logo Calflora Checklist Entry Help
The Checklist Entry application lets you enter and edit a list of plants that you are looking for -- and/or have actually found -- at a particular location. To use the application, you need to be registered as a contributor.

To enter a new record, press the button. Click on the map to indicate the location .
    If you already have coordinates, check Specify location by coordinates. If you have decimal lat/long coordinates, enter them, and press . If you have UTM coordinates, open UTM Coordinates, enter the Zone, Easting and Northing, and press .
Enter an observation date in the form 2016-12-31, or press the today link, or press the calendar link to choose the date from a calendar.

When you are finished, press the button at the top.

Adding Plants
To add plants to your checklist, open PLANT LIST, and then press Add one plant name. Type in the first few letters of the scientific name of the plant. After three letters, a list of matching genera will appear. You can choose the genus from the list, and then type in a few letters of the species, or just keep typing. When you have the right plant name, press the button, and the plant will appear in the table below.

COUNT: Note that in the table of plants, the last column is called COUNT, meaning how many of this particular plant were observed in the search area. When a plant is first entered, the value of the COUNT field is 1+ (at least one). To change the value, click on the COUNT cell for the plant, and either type in a number, or choose a range from the drop down.

The following are special values of COUNT:

    ?: unknown; not yet found.

    0: no plants; absence.

    1: exactly 1 plant.

    1+: at least 1 plant.

By means of the COUNT field, a checklist can function as a simple survey of the search area. That is, it can indicate that the observers looked for a plant and did not find it (0, absence), or that the observers have yet to either confirm or deny the presence of the plant in the area (?, unknown). By means of a specific count or a count range (11 - 50) it can also indicate the relative abundance of a particular plant in the area.

If you already have a list of scientific plant names in an electronic format (e.g. a spreadsheet or Word document) where each plant name is on a line by itself, you can enter them into your checklist all at once. Open PLANT LIST, and then open Add a list of plant names. Paste the text containing plant names into the text area, and press .

Line or Polygon:
Open SHAPE at the top to enter a line or polygon describing the search area. The shape drawing panel opens in the top right of the page.

Choose polygon or line, then press . At this point, each click on the map becomes a vertex of the shape you are drawing. (Dragging the map has no effect on the shape.) Press when you are done. Press if you need to add more vertices, or delete vertices, or move vertices.

If you have already defined an appropriate polygon in some other application and saved it by name, you can re-use it here. Open SAVED SHAPES, and then choose your polygon by name from the dropdown list of saved polygons.

Once you have defined a polygon, press calculate area (next to Area Size) to calculate the area of the polygon in any of several units (square meters, acres, etc.). The area value is obtained from the Google Maps Geometry API.

Open ADD / VIEW PHOTOS to attach a photo "voucher" to your checklist record, either by 1. uploading a photo from your computer, or 2. pasting in the URL of your photo already on the web. A description of the process is in FAQ - About Contributing Observations.

The elevation in meters of the point you selected on the map . is automatically filled in on the record whenever you save a record. It is also displayed at the bottom of the page. (Press lookup elevation to find the elevation of the current point immediately.) The elevation value is obtained from the Google Maps Elevation API.

Where to Find Your Records:
Any checklist you enter with this application will immediately appear in the My Observations application. If you set Access by other users to public, then other Calflora users will also be able to find and view your checklist record.

What is the difference between a "checklist" and a "plant list"?
In Calflora parlance,

  • a checklist (entered with this application) is a list of plants associated with a particular location; and

  • a plant list (entered with the Plant List Definition application) is just a list of plants.

A plant list is a simple utility for searching (eg. with Observation Hotline) or for data entry (with the phone applications).

On the other hand, a checklist is treated by Calflora as occurrence data. In other words, a checklist asserts a relationship between a plant on the list and the location: either that the plant is present at the location, or that the plant is not present at the location.