facility effectively provides a record import capability for Gilbert 21.

Version, 24th February 2012

Added extra facilities for users to select records from the database. There is now a simple 'select by filter' option to quickly select records for certain species, taxonomic groups, date ranges etc. There is also a quick 'view all' facility. There is also a new facility to allow users to select records by polygon (e.g. LRC or vice-county area). Polygons are defined in text files with each vertice described by an easting northing pair on one line (separated by a space).

Version, 24th February 2012

Added a facility to allow user to easily update gazetteer database with files downloaded from website - allowing detailed local place-names to be used for any area in Britain. (Gazetteer files derived from OS District VectorMap.)

Version, 24th February 2012

Updated the way timezone corrections are made to GPS times (UTC times). The is handled much more inteligently by the sofware now and user is not required to intervene so often.

Version, 24th February 2012

Added the facility to mark individual records as being 'not for export' so that they are, by default, excluded from any exports.

Version, 24th February 2012

The 'personal record only' checkbox has been replaced by a more general 'do not apply record checks' checkbox. Records marked with this flag are now coloured blue in the record browser.

Version, 24th February 2012

Introduced single tabbed dialog for record details. Record details entry forms - which used to be multiple - are now in a single tabbed dialog. This allows more efficient record entry and also allows easier access to some functions - like changing GRs from 8 to 6 figure - from anywhere.

Version, 24th February 2012

Image handling. Added facility for linking records with images. Images can optionally be stored in the DB or as separate linked files. Images can be annotated. In addition, records can be created directly from image files. If the image files are tagged with location (EXIF), information, this is used to derive a grid reference and location name. EXIF dates are also used to date the record.

Version, 24th February 2012

Retain links between records and original track files. Previously, this link was lost once a recod was entered.

Version, 24th February 2012

Re-work WAV file handling. WAV files are now stored within a database file rather than separately.

Version, 24th February 2012

Made compatible for 64 bit Windows. The programme is now specifically compiled to target Windows 32 bit which, ironically, allows it to run on Windows 64 bit too!

Version, 24th February 2012

Moved from Access to SQLite DB. This was done largely in the interests of future-proofing (the future of Access is uncertain).

Version, 20th March 2011

Added a new tool button on main form to enable a quick view of currently open records in Google Earth.

Version, 13th March 2011

'What's new' feature added. User is offered the chance to view the 'What's new' section of the website if the version of their Gilbert 21 software is newer than the last one they used.

Version, 12th March 2011

Various minor bug-fixes.