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 03, 2014 03:54 PM by gregpauly gregpauly | 6 comments | Leave a comment
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Recent observations View all

Photos / Sounds

Observer

markae

Date

May 4, 2015 10:50 PM PDT

Description

Air temp 55 deg. F

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Zebra-tailed Lizard Callisaurus draconoides

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 11:15 AM PDT

Description

Plot 24

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Callisaurus draconoides

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Whiptail Aspidoscelis tigris

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 11:15 AM PDT

Description

Plot 24

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Aspidoscelis tigris

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Desert Iguana Dipsosaurus dorsalis

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 11:15 AM PDT

Description

Plot 30

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Dipsosaurus dorsalis

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Zebra-tailed Lizard Callisaurus draconoides

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 11:15 AM PDT

Description

Plot 40

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Callisaurus draconoides

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Zebra-tailed Lizard Callisaurus draconoides

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 11:15 AM PDT

Description

Plot 40

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Callisaurus draconoides

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Zebra-tailed Lizard Callisaurus draconoides

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 11:15 AM PDT

Description

Plot 40

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Callisaurus draconoides

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Zebra-tailed Lizard Callisaurus draconoides

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 11:15 AM PDT

Description

Plot 39

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Callisaurus draconoides

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Whiptail Aspidoscelis tigris

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 11:15 AM PDT

Description

Plot 39

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Aspidoscelis tigris

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Zebra-tailed Lizard Callisaurus draconoides

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 11:15 AM PDT

Description

Plot 39

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Callisaurus draconoides

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Desert Iguana Dipsosaurus dorsalis

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 11:15 AM PDT

Description

Plot 39

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Dipsosaurus dorsalis

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Whiptail Aspidoscelis tigris

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 11:15 AM PDT

Description

Plot 39

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Aspidoscelis tigris

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Zebra-tailed Lizard Callisaurus draconoides

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 10:45 AM PDT

Description

Plot 39

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Callisaurus draconoides

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Desert Iguana Dipsosaurus dorsalis

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 10:45 AM PDT

Description

Plot 39

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Dipsosaurus dorsalis

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 10:45 AM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Plot 39

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Uma notata

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

jessiesgirl

Date

June 2, 2014 02:00 PM PDT

Description

I saw this lizard crawl out of a flower bed in Burbank near Pass and Alameda.

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 09:22 AM PDT

Description

In Palo Verde, this was the second individual on same branch. Possibly a female. Plot 33

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Sceloporus magister

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 09:15 AM PDT

Description

In Palo Verde, large, adult male facing downward on the main branch... photo is not the best, but he took off as soon as I stepped forward. Two individuals on same branch. Plot 33

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Coachwhip Coluber flagellum

Observer

bhollingsworth

Date

May 4, 2015 05:34 AM PDT

Description

DOR, Old Julian Hwy

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Coluber flagellum

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Zebra-tailed Lizard Callisaurus draconoides

Observer

dean_leavitt

Date

May 4, 2015 01:59 PM PDT

Description

Maybe shrike kill

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Callisaurus draconoides

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Desert Iguana Dipsosaurus dorsalis

Observer

mstepek

Date

May 4, 2015 11:10 AM PDT

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Dipsosaurus dorsalis

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Flat-tailed Horned Lizard Phrynosoma mcallii

Observer

mstepek

Date

May 4, 2015 10:56 AM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Phrynosoma mcallii

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Flat-tailed Horned Lizard Phrynosoma mcallii

Observer

mstepek

Date

May 4, 2015 11:00 AM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

bhollingsworth Project curator ID

Phrynosoma mcallii

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Fence Lizard Sceloporus occidentalis

Observer

jvnz90

Date

May 3, 2015 10:41 AM PDT

Description

Juvenile western fence lizard

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Skink Plestiodon skiltonianus

Observer

jvnz90

Date

May 3, 2015 10:55 AM PDT

Description

Two Western Skinks, earlier observed mating.

Photos / Sounds

What

California King Snake Lampropeltis californiae

Observer

ctwothree

Date

May 4, 2015 10:15 AM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

Photos / Sounds

What

Red Diamond Rattlesnake Crotalus ruber

Observer

steviekgold

Date

May 4, 2015 02:58 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

chorus frogs Genus Pseudacris

Observer

steviekgold

Date

May 4, 2015 02:43 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Glossy Snake Arizona elegans

Observer

steviekgold

Date

May 4, 2015 02:30 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Banded Gecko Coleonyx variegatus

Observer

steviekgold

Date

May 4, 2015 01:54 AM 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 08, 2013

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