Archivos de diario de noviembre 2015

06 de noviembre de 2015

"Serious" Data Collection with inaturalist

iNaturalist is a citizen science website, but the website and app are also powerful tools for collecting 'professional' data. I work as an ecologist, but yesterday I had a day off and decided I didn't want to spend the unseasonably warm, sunny fall day indoors. So I set out for Pine Mountain Wildlife Management Area, a place I had never been before in an area no one had entered anything into iNaturalist.
i was wondering the woods for fun, so in a sense I too was being a citizen scientist, one of many 'professionals' who also records biodiversity data for fun. But I also wanted to see what sort of plant species list I could build in just a few hours (along with any other taxa I came across). I quickly documented species using the iPhone app, and took notes about natural communities when it made sense, as well.
The result? 153 observations of 81 taxa (including a few observations I took from turnouts on the drive out. This number may also change if I add a couple more IDs or copy observations for extra species). All have photos and GPS data. Some have associated species tagged. Many show the state of late-fall (or lack theref) color in the trees. I also documented several natural communities - a fen, a dry oak forest, a rich northern hardwood forest, and a northern hardwood talus woodland.
When I am doing surveys 'for real' I still like to have a pen and notebook, of course. Perhaps I always will. But at least in the case where the data can be shared publicly, iNaturalist also offers a way to quickly make an ecological assessment of a place, complete with photos and GPS points.
It's really a powerful tool, even if this is not exactly what the app and website were created to do.
The journal post wouldn't let me add all 153 observations to this journal entry, but you can see them here.

Ingresado el 06 de noviembre de 2015 por charlie charlie | 90 observaciones | 16 comentarios | Deja un comentario

24 de noviembre de 2015

Poll: Required Fields in Projects - Problem or No?

Hi all! A quick question. Since I use iNaturalist differently than everyone else, I realize my perception is different than that of others. However, I find required fields in projects REALLY annoying to the point that if a project has required fields i will rarely or never contribute to it. I was wondering if it's just a pet peeve I have that no one else shares, or if indeed they annoy other people. And if you don't use them, is it because you don't like required fields, or just because the feature isn't working right.

Thanks!

Ingresado el 24 de noviembre de 2015 por charlie charlie | 14 comentarios | Deja un comentario

25 de noviembre de 2015

"Mining" old What's Invasive observations for iNaturalist observations

Back in 2009, about when iNaturalist was being created, I had the opportunity to help test another similar app called What's Invasive. The tech was much less advanced - we were using old 'blackberry' phones - and as will be seen, the camera was not good. Nevertheless, my short obsession with testing this app was a precursor of future iNaturalist observations.

I'm not sure What's Invasive gets much use anymore, and I thought it would be a fun November project to get these observations into iNaturalist. I downloaded a CSV from What's Invasive that included links to the photos and bulk loaded the observations to iNaturalist. I had to transfer the photos manually but it didn't take too long.

The repeated observations of invasives are not all that exciting, but I quickly realized there were lots of other plants in the photos too. In one case between the handful of species of invasives and other species I saw I was able to find 24 species in one day's worth of observations.

I often remark that I really wished I had iNaturalist when I was out mapping vegetation in the Santa Monica Mountains. This way at least I captured a little snapshot of that time there.

To see these observations, see May and June 2009 on my Calendar. Turns out I can't easily tag them to this journal post because the journal attachment feature is sorted by date observed, and i am not going to scroll past 15000 observations to find them.

There may be a few more to 'mine' in Vermont as well.. but as of right now the What's Invasive website is down. Maybe I got these California photos just in time.

Ingresado el 25 de noviembre de 2015 por charlie charlie | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario