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 05:54 PM by gregpauly gregpauly | 6 comments | Leave a comment
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Recent observations View all

Photos / Sounds

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What

Western Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Observer

mickeylong

Date

October 30, 2014

Description

One seen along walkway in tunnel under concrete.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Desert Horned Lizard Phrynosoma platyrhinos

Observer

jmsingleton

Date

August 9, 2014

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Orange-throated Whiptail Aspidoscelis hyperythra

Observer

patsimpson2000

Date

October 27, 2014 01:33 PM PDT

gregpauly Project curator ID

Aspidoscelis hyperythra

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

October 18, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

"My sons found a lil friend living in the compost bin. He is kind of big I would say maybe 11" or more." - Wes Oakley

Observation and photos by Wes Oakley.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Elgaria multicarinata

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

patsimpson2000

Date

October 27, 2014 12:56 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Orange-throated Whiptail Aspidoscelis hyperythra

Observer

patsimpson2000

Date

October 27, 2014 12:39 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

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What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

patsimpson2000

Date

October 27, 2014 11:54 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

15457063007_c85e7d4699_s

What

San Diego Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata ssp. webbii

Observer

finatic

Date

October 25, 2014 02:47 PM PDT

Description

San Diego County, California, US

Photos / Sounds

15456038877_045032cb9d_s

What

Western Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Observer

finatic

Date

September 7, 2014 11:56 AM PDT

Description

San Diego County, California, US

Photos / Sounds

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What

California Newt Taricha torosa

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 25, 2014 05:25 PM PDT

Description

3-5 organisms found in same alcove of waterfall. variation of size present.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Treefrog Pseudacris cadaverina

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 25, 2014 04:49 PM PDT

Description

10+ young Pseudacris cadaverina occupying same pools.

Photos / Sounds

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What

California Treefrog Pseudacris cadaverina

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 25, 2014 04:02 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

California Newt Taricha torosa

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 25, 2014 03:59 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

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What

California Treefrog Pseudacris cadaverina

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 25, 2014 03:52 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

California Treefrog Pseudacris cadaverina

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 25, 2014 03:43 PM PDT

Description

Found 3 organisms about same rock formation.

Photos / Sounds

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What

California Treefrog Pseudacris cadaverina

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 25, 2014 02:18 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

California Newt Taricha torosa

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 25, 2014 02:45 PM PDT

Description

No water was near this organism 20+ meters till next water. Area had retained moisture however.

Photos / Sounds

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What

California Treefrog Pseudacris cadaverina

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 25, 2014 02:13 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 25, 2014 12:18 PM PDT

Description

Found basking atop log, had rear leg stretched out obscurely.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 25, 2014 12:07 PM PDT

Description

Found basking alongside trail on a rock, took refuge underneath when approached.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 25, 2014 12:01 PM PDT

Description

Found approximately 2 meters up a tree, had regenerated tail.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 25, 2014 11:16 AM PDT

Description

Found basking on downed tree.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 25, 2014 11:28 AM PDT

Description

found basking along side the trail, took refuge under rock when approached.

Photos / Sounds

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What

California Newt Taricha torosa

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 24, 2014 06:08 PM PDT

Description

Found walking about within area underneath a boulder.

Photos / Sounds

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What

California Newt Taricha torosa

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 24, 2014 05:44 PM PDT

Description

Found wedged among rocks.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Treefrog Pseudacris cadaverina

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 24, 2014 05:22 PM PDT

Description

Found 4 organisms around same pool/rock formation.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

California Newt Taricha torosa

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 24, 2014 05:16 PM PDT

Description

Found 2 organisms secluded in crevices underneath a boulder.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Newt Taricha torosa

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 24, 2014 04:46 PM PDT

Description

Juvenile still possessed many aquatic features including remnants of external gills.

Photos / Sounds

What

Rattlesnakes Genus Crotalus

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 24, 2014 01:56 PM PDT

Description

Found shedding under rock.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

rrhoadsinventory

Date

October 24, 2014 03:05 PM PDT

Description

Found alongside the trail basking atop rock.

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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