Thanks for the feedback. It is good to hear this has been done before. The QstarZ is one of the GPS trackers I came across, another one that caught my interest was the miniHomer (~$60, http://www.navin.com.tw/miniHomer.htm). That one includes a compass, is waterproof to 1m and can export the tracks in a very broad range of formats. Some of them also seem to do a better job in not loosing the satellite connection and give a more continuous track.
I like the suggestion to replace the altitude data in the GPS track by depth data. I'm a programmer so that should not be too hard to do myself. The tricky part is to convert the tracks into a map with/without a superimposed map image. Here is a hand-drawn example (a google earth background image) of the simplest version of what I'm aiming for.
At the highest level there will be a few major ecological zones; here pebble/intertidal, shallow reef, and sand/coral pathes. Within those there will be some more prominent features like the white semicircle which is the only large table coral, the "twin rocks" pinnacle and a sunken barge. Territories for different animals are mapped on top of it all. I would like to link underwater images of distinct features or species to the corresponding places on the map and perhaps add lines that link to video clips of a transect swim-through.
I think some of the above can be done with existing software. However, I expect 200-300 species of fish on this one reef, plus more for invertebrates so that will be far too much to cram onto one map. One solution is many maps, a larger zoomable map, different maps for different sections of the site, or a fully dynamic map with information added/removed as layers upon user request. I can see all of that being doable using for instance an HTML5 canvas but it will be hard to find the time to actually pull it off. So I was hoping some programs for this might already exist.
In practice I will be happy to just get the basics but it doesn't hurt to aim high.
PS: not really important, but those familiar with Twin Rocks will realize I messed up the numbering. 1 is the giant clams
2 is the spiny lobsters
3 is the staghorn coral patch with loads of cardinals
Glad you got your expensive tome out - wondered where you were. Interesting stuff. Fishbase only show these two in the Variola genus. Maybe there is another lurking undiscovered.... or even viable hybrids?
I've been "lurking here undiscovered" for the last little while because there wasn't much to contribute to. My own trip this spring is still in limbo as my regular buddy may need to postpone. I don't think I can suppress my withdrawal symptoms much longer so may head out by myself instead. I have always wanted to do an in-depth fish ecology research project and may go back to Anilao to explore a house reef in excruciating detail. As I've started to go through my old images I may have some posts to the critter-ID in the near future myself.
Reef Fishes of the East Indies quite strongly, I would say conclusively, shows that this is V. albimarginata. The body colour on your first image matches that depicted for an adult, with the same orange-red background and many small blueish spots appearing as orange and blueish lines behind the opercle. The main difference is that the RFEI image has bright white edges and margin of the caudal fin, whereas yours are more dull white/pale.
Your second and third image are much closer to the RFEI image for a juvenile V. albimarginata. As pointed out by Jim Greenfield, the white line along the nape in your images is indicative of juveniles and young adults of both V. louti and V. albimarginata. But otherwise the juveniles of these two species are VERY different. V. albi juvis have fewer and larger blue spots, unlike your image, and has white blotches on the head and flanks in addition to the white saddles, as shown on your images. To me it suggests that your first image is an adult and the others are either subadults of perhaps adults have the sub-adult coloration as one of the color patterns they can switch back to depending on mood or conditions.
The Reef Fish Identification Tropical Pacific book image for V. albimarginata is very different and completely lacking the white edges on top and bottom of the caudal tail, and the body spot patterns are not quite the same either. I wonder if there are more than two Variola species or it the RFITP images is actually V. louti.
I used the Canon 60mm and 100mm and if I had to give up one it would be the 60. But if I already had the 60mm as my only lens I wouldn't get the 100 but something wider. What is best for you really depends on you. For me my most used lens beside the macros was the 35mm F2, a 15mm fisheye got used only once. The 35mm is a great lens, focuses close, and is cheap, but I expect that for most the 10-17mm is the better choice.