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 | 5 comments | Leave a comment
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Recent observations View all

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

cspnl

Date

August 27, 2014 12:02 PM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Found another one, mostly hidden under throw rug, about 8 feet from dog's indoor food and water. This one didn't have a complete tail, looked healed over. Put in baggie; took outside near oregano and released. He crawled under some of the bark mulch and eventually went under the oregano to join the one released there about 1/2 hour ago. For size reference, the print from 20 to s in Dis, is 1 3/8 inch. (approximate snout to vent-with bend in body). The word DATE on baggie is 1/2 inch.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Desert Iguana Dipsosaurus dorsalis

Observer

treeder86

Date

April 30, 2005

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Leaf-nosed Snake Phyllorhynchus decurtatus

Observer

treeder86

Date

April 29, 2006

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Colorado Desert Shovelnose Snake Chionactis occipitalis ssp. annulata

Observer

treeder86

Date

April 29, 2006

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Desert Horned Lizard Phrynosoma platyrhinos

Observer

treeder86

Date

April 30, 2005

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Banded Gecko Coleonyx variegatus

Observer

treeder86

Date

April 29, 2006

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Glossy Snake Arizona elegans

Observer

treeder86

Date

April 29, 2006

Photos / Sounds

What

Colorado Desert Sidewinder Crotalus cerastes ssp. laterorepens

Observer

treeder86

Date

April 29, 2006

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Desert Iguana Dipsosaurus dorsalis

Observer

treeder86

Date

April 29, 2006

gregpauly Project curator ID

Dipsosaurus dorsalis

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

treeder86

Date

April 30, 2006

gregpauly Project curator ID

Lichanura orcutti

Photos / Sounds

What

Peninsular Leaf-toed Gecko Phyllodactylus nocticolus

Observer

treeder86

Date

April 30, 2006

gregpauly Project curator ID

Phyllodactylus nocticolus

Photos / Sounds

What

San Diego Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata ssp. webbii

Observer

summersilence

Date

August 17, 2014 05:18 PM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

My sister found it under her leg while she was sitting inside our playroom.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Skink Plestiodon skiltonianus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

July 16, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

"The Skink is hiding in a empty spa drain. Tried to catch and release it, but it is too elusive." - Alan Connell

1st Spotted and Photographed, July 16, 2014

2nd Sighting - July 29, 2014 (not photographed)

Observations and photos by Alan Connell.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Plestiodon skiltonianus

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

southern alligator lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

naturespotter

Date

August 25, 2014 03:55 PM PDT

Description

Lizard with re-grown tail. Photo by Joyce Tierney.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Elgaria multicarinata

Photos / Sounds

What

Baja California treefrog Pseudacris hypochondriaca

Observer

microm

Date

August 25, 2014

Description

Aboout the size of a US quarter, it was on the North side of the log cabin by bags of trash and recycleables that might have got wet in the morning when I watered.

I am not sure at all of the ID I am giving it but it did not have obvious green markings like Pacific Treefrogs.

Sorry for the out of focus shots, I rushed to get my camera as it was hopping away.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Pseudacris hypochondriaca

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Gopher Snake Pituophis catenifer

Observer

naturespotter

Date

August 22, 2014

gregpauly Project curator ID

Pituophis catenifer

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern California Toad Anaxyrus boreas ssp. halophilus

Observer

microm

Date

August 25, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

My little buddy came back on the wood deck to look for moisture and something to eat, in the evening, I guess.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Anaxyrus boreas ssp. halophilus

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

cspnl

Date

August 25, 2014 11:39 AM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Must be very young. Tail is almost twice as long as body. Wasn't afraid as I slowly put finger near him for size reference. Later he slowly walked up to the top of the wall. There is a planter behind the wall only about 6 inches to the other wall, with rocks tapering to ground level, CA poppies, lemon balm, flax, chrysanthemum, and zucchini squash for cover and/or host plants for food.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Elgaria multicarinata

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

western fence lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

lgordon

Date

August 3, 2014

Description

In courtyard of a Burbank apartment complex
6:20pm

gregpauly Project curator ID

Sceloporus occidentalis

Photos / Sounds

What

Colorado desert sidewinder Crotalus cerastes ssp. laterorepens

Observer

treeder86

Date

April 4, 2007

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Common Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana

Observer

asemerdj

Date

August 25, 2014 02:08 PM PDT

gregpauly Project curator ID

Uta stansburiana

Photos / Sounds

What

Coast Horned Lizard Phrynosoma blainvillii

Observer

microm

Date

August 24, 2014

Description

About 8 inches long, this lizard was having a meal on ants that were gathering Peppertree fruit. He would flee into shade and blent nicely with the coarse sand if I got too close or move too fast for his taste.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Phrynosoma blainvillii

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Whiptail Aspidoscelis tigris

Observer

asemerdj

Date

August 23, 2014 04:54 PM PDT

gregpauly Project curator ID

Aspidoscelis tigris

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. oreganus

Observer

asemerdj

Date

August 23, 2014 07:14 PM PDT

Description

It looks like someone cut the rattle off before I got there

gregpauly Project curator ID

Crotalus oreganus ssp. oreganus

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

asemerdj

Date

August 23, 2014 04:54 PM PDT

gregpauly Project curator ID

Sceloporus occidentalis

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Mojave desert sidewinder Crotalus cerastes ssp. cerastes

Date

August 23, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

gregpauly Project curator ID

Crotalus cerastes ssp. cerastes

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. oreganus

Date

August 23, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

gregpauly Project curator ID

Crotalus oreganus ssp. oreganus

Photos / Sounds

14829861339_b384cfe91b_s

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

greenrosettas

Date

August 2, 2014

gregpauly Project curator ID

Sceloporus occidentalis

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Observer

patsimpson2000

Date

August 21, 2014 05:45 PM PDT

Description

A baby!

gregpauly Project curator ID

Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Photos / Sounds

What

North American Toads Genus Anaxyrus

Observer

microm

Date

August 22, 2014

Description

Gorgeous specimen, about one and a half inch long. I found it in the evening, by my log cabin, in some plant matter that I had watered earlier.

gregpauly Project curator ID

Anaxyrus boreas ssp. halophilus
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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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