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 08:54 PM by gregpauly gregpauly | 6 comments | Leave a comment
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Recent observations View all

Photos / Sounds

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Observer

andrew_louros

Date

December 12, 2014 11:15 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

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What

Western Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Observer

andrew_louros

Date

March 2, 2014 05:53 PM PST

Place

El Segundo (Google, OSM)

Photos / Sounds

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What

Southern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. helleri

Observer

andrew_louros

Date

October 11, 2014 03:50 PM PDT

Description

I found this large rattler in the middle of the road that led through the park, it was relocated by park staff to a less people-dense area shortly afterwards(hence the trash bin). Specimen was between roughly 3-4.5 ft and appeared to be female due to tail size. Rattle had a decent collection of segments.

Photos / Sounds

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Observer

andrew_louros

Date

June 3, 2014 05:15 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

San Diego Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata ssp. webbii

Observer

andrew_louros

Date

November 26, 2014 03:29 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

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Observer

sd_batboy

Date

June 29, 2009

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Observed on Willow Creek below trail between Skunk Cabbage Meadow and Round Valley on 6/29/2009 at 10:23am.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

agossard

Date

January 27, 2015 05:04 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

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What

Large-blotched Ensatina (Ensatina klauberi) Ensatina eschscholtzii

Observer

sd_batboy

Date

June 18, 2003

Description

E. klauberi observed active on the surface of oak leaf-litter at Cibbets Flat Campground at 11:52pm. Daniel Palmer also present. Tail tip taken, which is in the USGS tissue collection.

Photos / Sounds

What

San Diego Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata ssp. webbii

Observer

fundad

Date

January 29, 2015

Description

Found along old Railroad tracks

Photos / Sounds

What

Great Basin Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis ssp. longipes

Observer

fundad

Date

January 29, 2015

Description

Found along old Railroad Tracks, habitat photos included

Photos / Sounds

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What

Sierra Nevada Ensatina Ensatina eschscholtzii ssp. platensis

Observer

fundad

Date

April 22, 2002

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Found Crossing the road in the afternoon on a very warm day.

Photos / Sounds

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What

San Diego Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata ssp. webbii

Observer

fundad

Date

January 29, 2015

Description

Truly Amazing Red on this Alligator Lizard.

Habitat-roadside habitat, that still has natural features.

Photos / Sounds

What

Garden Slender Salamander Batrachoseps major

Observer

fundad

Date

January 29, 2015

Description

First Salamander at this location in ~10 visits.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Western Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Observer

fundad

Date

January 29, 2015

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

cspnl

Date

January 29, 2015 12:53 PM PST

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

2 seen, sunning on rubber floor mats standing on edge, against N side of structure. One, large and fat and dark, the second smaller and much more brightly colored.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Sceloporus occidentalis

Photos / Sounds

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What

Great Plains Toad Anaxyrus cognatus

Observer

fundad

Date

May 14, 2010

gregpauly Project curator ID

Anaxyrus cognatus

Photos / Sounds

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What

Garden Slender Salamander Batrachoseps major

Observer

chiriria

Date

January 14, 2015

gregpauly Project curator ID

Batrachoseps major

Photos / Sounds

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What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

chiriria

Date

January 16, 2015

gregpauly Project curator ID

Elgaria multicarinata

Photos / Sounds

16362793506_c42ea383d9_s

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

finatic

Date

January 24, 2015 03:55 PM PST

Description

Orange County, California, US

gregpauly Project curator ID

Sceloporus occidentalis

Photos / Sounds

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What

California Treefrog Pseudacris cadaverina

Observer

naturespotter

Date

January 27, 2015 10:15 AM PST

Description

Photo by Jennifer Cole

gregpauly Project curator ID

Pseudacris cadaverina

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

January 15, 2015

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

"Just saw your FB post requesting pictures of reptile and amphibians seen around the area. My kids and I happened to rescue a lizard (alligator lizard) that got into our house last week. After snapping a couple pictures and admiring it for a short while, we released it in our garden."

- Kathye Armitage

Photo and observation by Kathye Armitage, sent to rascals@nhm.org.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Elgaria multicarinata

Photos / Sounds

16381166072_93f358b4e1_s

What

Red-eared Slider Trachemys scripta ssp. elegans

Observer

finatic

Date

January 24, 2015 11:01 AM PST

Place

Legg Lake (Google, OSM)

Description

Los Angeles County, California, US

rsmart Project curator ID

Trachemys scripta ssp. elegans

Photos / Sounds

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What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

May 15, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

"I think this is an alligator lizard. It was in our back yard in Fontana, CA in May of 2014."

- Natalia Guevara

Observation and photos by Natalia Guevara, sent to rascals@nhm.org.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Elgaria multicarinata

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

California Newt Taricha torosa

Observer

fundad

Date

January 26, 2015

gregpauly Project curator ID

Taricha torosa

Photos / Sounds

16195229027_164b4e50ef_s

What

Western Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Observer

finatic

Date

January 24, 2015 09:59 AM PST

Description

Los Angeles County, California, US

rsmart Project curator ID

Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Baja California treefrog Pseudacris hypochondriaca

Observer

fundad

Date

January 26, 2015

Description

Pulled off road, from incoming traffic.

Many others were heard calling.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Pseudacris hypochondriaca

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Southern California Toad Anaxyrus boreas ssp. halophilus

Observer

fundad

Date

January 26, 2015

Place

(Somewhere...)

gregpauly Project curator ID

Anaxyrus boreas ssp. halophilus

Photos / Sounds

16174096217_350548df94_s

What

Western Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Observer

jaykeller

Date

January 24, 2015 11:05 AM PST

rsmart Project curator ID

Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Photos / Sounds

15743058094_a36f488b9d_s

What

Great Basin Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis ssp. longipes

Observer

jaykeller

Date

January 24, 2015 05:02 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Southern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. helleri

Observer

keithmelliott

Date

January 26, 2015 10:00 AM PST

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

This is the same animal I posted for 2015-01-25, relocated from a ranch building.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Crotalus oreganus ssp. helleri
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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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