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 09:54 PM by gregpauly gregpauly | 6 comments | Leave a comment
More journal posts

Recent observations View all

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

ariz

Date

March 26, 2015 06:25 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

ariz

Date

March 26, 2015 06:41 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

ariz

Date

March 24, 2015 03:43 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

cspnl

Date

March 26, 2015 05:56 PM PDT

Description

I was going back through the gate and the lizard with spotted head was about shoulder high, right in front of me! I got the camera and got a pic. Then he was gone but I think he was in the nearby herb garden. I got him some green inchworm caterpillars that are all over the nicotiana (white flower plant for hummingbirds) and put them in the herb garden. He came out to eat some caterpillars, then explored a snail I dropped onto the patio, crossed it, and finally went back up into the herb garden, where the oregano is, then up about 3 feet into another planter. He has a long, intact tail and bright colors.

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

cspnl

Date

March 25, 2015 04:34 PM PDT

Description

Poor thing lost his tail recently. He is fairly small, brick shown for size reference, brick is about 8 and a half inches tall. He was just under the cap of the brick. Later I offered him some green inchworm caterpillars but he didn't want them he crawled into a flower 6 pack compartment and I put him near the herb garden and offered him pill bugs. Eventually he crawled out and walked slowly till he was under winter savory plant.

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

cspnl

Date

March 25, 2015 11:10 AM PDT

Description

In the peppermint wllow tree in a pot where a pair were seen together recently. From here, he climbed into a lantana shrub.

Photos / Sounds

What

Red Diamond Rattlesnake Crotalus ruber

Observer

ariz

Date

March 24, 2015 03:35 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Lizards Suborder Sauria

Observer

ariz

Date

March 24, 2015 03:37 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

mickeylong

Date

March 26, 2015

Description

Only one noticed this morning in this park.

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

robert_twombley

Date

March 14, 2015

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

U. stansburiana was observed basking on a rock (Temp of rock 87.7F). When approached the lizard would run a few feet then stop and engage in head bobbing. This pattern of head bobbing ever time the Uta stansburiana was observed ever time he would stop running to a new rock when he was approached on foot.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Common Chuckwalla Sauromalus ater

Observer

robert_twombley

Date

March 21, 2015

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

A juvenile S ater was observed out basking on a granite rock then ran in to rock crevise. Rock temp 106.3 F

Weather conditions for the day
Sky clear, sunny.

High 74F

Wind NW 5 to 10 mph.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Common Chuckwalla Sauromalus ater

Observer

robert_twombley

Date

March 14, 2015

Description

This S. ater was observed in a rock crevices.

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

robert_twombley

Date

February 15, 2015

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

This T. lyrophanes was found under artificial cover (Roofing tile).

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Southern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus ssp. helleri

Observer

rschwe3414aolcom

Date

August 28, 2012

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Gopher Snake Pituophis catenifer

Observer

naturespotter

Date

March 26, 2015 09:21 AM PDT

Description

Photo by Ana Lopez

Photos / Sounds

16730314387 5bf22847f3 s

What

Western Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Observer

finatic

Date

March 21, 2015 02:57 PM PDT

Description

San Bernardino County, California, US

Photos / Sounds

16314813434 cd5a90acb3 s

What

Western Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans

Observer

finatic

Date

March 22, 2015 11:46 AM PDT

Description

Riverside County, California, US

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Common Chuckwalla Sauromalus ater

Observer

finatic

Date

March 22, 2015 12:27 PM PDT

Description

Riverside County, California, US

Photos / Sounds

What

California Newt Taricha torosa

Observer

sjordan1

Date

March 8, 2014

Description

California newt; Bear Canyon, San Gabriel Mountains, elevation appx. 3000 feet

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

melissaroth

Date

March 25, 2015 08:00 AM PDT

Place

LA 90039 (Google, OSM)

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Southern Alligator Lizard Elgaria multicarinata

Observer

cspnl

Date

March 16, 2015 12:14 PM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Scrambled for cover in the side yard / hummingbird garden and area where one was seen up in the tomato plants months ago. this was the only picture I was able to get of him. The warm weather has them moving very fast and he ran with his whole body and tail swerving from side to side.

Photos / Sounds

What

Granite Spiny Lizard Sceloporus orcutti

Observer

asemerdj

Date

March 25, 2015 02:15 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Great Basin Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis ssp. longipes

Observer

marebgold

Date

March 15, 2015 02:27 PM PDT

Description

At hole #1!

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Green Anole Anolis carolinensis

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

March 25, 2015 11:55 AM PDT

Description

Just emerging from underneath palm hatch

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Anolis carolinensis

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

California King Snake Lampropeltis californiae

Observer

rsendejas

Date

July 21, 2014 12:29 PM PDT

Description

Found this buddy in a parking lot.

Photos / Sounds

What

Great Basin Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis ssp. longipes

Observer

glmory

Date

February 14, 2015 03:00 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

glmory

Date

March 21, 2015 12:56 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

glmory

Date

March 22, 2015 01:17 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

glmory

Date

March 22, 2015 01:17 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

glenyoshida

Date

March 24, 2015 01:52 PM PDT

Description

Saw this lizard at my work. There are a lot of these around here. I posted one not long ago and called it a Western Fence Lizard. Not sure now. What is this?

gregpauly Project curator ID

Sceloporus occidentalis
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