Weed Manager:Resources, Applications and Techniques
Updated January 11, 2017
Weed Manager (WM) is a system which enables organizations engaged in land management
to track weed infestations and treatments over time.
If you are unfamiliar with Weed Manager, please see
this presentation of the system's capabilities.
Below is a description of various WM resources and component applications
Using this application, you can view, enter or edit a
plant observation record.
The same projects and forms
are available in both the Observer Pro phone app and POE.
If you are a member of a Weed Manager organization,
then you have access to certain projects and forms
specific to that organization.
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.
The Group Observations application
makes all records owned by an organization
available to all members of that organization.
The results include both published and
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.
This application is similar to Group Observations,
except that you can search for records from
multiple groups at the same time.
This can be useful if you are a member of more than one
Weed Manager organization.
If you are the owner of a group (or have the Data Czar role
within a group), use this application 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.)
optionally also choose a starting location and a plant list.
If you are a member of a group, use this application to view
the various projects defined for that group.
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,
upload a shapefile with polygons or lines in it,
or upload a KML tracklog.
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
The presumed purpose for any line or polygon entered as
part of entering a plant observation with treatment information
Once uploaded, 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.
Shape Editor application,
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.
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
SAVED SEARCH POLYGONS,
and choose the region by name from the drop down list.
PROJECTS AND ACCOUNTING
Why define a new project?
A project is an organizational device for isolating
observation and treatment records, so that they can be
easily searched for and reported on.
In Weed Manager,
work session data is associated with observation and treatment data
by project and date.
Once a project has been defined, and records have
been added to it,
it is possible to correspond work session information
with observation and treatment information.
In other words, when you see some observation and treatment
records for a certain project on a certain day, you will be
able to to tell how many hours your organization spent doing that work.
With this in mind,
if your organization is going to be tracking work session information,
then the best reason to define a new project is for
For instance, if you are going to need to account for all work in
a certain area, then it makes sense to define a project
just to contain data about that area.
If all work in the area is added to the project,
then later you will be able to report on work in the area
simply by selecting the project.
Saved searches are an excellent way to limit what
records you will see in Observer Pro for a particular project.
They are also a useful to to share a set of interesting records
with other people, either inside or outside of your group.
Saving a Group Observations Search
Searches can be saved directly from
Group Observations: 1. do the search;
2. open TOOLS
and SAVED SEARCHES;
3. enter a name for the current search; and
4. press .
A search saved in this way will be immediately accessible to
anyone in your group, and will not be accessible to anyone
outside of your group.
Saving an Observation Hotline Search
To save a search from
1. do the search; 2. copy the URL;
3. go to
My Calflora / Searches;
4. press Add another search;
5. enter a name for the search, and paste in the copied URL;
4. press .
To edit the search you just saved, click on
just to the left of the record.
If you want your saved search to be available to one of your groups,
edit the record, and choose a group from the group drop down.
In a Group Observations search, all records
must come from the same group. However, in an Observation Hotline search,
you can mix published records from various sources.
So, if you need to see records from other sources from inside Observer Pro --
for instance, observations of weeds from casual observers --
you can accomplish this by means of an Observation Hotline search.
Using a Saved Search for Historical Records in Observer Pro
Once you have saved a search, you can use it to control which
historical records appear for a particular project in Observer Pro.
To do so, go to
Project Setup, choose your group, choose the project,
and press .
Any searches that have been saved associated with the group
(by you or by anyone else in the group) will appear in the
HISTORICAL RECORDS (saved searches) drop down. Choose the
relevant search, and then save the project record.
More details are available in
Project Setup Help.
Weed Manager Project Plans
These are documents originally prepared before development started,
to explain the design and proposed functionality of the system.
Weed Manager is available as a subscription.
The rates for various parts of the service are outlined
to start a new Weed Manager subscription.
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: