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
More journal posts

Recent observations View all

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Coast Horned Lizard Phrynosoma blainvillii

Observer

zabbey

Date

April 17, 2015

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Whiptail Lizards Genus Aspidoscelis

Observer

zabbey

Date

April 17, 2015

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

San Diego Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata ssp. webbii

Observer

hummer56

Date

April 14, 2015

Description

Found this Lizard inside Forever 21 in the Mall. It must have come in to get cooled off. I managed to get it back outside.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. oreganus

Observer

grifmeister

Date

April 23, 2015 02:04 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. oreganus

Observer

grifmeister

Date

April 23, 2015 02:25 PM PDT

Description

Unmarked

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. oreganus

Observer

grifmeister

Date

April 23, 2015 01:54 PM PDT

Description

Unmarked

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. oreganus

Observer

grifmeister

Date

April 23, 2015 01:19 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. oreganus

Observer

grifmeister

Date

April 23, 2015 01:40 PM PDT

Description

Unmarked

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Observer

steviekgold

Date

April 25, 2015 03:49 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Northern Legless Lizard Anniella pulchra

Observer

steviekgold

Date

April 25, 2015 04:01 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

southern pacific rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. helleri

Observer

j_mcgowan

Date

April 25, 2015

Description

An adult Crotalus helleri that we found in a small, rocky creekbed on a cool and slightly damp afternoon. The specimen was an adult female, measuring approximately 70 cm in length. She was carefully and successfully tubed by Greg Pauly for further examination, before being released and slithering into a small burrow under some nearby rocks.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Crotalus oreganus ssp. helleri

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

j_mcgowan

Date

April 25, 2015

Description

A large, mature female Southern Alligator Lizard that was caught among the grass near a Live Oak tree, during a cool and slightly damp day. Notable pathologies include a tick on the right side of her neck, and the last third of her tail is a regenerated tail.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Elgaria multicarinata

Photos / Sounds

What

san diego gopher snake Pituophis catenifer ssp. annectens

Observer

j_mcgowan

Date

April 25, 2015

Description

A adult gopher snake that we had found out in the open during a very cool and slightly damp afternoon, along the hillside. The specimen was a male, with slightly pink ventral scales over most of his belly, and had a peculiar wound shortly past his vent.

Photos / Sounds

What

southern pacific rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. helleri

Observer

j_mcgowan

Date

April 25, 2015

Description

A 1 to 2 year old juvenile Crotalus helleri that we discovered under a small strip of bark near the town. It was carefully successuly tubed by Greg Pauly, who can also provide a scale reference of this specimen.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Observer

j_mcgowan

Date

April 25, 2015

Description

The only live specimen of an Uta that we found during what turned out to be a very cool and slightly damp day. It was spotted near the entrance of a ground squirrel burrow, but darted into the surrounding grasses and evaded capture.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

western fence lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

j_mcgowan

Date

April 25, 2015

Description

A gravid female Western Fence Lizard that had been discovered under a rock, on what turned out to be a very cool and slightly moist day.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Sceloporus occidentalis

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

Observer

rangerc

Date

April 21, 2015 09:57 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Coastal Whiptail Aspidoscelis tigris ssp. stejnegeri

Observer

ccfindsincam

Date

April 17, 2015 11:46 PM PDT

Description

Hiking at Rose Valley Falls, Ojai. RASCALS

Photos / Sounds

Observer

ccfindsincam

Date

April 17, 2015 12:45 PM PDT

Description

Our home in Camarillo 93010 RASCALS

gregpauly Project curator ID

Elgaria multicarinata

Photos / Sounds

Observer

jvnz90

Date

April 25, 2015 04:31 PM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Slender Salamander found in backyard

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Bufo boreas Anaxyrus boreas

Observer

robert_twombley

Date

July 11, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

This B. boreas was observed crossing a dirt road at night. This was the second B. boreas seen that night.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Anaxyrus boreas

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Northern Three-lined Boa Lichanura orcutti

Observer

robert_twombley

Date

July 9, 2014

Description

This L. orcutti was observed crossing the a dirt road at night.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Lichanura orcutti

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

robert_twombley

Date

July 9, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

This H. chlorophaea was obserevd crossing a dirt road at night.

Photos / Sounds

What

Baja California Lyre Snake Trimorphodon lyrophanes

Observer

jaykeller

Date

April 12, 2015 02:10 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Leaf-nosed Snake Phyllorhynchus decurtatus

Observer

jaykeller

Date

April 12, 2015 01:00 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Desert Banded Gecko Coleonyx variegatus ssp. variegatus

Observer

jaykeller

Date

April 11, 2015 11:10 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

17260331561 844a9937bb s

What

Southern Desert Horned Lizard Phrynosoma platyrhinos ssp. calidiarum

Observer

jaykeller

Date

April 12, 2015 12:27 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake Crotalus mitchellii ssp. pyrrhus

Observer

jaykeller

Date

April 11, 2015 08:58 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

16640702303 fd8f1ef16c s

What

Mearns' Rock Lizard Petrosaurus mearnsi ssp. mearnsi

Observer

jaykeller

Date

April 11, 2015 09:27 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

San Diego Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata ssp. webbii

Observer

patsimpson2000

Date

April 24, 2015 02:26 PM PDT
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

Is this inappropriate, spam, or offensive? Add a flag

Logo eee 15px
Embed a widget for this project on your website