NParks Pulau Ubin and Chek Jawa webpage – the improved new map (2015) and tide tables

Pulau Ubin is a small island of about 10km by 2km of the northeast of Singapore. You can’t get lost as all roads lead back to the village and jetty, but a copy of the latest map will enhance your discovery of the many places and sites nestled there.

You can download the 2015 map of Pulau Ubin from NParks’ Pulau Ubin and Chek Jawa webpage. Tide tables for Tanjung Changi are also available to plan your inter-tidal activity.

Pulauubinmap jpg 6 496×4 007 pixels

This 2015 map is a great improvement on the 2010 version. Placenames are comprehensively indicated, all facilities and trails are named, as are points of interest including shrines, and intertidal and mangrove habitats are differentiated.

Pulau Ubin is very well signposted and large versions of this map are available around the island at the huts, so you can reference the map during your explorations, and take a photo of specific portions of interest to help you find your way there or to learn names of places you visited.

The ongoing Ubin Project will provide additional points to update the map, so we can look forward to seeing it enhanced meaningfully. For example, we should eventually include the Ubin Way:

  • Relive and experience the kampong lifestyle
  • Appreciate and conserve our cultural heritage
  • Discover and cherish the diversity of nature
  • Respect one another and bond with the community
  • Care for Ubin, and be considerate towards its environment

What would I wish for in future? Without crowding the map, the identification of secondary forest types, as a lot of forest is regrown over various ex-plantations (with their old names) and reforestation sites (with dates), which NParks has impressively planted over the years. Also, an indication of habitat types on Chek Jawa.

How will I do this? Well, anyone can submit ideas about Pulau Ubin through the eCitizen portal.

Happy trails!


Map of Singapore from Keppel’s (1899), “A sailor’s life under four sovereigns”

Image from Keppel, H., 1899. A sailor’s life under four sovereigns. (book on the Internet Archive).

This 1744 x 2794 pixel image is in the public domain – see “Millions of historical images posted to Flickr,” by Leo Kelion. BBC News Technology, 29 Aug 2014.

Click to enlarge
Singapore map from Keppel 1899

Source: the Internet Archive on Flickr [link].

Cat in my chair

I dug up this book, “Slide:ology” by Nancy Duarte (2008) to compare its contents with the procedure I used for the Evening of Biodiversity speakers these past couple of weeks.

Cleared the chair, found and unwrapped the book, turned around and found the chair claimed by Xylo the Cat.

Drats! Np, cats!


Written with the WordPress iOS app.

Map of Life – what is the distinctiveness of birds in your area?

“The Map of Life assembles and integrates different sources of data describing species distributions worldwide.” See the About page.

You can navigate to any location to discover the bird diversity recorded in the area.

Map of Life

Click the species to see its global distribution map! MOL integrates IUCN and GBIF data so there are links to taxonomic information, status and distribution data. Students will appreciate the birds they observe during the LSM2251 Ecology and the Environment Pulau Ubin field trip all the more. It will certainly help enhance conservation awareness with our help.

Map of Life

Map of Life - Species Evolutionary Distinctness

In other news, see the OneZoom visualisation of the new Edge of Existence conservation ranking of birds using evolutionary distinctiveness:

OneZoom Tree of Life Explorer

Fav Apps

This is why I finally bought an iPhone – it is really cheap for a mobile computer. I will complete this list in time. For now, some critical ones I use in the field. I am unfamiliar with the Android but imagine there are the same or equivalent apps there.

Battery life need not be limiting even with energy-expensive GPS apps. I use a Choiix Power Fort 5600mAh external battery charger which keeps the iPhone going for two additional charge cycles.

Field notes

  • Twitter – because photos and comments can be shared on twitter immediately. My tweets are imported to Facebook immediately and friends are more comfortable to comment there, which helps raise awareness or source for information.
  • Twitter in combination with BackUpMyTweets, provides for a virtual field notebook, recording critical information such as location details of a roadkill.

Maps and GPS

  • Google Maps – detects current location, route suggestions to a known point (use postal codes where possible), distance of route, approximate arrival time, traffic conditions (use to divert past bad traffic)
  • Pocket OneMap, uses the Singapore government’s map, which may be critical with iOS6 removing the Google Map app. OneMap keeps improving and agencies all use this.
  • Runkeeper – easiest interface with which plot route on foot or bicycle, has live tracking for other to monitor, tag photos to points along route, keep a archive of routes online. More sophisticated tools exists for greater needs like Motion-X GPS
  • Digital Compass Free – in case you prefer a digital interface instead of your analog iPhone’s compass. I find a compass useful for reorientation in a dense patch of forest to help me get out using short cuts, and even in unfamiliar urban environments if I am unfamiliar with landmarks. Still, always keep a proper compass in your field pack for when your battery runs out. The iTunes Store has some interesting variations like Free HD Compass


  • WeatherLah – taps NEA data to project sound of crackling thunder loud enough to alert me on a field trip. The early warnings about the possibility of an oncoming storm with attendant dangers of lightning strike and falling branches is helpful and prevents me from being caught unawares, especially when focus is elsewhere.
  • SG Weather – this projects NEA’s rain cloud radar map which I used to determine the size of the thundercloud, its speed and angle of approach. A decision to clear a beach of undergrads often rests on careful use of this app!


  • CleanLah for photo-reports of trash and other problems direct to NEA
  • Dengue Lah – early warning if there is a dengue cluster in an area I might venture into. If there are two cases in a 150m radius within 14 days, I alert students and volunteers to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Most times it is the densely populated urban areas with enough of trash catching rain water which pose a bigger threat.

First Aid


  • ComfortDelGro Taxi Booking – summons a taxi to odd places with clear instructions – I use Google Maps or One Map to determine the specific location and try to get a postal code. The app’s location suggestion is usually inaccurate. There is also SMRT Book a Taxi.

If you have suggestions, drop me a note or tweet to @sivasothi!