Accuracy: the least obvious, most important data element

The four most important elements of an observation are a photo, a date, the coordinates (i.e., latitude and longitude), and a community-supported identification. When an observation has these four elements, it is considered “research grade”. However, there is a fifth element that is nearly as important as these other elements in determining the value of an observation to researchers, but it often gets overlooked. This fifth element is accuracy, which is the proximity of the measured latitude and longitude to the actual location where the observation was made. The accuracy can be determined by a GPS device or manually by the user using a mapping app, such as the iNaturalist map function.

The importance of having observations with high accuracy cannot be overstated. Only a small number of uses of iNaturalist observations can accept observations with low accuracy. For example, obtaining a species list for Griffith Park, Balboa Park, or one of the ten counties in ...more ↓

Posted on August 02, 2014 11:54 PM by gregpauly gregpauly | 6 comments | Leave a comment
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Recent observations View all

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Date

June 15, 2014 10:52 AM PDT

Description

Male lizard, caught doing push ups.

Photos / Sounds

What

Garden Slender Salamander Batrachoseps major

Observer

cspnl

Date

November 22, 2014 05:04 PM PST

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Dark salamander found on S side of building under 4x4 inch paver between volunteer parsley plants a few feet from water spigot and from potted plants that are watered only a couple of times a month. For reference, a 3x5 index card, lines are 1/4 inch. Salamander is about 1/8 inch wide maybe. This may be one seen last year, but no photo taken there- or offspring? The color looks uniform, no definite red area on the back like one of the 2 seen about 30 ft north and 15 ft or so West of this location.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Batrachoseps major

Photos / Sounds

15578608512_a6d0181f63_s

Observer

jaykeller

Date

October 18, 2014 05:55 PM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

Photos / Sounds

15567058780_9c50b15783_s

What

Red-eared Slider Turtle Trachemys scripta

Observer

jaykeller

Date

November 8, 2014 10:23 AM PST

gregpauly Project curator ID

Trachemys scripta ssp. elegans

Photos / Sounds

What

Sidewinder Crotalus cerastes

Observer

sgbofav

Date

June 28, 2014 09:52 PM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

We found this Sidewinder on the dirt cut, of a paved road.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Crotalus cerastes

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Gopher Snake Pituophis catenifer

Observer

rschwe3414aolcom

Date

April 20, 2008

Description

Mating pair of gopher snakes

gregpauly Project curator ID

Pituophis catenifer

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Orange-throated Race-runner Aspidoscelis hyperythra

Observer

patsimpson2000

Date

November 19, 2014 02:03 PM PST

Description

1 of 2 individuals observed.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Aspidoscelis hyperythra

Photos / Sounds

67983_506730469377215_729880642_n

What

Western Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Observer

ericorozco39

Date

September 5, 2012

Photos / Sounds

734131_506727052710890_422748813_n

What

California Treefrog (Pseudacris cadaverina) Pseudacris cadaverina

Observer

ericorozco39

Date

September 5, 2012

gregpauly Project curator ID

Pseudacris cadaverina

Photos / Sounds

What

Snakes Suborder Serpentes

Observer

jonahevans

Date

June 4, 2011 02:48 PM CDT

Description

Snake scat.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Suborder Serpentes

Photos / Sounds

15831580255_ebcabfb69e_s

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

m_jon

Date

July 12, 2014 01:24 PM PDT

Tags

rsmart Project curator ID

Sceloporus occidentalis

Photos / Sounds

15831314195_ff3157ea24_s

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

m_jon

Date

July 11, 2014 11:21 AM PDT

Description

Western fence lizard, probably, but this is the only photo I got before it dashed away.

rsmart Project curator ID

Sceloporus occidentalis

Photos / Sounds

What

San Diego Nightsnake Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha ssp. klauberi

Observer

kpabito

Date

November 19, 2014 10:24 AM PST

Description

Night snake found under rocks in an open grassland! This guy is only mildly venomous and has the fangs more posteriorly.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Orange-throated Race-runner Aspidoscelis hyperythra

Observer

patsimpson2000

Date

November 19, 2014 02:03 PM PST

Description

Second individual observed in one spot. They got into a little fight.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Aspidoscelis hyperythra

Photos / Sounds

What

Western fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

patsimpson2000

Date

November 19, 2014 01:21 PM PST

Description

Small fellow...

rsmart Project curator ID

Sceloporus occidentalis

Photos / Sounds

What

Gopher Snake Pituophis catenifer

Observer

kpabito

Date

November 19, 2014 10:15 AM PST

Description

Found under some rocks by Sean. Gopher snake was agitated because it did not shed it's eye brille all the way.

rsmart Project curator ID

Pituophis catenifer

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Observer

naturespotter

Date

November 18, 2014 05:55 PM PST

Description

Appears to be a juvenile; some details are hard to see but it lacks the "silky" look found in S. graciosus with its smaller, less spiny scales. Photo by Paul Montanez.

rsmart Project curator ID

Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

November 18, 2014 01:28 PM PST

Description

Toni Castillo, one of NHM's Guest Relations Associates, saw this Western Fence Lizard in the Nature Gardens. Toni said that she saw the lizard on the ground, and that it did not move away from her as she walked up to it to take the photos. She thinks it stayed in the same location for about 10-15 minutes.

This is the first lizard to be photographed in the NHM Nature Gardens. http://www.nhm.org/nature/visit/nature-gardens

Photos and observation by Toni Castillo.

rsmart Project curator ID

Sceloporus occidentalis

Photos / Sounds

15807892631_7d9be22b61_s

What

false map turtle Graptemys pseudogeographica

Observer

m_jon

Date

August 9, 2013 09:56 AM NZST

Description

Eagle-eyed gregpauly noticed that the third turtle from the right in this photo is a different species from the rest. See his comment on this observation.

Tags

gregpauly Project curator ID

Graptemys pseudogeographica

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

California Mountain Kingsnake Lampropeltis zonata

Observer

newt8686

Date

June 22, 2014

Description

out basking on a bolder in a creek

rsmart Project curator ID

Lampropeltis zonata

Photos / Sounds

15132221184_dc5dac9087_s

What

Rio Grande Leopard Frog Lithobates berlandieri

Observer

jaykeller

Date

November 8, 2014 03:48 PM PST

gregpauly Project curator ID

Lithobates berlandieri

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. helleri

Observer

asemerdj

Date

November 17, 2014 01:12 PM PST

rsmart Project curator ID

Crotalus oreganus ssp. helleri

Photos / Sounds

15807892631_7d9be22b61_s

What

Red-eared Slider Trachemys scripta ssp. elegans

Observer

m_jon

Date

August 9, 2013 09:56 AM NZST

gregpauly Project curator ID

Trachemys scripta ssp. elegans

Photos / Sounds

What

Red-eared Slider Trachemys scripta ssp. elegans

Observer

m_jon

Date

August 9, 2013 08:09 AM PDT

gregpauly Project curator ID

Trachemys scripta ssp. elegans

Photos / Sounds

15189327813_b15b6744bd_s

What

Eastern Spiny Softshell Apalone spinifera

Observer

m_jon

Date

August 9, 2013 08:06 AM PDT

gregpauly Project curator ID

Apalone spinifera

Photos / Sounds

15810342232_2f6c8a48ae_s

What

Red-eared Slider Trachemys scripta ssp. elegans

Observer

m_jon

Date

August 9, 2013 08:06 AM PDT

gregpauly Project curator ID

Trachemys scripta ssp. elegans

Photos / Sounds

15805239231_6fbae8bbc9_s

What

Common Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana

Observer

m_jon

Date

August 8, 2013 08:47 AM PDT

Description

Western fence lizard or side-blotch. This was the only photo I got.

rsmart Project curator ID

Uta stansburiana

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

asemerdj

Date

September 20, 2014 10:42 AM PDT

rsmart Project curator ID

Elgaria multicarinata

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Pond Slider Trachemys scripta

Observer

asemerdj

Date

September 4, 2014 10:15 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Western Toad Anaxyrus boreas

Observer

asemerdj

Date

September 13, 2014 09:01 PM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)
More observations

About

Reptiles and Amphibians of Southern California (RASCals)—The goal of this project is to improve our knowledge of native and non-native reptiles and amphibians in southern California.

The RASCals project is a partnership between the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and the La Kretz ...more ↓

17630-mini gregpauly created this project on June 07, 2013
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