logo Calflora Field Methods Workshop  Updated June, 2013
Introduction
  • Laptops and campus WiFi
  • Work with a partner, use a demo account
  • What is Calflora? (The library model)
  • How have you used Calflora?
Observation Acquisition and Management: the Model
1. Individual Contributor
 

   

Input methods:

Plant Observation Entry
Weed 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unpublished observations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
Search for Observations
What Grows Here?
Plant Distribution
etc.

 

The flow of data acquisition and management by a single individual: The contributor uses various applications to get records into the database. Each contributor is responsible for (owns) a set of records in the database. Some of these may be unpublished (if the contributor is still working on them), and some of them may be published, or available for all Calflora users to see via the various applications.

Typically a contributor gets unpublished observations into their account via Photo Upload or one of the phone applications, and then corrects them and fills in missing information using the My Observations web application. When an observation is ready the contributor publishes it, at which point other Calflora users can see it through a variety of web applications.

Exercises:
  • Register as a contributor and login.
  • Enter an observation and save it as unpublished.
  • Search for your observation with Observation Hotline.
  • Go to My Observations and find the observation you just entered. Edit the observation, and save it as published.
      (Change Access by other users to " public / published".)
  • Search for your observation again with Observation Hotline.

 

 

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  unpublished observations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unpublished observations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  unpublished observations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unpublished observations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  unpublished observations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unpublished observations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
 

Data acquisition and management when a group is involved: In the picture, there are three hypothetical contributors who belong to the same group. Each contributor uses various applications to get records into the database, and if the records 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 associated with the group. However, the owner of a group can also assign certain members the Data Czar role. A member with this role can edit any record associated with the group.

Exercises:
  • Join the Training group.
  • Go to My Observations and find the observation you just entered. Edit the observation. Associate it with the Training group, and save it as unpublished.
  • Search for your observation with the Group Observations app, specifying only records from the Training group.
 
Extra Exercises:
  • Find out who else is in the Training group.
  • Look at the recent activity of the Training group.
  • Choose an observation contributed by someone else in the group, and view the details of this observation.
  • Enter a comment about this observation.
      Note: when entering a comment, you can check the flag for "identification questionable" or
      "this plant may be cultivated."
  • Go back and check the recent activity of the Training group again, and see if you can find your comment.
  • Go to My Calflora / My Comments, and search for any comments that have been made about your observations. If you find one, answer it with another comment.

  • To get ready for the lab, find the Training Survey plant list, and view it as an illustrated plant list. Check "show photo service links." Click through to see photos of some of the plants on various photo services.
 

3. Example of a Data Acquisition Project
 

Central Coast Invasive Species Action Network group (anyone can join this group)

Lab

1. Preparation for Fieldwork
  • Find your partner and the phone device you will use for the lab.
  • Open the Observer application. Login as one of the demo-calflora accounts.
  • Verify that you have the Training Survey plant list loaded.

  • With your partner, make a test observation of one of the plants on the list. Verify that you can see the test observation on the View / Edit Observations screen, and then delete it.

 

2. Fieldwork

  • We are all members of the Training group, and together we are doing a survey to verify that the plants on the Training Survey plant list are present on campus.

  • Make observations of at least 5 plants on the list.
    Include photographs with two of your observations.
    Take turns with your partner entering the observations.

  • Make an observation of one unknown plant (a plant that is not on the list), and include a photograph that will help identify it back in the classroom.

 

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, and search for unpublished observations. You should see the observations you just uploaded.

  • Edit one record, and add some comments and a location description. Correct the location if necessary.

  • If you have an observation of an unknown plant with a photo, see if you can identify the plant with the help of others. If you can, edit the record, and add the name of the plant.

  • Verify that all of your observation records are associated with the Training group. (Hint: use the MULTIPLE RECORD EDITOR feature of My Observations to change the group association of all of your records.)

  • Use Group Observations to view all records associated with the Training group.

 

4. Extra Exercises

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

 

 

Relevant Calflora Tools
Take Home Points
  • Use Calflora for your own data collection projects.

  • If you want to collaborate with others, start a group and invite them to participate.

  • Present the results as links (URLs) e.g.

  • Or, extract the data for further analysis or a custom presentation.

  • Any data you make public benefits all Calflora users.

  • The database is constantly changing, and requires constant vigilance. When you see something amiss, write a comment on the record, or send an email to spprt@calflora.org.
 

 


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