logo Calflora Field Methods Workshop  Updated January, 2015
Introduction
  • What is Calflora? (The library model)
  • How have you used Calflora?
  • Calflora Introduction (PowerPoint)
Collecting Observation Records on Calflora
1. Individual Contributor
 

   

Input methods:

Plant Observation Entry
Checklist Entry
Photo Upload
phone applications
Observation Upload

unpublished observations

owned by the contributor

published observations

owned by the contributor

 
 

access: (just the contributor)

My Observations

 

access: (all Calflora users)

Observation Hotline
What Grows Here?
Plant Distribution
etc.

 

Work flow for an individual:
Each contributor owns a set of records in the database, and uses various applications to get records into the database.

When records first arrive in the database (eg. from one of the phone applications or Photo Upload), they are unpublished, meaning that only the contributor can see them.

At some point, the contributor corrects the newly arrived records and fills in missing information using Plant Observation Entry. When a record is ready, the contributor publishes it, at which point other Calflora users can see it through a variety of web applications.

 

2. Several Contributors Working in a Group
 

     
  unpublished observations
owned by contributor A
unpublished observations
owned by contributor A
shared with group X
published observations
owned by contributor A
 
  unpublished observations
owned by contributor B
unpublished observations
owned by contributor B
shared with group X
published observations
owned by contributor B
 
  unpublished observations
owned by contributor C
unpublished observations
owned by contributor C
shared with group X
published observations
owned by contributor C
 
 
access: (contributor)

My Observations

access: (members of group X)

Group Observations

access: (all Calflora users)

many applications
 

Work flow for a group:
In the picture above, there are three contributors who belong to group X. Each contributor uses various applications to get records into the database. When records first arrive, they are unpublished, only the contributor can see them.

When a contributor assigns an unpublished record to a group, then the other members of the group can see it. Thus, the members of the group can see each others' records before they are published.

(In the simple case, if you are a member of a group, you will be able to see -- but not edit -- unpublished records contributed by others and assigned to the group.)

At some point, the contributor with the help of other group members corrects the newly arrived records and fills in missing information using Plant Observation Entry. When a record is ready, the contributor publishes it.  

3. How People Use Calflora
 

Various individuals and groups use Calflora as a way of collecting and sharing plant observations.

These collections can be presented as links to a Calflora search page.
The data can also be extracted for a more elaborate presentation.

Examples:

By accumulating contributed observations, Calflora gets an increasingly precise picture
of the range and growth characteristics of various wild plants.
In this way, contributors' work benefits all Calflora users.

 

Lab

1. Preparation for Fieldwork
  • Find the phone device you will use for the lab.

  • Open the Observer Pro application. Login to your account.

  • Make a test observation. (Hint: If you leave the Plant field empty, it will come out as unknown.)
    Verify that you can see your test observation in HISTORY / SESSION, then delete it.

 

2. Fieldwork

  • Together we are going to botanize the Guadalupe River Trail.
    Let's see what plants we find that are identifiable in January.

    Suggestion: Don't spend too much time trying to get the plant name right while you are in the field. Instead, you can leave the Plant field empty, and take one or two photos of the plant. Back in the classroom, we can fill in any missing plant names together.

    Here is a What Grows Here? search showing some of the plants we might see:
    What Grows Here?, Santa Clara valley flatlands
    (Variations: trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, plants blooming in January)

 

3. In the Classsroom after Fieldwork

  • Back in the classroom, upload the observations you have made from your phone device to the server. (Note that observations coming in from the phone application are unpublished.)

  • Go to My Observations. You should see the observations you just uploaded.

  • Edit one record, and add some comments and a location description. Fill in or correct the plant name if necessary. Does the location seem right?

 

4. Extra Exercise

  • Edit one of your observations, and add a polygon or line describing spatial extent of the plant or patch of plants.

 

 

Next Steps
    Are there any things you would like to try on Calflora as a result of attending this workshop?