Link multiple observations of same individual over time

This is something that I'd like to do more often, as the opportunity arises. So here's a reminder for myself on how to do it. While this focuses on linking observations of same individual over time, the same workflow can be used to link associations of any kind (e.g. plant/animal associations) by using an appropriate term as the Observation Field (e.g. Associated observation).

  1. After creating the first observation, add "Similar observation set" (or "Observation group", or "Same specimen over time") as the Observation Field. A box appears in which you type the ID number of the first observation (or copy/paste from the URL).
  2. Repeat this for each observation, typing in the same ID number for all of them.
  3. To see all observations in the set, click on the field name and select “Observations with this field and value”.
  4. To make it more obvious that each observation is part of a set, copy this URL and add it to the description field of each observation.
  5. If it would be useful, compile your list of observation sets by making a journal post (or include in your profile) so you can go back and find these quickly. You can use this URL to display all of your observations that make use of "similar observation set". Like this: [just replace my ID with your ID].

This approach was originally described here and there's a detailed tutorial here.

Some of my linked observations are here:

Life cycles by kimberlietx:

Other folks' life cycle collections:

Posted on December 14, 2019 10:52 PM by pfau_tarleton pfau_tarleton


A variation on this is, I'm documenting the communities on individual plants. For example, I have many photos of insects, spiders, lichens, etc. on an ash tree in my back yard, taken over the last 4 years. Would it mess up your use of this Observation Field if I used it for my own purpose, with the ID# of the ash tree for each observation?

Posted by caththalictroides almost 4 years ago

Someone else created the field, but it's my understanding that it's to be used for connecting any observations for any reason. Here's the tutorial written by the creator:

Posted by pfau_tarleton almost 4 years ago

Another relevant, existing, field is "Observation Group". Same thing, just a different name. You can choose whichever one sounds best to you.

Posted by pfau_tarleton almost 4 years ago

@catherineklatt, once you have some observation sets, you should create a journal post and compile links to them there (like I did above). It makes it much easier to go back and find them later.

Posted by pfau_tarleton almost 4 years ago

Woohoo this is such a neat, straightforward resource, thank you for including my precious bottlecats!

Posted by franzanth almost 4 years ago
Posted by pfau_tarleton almost 4 years ago

Thanks for this!

Posted by vreinkymov over 1 year ago

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