The reason for the “Vary Item Row Height”  (“Vary Survey Item Row Height” on the IPad) may not be obvious.  What’s it good for?


This setting is perfect for those times when you are only counting a few items.  In those situations, and when this setting is “On”, the item’s row will take up as much space as needed in order to fill the screen.  Doing so expands the target zone for which to record your counts.  It is especially useful when you can’t take your eyes off what you are counting.

For example, each year I count Chimney Swifts (“CHSW” is the American Ornithologists Union abbreviation for Chimney Swift) at a nearby elementary school.  Migrating Chimney Swifts annually use that school’s chimney as a stopover on their way south.  This year we had the highest count ever at that location, shown in these FieldSurvey screen shots.  The first screen shot (above) shows how the FieldSurvey app looks when “Vary Item Row Height” is on.  As you can see, by comparison to the second screen shot (below), where “Vary Item Row Height” is off, my finger has a much, much bigger target in which to record a count, enabling me not to have to take my eyes off the school’s chimney for even a second in order to find the row.  Of course it would be similarly useful for hawk surveys, etc.


For iPhone uses, turn on the “Vibration” setting (which is the default setting for “Vibration”) and you also get tactile feedback that an item has been recorded.

The “Vary Item Row Height” functionality is new in Version 1.2 just released.

AuthorDavid Rabenau