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 10:54 PM by gregpauly gregpauly | 6 comments | Leave a comment
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Photos / Sounds

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What

Red Diamond Rattlesnake Crotalus ruber

Observer

kucycads

Date

September 6, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

Photos / Sounds

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What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

September 5, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

"This lizard keeps appearing in my kitchen. There is a large hole around the outlet behind the stove. I'm assuming it can get out if it wants to that way, but I'm not sure. It seems comfortable with me, it lets me get close, but won't let me catch it. Last night it crawled up on the stove and slept there all night! Funny little guy." - Stephanie Rogoff

Observation and photo by Stephanie Rogoff, sent to rascals@nhm.org

Photos / Sounds

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What

Coastal Whiptail Aspidoscelis tigris ssp. stejnegeri

Observer

keithmelliott

Date

August 27, 2014 12:09 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

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What

Southern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. helleri

Date

September 15, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

rsmart Project curator ID

Crotalus oreganus ssp. helleri

Photos / Sounds

What

Common Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana

Observer

amarena

Date

September 15, 2014

rsmart Project curator ID

Uta stansburiana

Photos / Sounds

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What

Red-spotted Toad Anaxyrus punctatus

Observer

kucycads

Date

September 6, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

Photos / Sounds

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What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

kucycads

Date

September 8, 2014

Photos / Sounds

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What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

kucycads

Date

September 7, 2014

Photos / Sounds

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What

Mojave Zebra-tailed Lizard Callisaurus draconoides ssp. rhodostictus

Observer

kucycads

Date

September 6, 2014

Photos / Sounds

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What

Mojave Zebra-tailed Lizard Callisaurus draconoides ssp. rhodostictus

Observer

kucycads

Date

September 6, 2014

Photos / Sounds

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What

Long-tailed Brush Lizard Urosaurus graciosus

Observer

kucycads

Date

September 6, 2014

Photos / Sounds

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What

Long-tailed Brush Lizard Urosaurus graciosus

Observer

kucycads

Date

September 6, 2014

Photos / Sounds

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What

Sceloporus magister transversus Sceloporus uniformis

Observer

kucycads

Date

September 6, 2014

Photos / Sounds

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What

Mojave Zebra-tailed Lizard Callisaurus draconoides ssp. rhodostictus

Observer

kucycads

Date

September 6, 2014

Photos / Sounds

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What

Western Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Observer

finatic

Date

September 13, 2014 09:42 AM PDT

Description

San Diego County, California, US

xantusiahunter Project curator ID

Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Photos / Sounds

What

Mediterranean House Gecko Hemidactylus turcicus

Observer

j_mcgowan

Date

September 14, 2014

Description

A pair of Mediterranean House Geckos that had been discovered during a very warm morning, under some wooden boards leaning against a soon to be demolished car lot's garage. Both specimens were captured and removed for study in a lab.

rsmart Project curator ID

Hemidactylus turcicus

Photos / Sounds

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What

western fence lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

j_mcgowan

Date

September 14, 2014

Description

One of a couple young juvenile western fence lizards that were still scurrying about near a house and car lot property during a very hot morning.

rsmart Project curator ID

Sceloporus occidentalis

Photos / Sounds

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What

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. oreganus

Observer

grifmeister

Date

August 15, 2014 11:59 AM PDT

gregpauly Project curator ID

Crotalus oreganus ssp. oreganus

Photos / Sounds

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What

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. oreganus

Observer

grifmeister

Date

August 30, 2014 02:18 PM PDT

gregpauly Project curator ID

Crotalus oreganus ssp. oreganus

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

cspnl

Date

September 13, 2014

Description

While standing on a wall, felt a tap on my foot, looked down to see a little face looking up at me.

rsmart Project curator ID

Elgaria multicarinata

Photos / Sounds

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What

western fence lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

rdm24

Date

September 13, 2014 10:35 AM PDT

Description

Hanging out on the riprap at Golden Shores Marine Reserve

gregpauly Project curator ID

Sceloporus occidentalis

Photos / Sounds

What

Podarcis siculus Podarcis sicula

Observer

biesman

Date

September 9, 2014 11:16 AM PDT

Description

Brought in by the cat

rsmart Project curator ID

Podarcis sicula

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

cspnl

Date

September 12, 2014 07:03 PM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Was watering the mint and he moved up onto the fence, then moved down to the gap between the wooden fence and block wall- right below his feet.
First photo shown for size reference, this individual is not real small, not adult. Cinder blocks are just under 8 inches high.

rsmart Project curator ID

Elgaria multicarinata

Photos / Sounds

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What

Red-eared Slider Trachemys scripta ssp. elegans

Observer

cspnl

Date

September 4, 2014 12:01 PM PDT

Description

Sorry the picture is so bad, lighting wasn't right.

rsmart Project curator ID

Trachemys scripta ssp. elegans

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

August 20, 2014

Description

"Here are three pictures of a lizard we found in our home. The first picture shows the lizard camouflaged and laying on top of a rock. It is very hard to see, but we used our flash in the second picture and you can see its face poking out of the brick. The final picture is of shed skin. This is the third skin we have found in our garage. It is always in the same location." - Cesar Sanchez

Observation and photos by Cesar Sanchez, sent to rascals@nhm.org.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Elgaria multicarinata

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

September 9, 2014 05:30 PM PDT

Description

"Found this little one in our bathtub! It was discovered at about 5:30pm this evening, when my sister went to run a bath for her son. He came out of the drain! Pretty mellow little creature. I relocated him to the bushes/brick in the front yard. Hope this helps you guys!" - Chelsie Martinez

Observation and photos by Chelsie Martinez, sent to rascals@nhm.org.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Elgaria multicarinata

Photos / Sounds

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What

Couch's Spadefoot Scaphiopus couchii

Observer

finatic

Date

August 31, 2014 02:24 AM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Imperial County, California, US

gregpauly Project curator ID

Scaphiopus couchii

Photos / Sounds

What

Desert Banded Gecko Coleonyx variegatus ssp. variegatus

Observer

finatic

Date

August 31, 2014 01:30 AM PDT

Description

Imperial County, California, US

Photos / Sounds

What

Colorado Desert Sidewinder Crotalus cerastes ssp. laterorepens

Observer

finatic

Date

August 30, 2014 11:55 PM PDT

Description

Imperial County, California, US

Photos / Sounds

What

Desert Glossy Snake Arizona elegans ssp. eburnata

Observer

finatic

Date

August 30, 2014 11:58 PM PDT

Description

Imperial County, California, US

gregpauly Project curator ID

Arizona elegans ssp. eburnata
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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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