Calflora Home Calflora Weed Manager:   Resources,  Applications  and Techniques

Resources Updated December 22, 2014    
The Weed Manager Google Group
    Discussion of core components of Calflora's Weed Manager system, news, new versions to be tested, planning, funding ...
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The Calflora Observer Pro Users Google Community
    Discussion of the Calflora Observer Pro Android app for recording observations of wild California plants ...


Observer Pro Android Phone Application

An app for collecting data about wild plants, using organization-specific data collection forms. Available on Google Play.


Full Documentation

Plant Observation Entry 3.0 (POE)

This web application can edit any record made with the Observer Pro phone application, because it uses the same data collection forms.

If you are a member of a Weed Manager organization, then you have access to certain projects and forms which are specific to that organization. The same projects and forms are available in both the Observer Pro phone app and POE.

When you use POE to edit a record made with Observer Pro, it will come up with the same project and form used to enter it.

However, you can also change the project and form of a record from within POE. For instance, suppose a record was originally entered with the Simple Data Collection form. Using POE, you could change it to a project that has the Weed Data Collection form, and then fill in the weed related fields that are not present in Simple Data Collection.

POE can also be used to enter new records. When entering a new record, choose your organization from the drop down, and then choose one of your organization's projects. As soon as you have chosen a project, the page below will be filled with the data collection form that goes with that project.

See also Plant Observation Entry HELP.

Projects and Data Collection Forms:
A Weed Manager organization can have many projects.

A project is defined by

  • a location (starting point);
  • a plant list; and
  • a data collection form.
Certain default data collection forms are available. One data collection form can be used for many different projects.

Some organizations have requested a custom form, containing the exact fields which the organization wants to collect.


• December, 2014:   v. 3.32: When you are looking at a Weed Manager record, there is a link in TOOLS called Work Session Entry which goes directly to the work session entry app, already dialed into the organization, project, and date of the record. If work session records have already been entered for this project on this date, you will see them; otherwise you can enter them.

There is a link in TOOLS to Observation Hotline, already dialed into the map cursor location . This is another way to find nearby records.

• September, 2014:   v. 3.13: Coordinates can be typed in directly, in decimal lat/long format. (Open Point Location and then Enter Coordinates .)

• August, 2014:   v. 3.12: Nearby polygons are displayed. (Open History and press SEARCH to find nearby records of the current plant. If any of the nearby records have polygons, the polygons will appear on the map. Try it with this record: Scotch Broom at Bald Hills, Humboldt Co..)

• July, 2014:   v. 3.01 (beta) released.

Group Observations

The Group Observations application makes all records owned by an organization available to all members of that organization. The results include both published and unpublished records.

The results can viewed through one of several column sets, such as Basic Data and Weed Data Export. As a member of a Weed Manager organization, there are additional column sets are available, one for each of the data collection forms that your organization uses.

By choosing a column set that corresponds to one of your organization's data collection forms, you can download all of the data you collected (including any special fields such as those related to treatment).

The results can be downloaded in several flat file formats, as JSON or GeoJSON, or as a shapefile.

See also Group Observations HELP.


• December, 2014:   v. 1.16: New selection criteria: Access by others (published, unpublished or restricted) and Treatment. The Basic Data column set now includes Access, to make it easy to distinguish published from unpublished records.

• August, 2014:   Group Observations v. 1.06 (beta) released.

Project Setup

If you are the owner of a group (or have the Data Czar role within a group), use this app to view and edit existing projects, or to add new projects.

When you are adding a new project, enter a name and a description, and choose a data collection form. (This app will preview the various data collection forms which are available.) You can optionally also choose a starting location and a plant list.

If you are a member of a group, use this app to view the various projects defined for that group.

There is no web interface for making a new form yet. If your organization needs a different form for a special project, please contact Calflora support.

• August, 2014:   v. 0.51 (beta) released.

Shape Editor (formerly My Shapes)

With this application, you can view and edit any of the lines and polygons you have drawn or uploaded to Calflora. You can also draw a new line or polygon.

Each shape record optionally has a name. If you give a polygon record a name, you can use it in searches; eg. from within Observation Hotline or Group Observations.

Each shape record also has a declared purpose. The presumed purpose for any polygon with a name is search. The presumed purpose for any line or polygon entered as part of entering a plant observation without treatment information is assessment. The presumed purpose for any line or polygon entered as part of entering a plant observation with treatment information is treatment.

See also Shape Editor HELP.


• August, 2014:   v. 0.60 has the ability to upload a shapefile. The polygons in the shapefile can become part of your personal portfolio of shapes, or part of your group's portfolio of shapes.

REGION is a new possible value for purpose (see Techniques below).

• August, 2014:   v. 0.59 (beta) released.

Supporting Applications

Plant List Definition

If you need a custom plant list for one of your organization's projects, use this app to define it. (When using the Observer Pro phone app, having a short plant list can sometimes speed data entry.)

Group Members (Group Definition)

If you are the owner of a group, use this app to add members.

See also About Groups.

Another way to get there is to start in My Calflora / Groups, press the HOME link next to your group, and then press Group Definition (lower left).

Organization Datasets

Enter roles, rates of pay, crew, and activities for your organization.

Work Session Entry

Enter what crew did which activity, on what day, for which project. Note that when you are viewing a Weed Manager record in POE, there is a link from the TOOLS menu to Work Session Entry already dialed into the organization, project, and date of the record.



If your organization is responsible for certain regions, and has desktop GIS files with the boundaries of those regions, use the Shape Editor to upload the GIS files. The region polygons will become part of your organization's portfolio of shapes.

There are two immediate benefits:

  • The region polygons become available for searching purposes (to all members of the organization) from applications such as Group Observations, Observation Hotline, and What Grows Here?

  • When a member of your organization enters a new record, and coordinates of the record fall within the boundaries of one of the regions, the Region field of the record will be assigned the name of the region. This applies to records coming in from the phone or from the web.

How to do it:
Make sure your regions are available as a shapefile, including the projection (.prj) file component. From the Shape Editor application, open TOOLS, then open UPLOAD.

In Step 1, you will upload the shapefile from your computer to a temporary table on the server.

In Step 2, choose which attribute from the shapefile contains the name of the region. Set the value of group to your organization. Set the value of purpose to REGION. Then press . The next time you do a search from the Shape Editor, you should see them.

Using the Polygons
To use one of the region polygons as a search area in Group Observations, open POLYGON, then open SAVED SEARCH POLYGONS, and choose the region by name from the drop down list.

Weed Manager Project Plans

These are documents originally prepared before development started, to explain the design and proposed functionality of the system.

Components and Costs




Calflora is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

In accordance with Federal law and US Department of Agriculture policy, Calflora is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9419 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

The following organizations have provided the principal funding for the development of the Weed Manager system:

USDA Forest Service
Marin County Parks
National Park Service (San Francisco Bay Area Network of National Parks)
Midpennisula Regional Open Space

The following organizations have provided funding for Weed Manager components as well as technical and design assistance:

Marin Municipal Watershed District
Yosemite Conservancy
California Invasive Plant Council