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

maryalicek

Date

February 26, 2015

Description

Alligator Lizard on driveway.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Elgaria multicarinata

Photos / Sounds

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What

Western Skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus) Plestiodon skiltonianus

Observer

maryalicek

Date

February 22, 2015 09:28 AM UTC

Description

Found in an unused pot of soil. Has a new tail.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Plestiodon skiltonianus

Photos / Sounds

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What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

cspnl

Date

February 27, 2015 02:44 PM PST

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Southern alligator lizard atop plywood behind a taller sheet of plywood. This photo is rotated, should be long plywood edge going from top to bottom, gray plywood to the right of it, and the lizards blurry face is on the side of the shorter plywood on the right. Sorry, iPhone and flashlight photo isn't very clear. This lizards tail is re growing and he is fairly small, my guess is bigger than a year old, so maybe 2? On a scale of 1 to 5 of those I've seen, I'd say he's a 3 in size.

Photos / Sounds

What

Gopher Snake Pituophis catenifer

Observer

luftblasen999

Date

February 25, 2015

Description

About a foot and half long and a half inch in diameter snake slithering on the dry dirt and dead pine tree needles, making its way up a pine tree. It has a dark brown spotty pattern all along its beige body. Not exactly sure what type of gopher snake it may be, but looks a lot like the Santa Cruz gopher snake.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Garden Slender Salamander Batrachoseps major

Observer

patsimpson2000

Date

February 27, 2015 09:32 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

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What

Garden Slender Salamander Batrachoseps major

Observer

patsimpson2000

Date

February 27, 2015 09:27 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

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What

Garden Slender Salamander Batrachoseps major

Observer

patsimpson2000

Date

February 27, 2015 09:26 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

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What

Garden Slender Salamander Batrachoseps major

Observer

patsimpson2000

Date

February 27, 2015 09:25 AM PST

Description

I guess i won't be cleaning up the rain ditch from leaf litter today. It's a home now. Found 5 individuals in a 1 foot section. The ditch is about 25 feet

Photos / Sounds

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What

Garden Slender Salamander Batrachoseps major

Observer

patsimpson2000

Date

February 27, 2015 09:26 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

California Kingsnake Lampropeltis californiae

Observer

fundad

Date

October 19, 2007

Description

Habitat was being bulldozed for "a Natural" park area at the time of the find.. This kind of habitat management angers me and is UNEXCUSABLE.

Found under rock pictured..

gregpauly Project curator ID

Lampropeltis californiae

Photos / Sounds

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What

Great Basin Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis ssp. longipes

Observer

amsca

Date

February 26, 2015 11:26 AM PST

Description

We found this lizard sunning itself on a rock at Schabarum Regional Park.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

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What

California Kingsnake Lampropeltis californiae

Observer

fundad

Date

March 25, 2001

gregpauly Project curator ID

Lampropeltis californiae

Photos / Sounds

What

Black-bellied Slender Salamander Batrachoseps nigriventris

Observer

j_mcgowan

Date

February 26, 2015

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

I was turning over small chunks of rotting logs, under the shade of several conifer and oak trees, approximately 50 meters from the Ventura River shore when I uncovered both a group of insect larvae and a Black-bellied Slender Salamander. The salamander measured approximately 4.4 cm in total length, and burrowed into the substrate after taking my final shot of the animal when I returned it to its home.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Batrachoseps nigriventris

Photos / Sounds

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Observer

sdonohue

Date

February 21, 2015

Place

(Somewhere...)

gregpauly Project curator ID

Phrynosoma mcallii

Photos / Sounds

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What

Black-bellied Slender Salamander Batrachoseps nigriventris

Observer

andrew_louros

Date

February 25, 2015 11:23 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

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What

Western Skink Plestiodon skiltonianus

Observer

gregpauly

Date

February 25, 2015 03:44 PM PST

Description

This skink didn't stick around long enough for a close up photo, but you can still see the dark stripes extending down the body and well onto the tail indicating this is a P. skiltonianus and not P. gilberti, the latter of which isn't known from the Santa Monica Mtns anyway.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Plestiodon skiltonianus

Photos / Sounds

What

Brahminy Blind Snake Ramphotyphlops braminus

Observer

mickeylong

Date

February 17, 2015

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

This introduced snake, Brahminy Blind Snake or Flower Pot Snake, found on February 14, 2015 in an urban yard in Sierra Madre (by Kris Kaul), was photographed Feb. 17, 2015. Both the snake and it's habitat (photo: Chuck Haznedl) in mulch are shown. Thanks to Greg Pauly for the identification. To be watched for in Los Angeles County.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Ramphotyphlops braminus

Photos / Sounds

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What

Gopher Snake Pituophis catenifer

Observer

npollock66

Date

April 18, 2009

gregpauly Project curator ID

Pituophis catenifer

Photos / Sounds

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What

Desert Nightsnake Hypsiglena chlorophaea

Observer

npollock66

Date

May 13, 2011

gregpauly Project curator ID

Hypsiglena chlorophaea

Photos / Sounds

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What

California Kingsnake Lampropeltis californiae

Observer

npollock66

Date

April 13, 2010

gregpauly Project curator ID

Lampropeltis californiae

Photos / Sounds

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What

Mojave desert sidewinder Crotalus cerastes ssp. cerastes

Observer

npollock66

Date

May 14, 2009

gregpauly Project curator ID

Crotalus cerastes ssp. cerastes

Photos / Sounds

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What

Mojave Rattlesnake Crotalus scutulatus ssp. scutulatus

Observer

npollock66

Date

May 15, 2009

Photos / Sounds

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What

Speckled Rattlesnake Crotalus mitchellii

Observer

npollock66

Date

May 15, 2010

gregpauly Project curator ID

Crotalus mitchellii

Photos / Sounds

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What

Gilbert's Skink Plestiodon gilberti

Observer

npollock66

Date

April 16, 2011

xantusiahunter Project curator ID

Plestiodon gilberti

Photos / Sounds

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What

Western Banded Gecko Coleonyx variegatus

Observer

npollock66

Date

May 15, 2009

gregpauly Project curator ID

Coleonyx variegatus

Photos / Sounds

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What

Desert Horned Lizard Phrynosoma platyrhinos

Observer

npollock66

Date

May 14, 2010

gregpauly Project curator ID

Phrynosoma platyrhinos

Photos / Sounds

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What

Coast Horned Lizard Phrynosoma blainvillii

Observer

npollock66

Date

October 11, 2008

gregpauly Project curator ID

Phrynosoma blainvillii

Photos / Sounds

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What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

npollock66

Date

May 19, 2009

gregpauly Project curator ID

Elgaria multicarinata

Photos / Sounds

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What

Jackson's Chameleon Trioceros jacksonii

Observer

npollock66

Date

November 8, 2008

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

This was a release population.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

npollock66

Date

September 16, 2008

Description

My masters study species.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Sceloporus occidentalis
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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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