Updated August 4, 2021
If you have questions about using this application, please contact Calflora support.
Survey Entry is part of the Weed Manager system.
See also Survey Workflows for a discussion of how some groups have used surveys.
|About the Application|
application you can view, enter or edit a survey record.
A survey is a search for certain plants in a discrete area at a certain time. To enter a survey record, you will need to specify the area, the date, and a plant list. For each plant in the plant list, you can indicate whether or not you found it, and if you did find it, how abundant it was.
|Adding a New Record|
1. Press NEW RECORD.
2. Choose an Group. (If you are not a member of any groups, choose Independent.)
3. Set a point location for the record.
4. Add a polygon to the record.
To draw a polygon, press
5. Enter a Name for this survey. The values of Observer and Date will already be filled in. If necessary, change these values: set Date to the date of your last visit to the area.
6. If you have already defined a plant list containing the plants that should be in this survey, choose it by name from the Reference Plant List drop down.
7. Go to the PLANT LIST tab.
8. Go to the RECORD DETAIL tab, and enter values for any relevant fields. All of these fields are optional. (See below for more information.)
9. Press SAVE. Required values are indicated by *. If any required field values are missing, the application will let you know.
|The right side of the page is devoted to a map. The left hand side is scrollable, and organized into several sections.|
|Group||The organization responsible for this record. If you are a member of any Calflora groups, they will appear here in a drop down during editing. The default group is Independent.|
|Access by others||
|Shape||indicates that a polygon is defined for this record.|
|Point Location||indicates that a point location is defined for this record.|
|* Name||The name of this survey.|
|* Observer||The person(s) who did the survey. When adding a new record, this field is filled in with your name.|
|* Date||Date when the survey was complete, in the form YYYY-MM-DD. For example, 2016-12-31.|
|Reference Plant List||If you have already defined any plant lists, you can choose one here.|
|The RECORD DETAIL Tab|
|Gross Area||If you have added a polygon, press calculate area to calculate the area of the polygon. Otherwise, enter the estimated size of the area.|
|Natural Status||Are the plants recorded in this survey growing wild, or were they planted by a human?|
|Photos||Any photos of the survey area. During editing, you can attach a photo to a record by uploading it from your computer. Or, if your photo is already on the web, you can paste in the URL.|
|Ownership||(AKA National Ownership) A broad classification of who owns the land where the plant is growing.|
|Elevation||The elevation at the point location of this survey. During editing, once a point location has been chosen, press lookup elevation to find the elevation.|
|Access to the Site||
|Region||Some Weed Manager groups have a set of polygons describing the regions (or management units) where they work. For these groups, the value of region will be automatically assigned to the name of a region based on the point locaiton. If you are entering a survey as an Independent, you can ignore this field, or use it to describe the general area.|
|Plant List Source Web Page||If the plants in this survey or checklist came from another web page, enter the URL of that page here.|
|The PLANT LIST Tab|
This is the list of plants covered by this survey.
Each plant has a Count value (aka Number of Plants), indicating relative abundance in the survey area.
0 is a special value of Count, which indicates that the plant
was not found.
1+ is another special value of Count which indicates one or more plants were found.
Note that if the survey record is published and if a plant has any value for Count besides 0, then the survey record will appear in Calflora public searches for that plant. If you are still looking for a plant, leave the value of Count empty (aka "unknown") and the survey record will not appear in Calflora public searches.
Some survey protocols for small areas (releve) require Percent Cover for each plant. Check Percent Cover to include percent cover for each plant in your survey.
The table of plants in this tab also has a Records column, which indicates how many observation records of that plant are part of the survey. Note that there are many surveys and checklists which have no observation records; for these, the Records column is empty.
Both the Taxon (scientific name) and Common (common name) fields are typeahead enabled. Enter a plant name, choose a value for Number of Plants, and press .
If One plant name on each line
If One plant name on each line
Choose a value for Number of Plants that will apply to each plant you are adding. Once you have pasted text into the box, press .
If you have added observations to the survey of plants that are not yet
in the plant list,
If you have chosen a reference plant list, and want to add each plant in
the reference plant list to this survey's plant list,
If an observation has an empty count value, or the value 0, it is ignored. If an observation has simple count value such as 7, then 7 is added to the sum. If an observation has count value of 1+, then 1 is added to the sum. If an observation has a range count value such as 11 - 50, then the midpoint of the range (in this case 30) is added to the sum. Finally the sum becomes the new value of Number of Plants for that plant in the plant list.
For example, suppose that Adiantum aleuticum is a plant in the plant list. There are three observation records of Adiantum aleuticum that are part of the survey, with Count values of 1+, 3, and 11 - 50. The sum of these values (the new value of Number of Plants for Adiantum aleuticum in the plant list) will be 34.
|The OBSERVATIONS Tab|
Particular observations can be associated with a
survey record if they are owned by you or one your groups.
An observation can be associated with at most one survey.
Use this tab to find your observations in the survey area, and to add them to the survey.
If a polygon is defined for this survey, check in polygon to limit the search to observations found within that polygon. To see all observations within the polygon, open
Once you are seeing some search results, you can select which observations to add to the survey. To add a single observation to the survey, click on the ID, and then click add to survey in the menu that appears.
Note: When you add an observation to a survey, the survey record number is put into the
If you want to add all of the records in the search results, press .
If you want to add all records except a few, go through the results, click on the ID of the records you want to exclude, and then click remove in the menu. The record will disappear from the results.
|Specifying a Polygon|
Every survey record requires a polygon. There are several ways to add a polygon to a survey record.
Drawing a Polygon
Using a Saved Polygon
|Adding a KML Track|
In the Shape section, open
When the KML has successfully uploaded, the CHOOSE A LINE tab opens, showing all of the lines that were in the file. Click on the ID of a line to choose it and display it on the map.
Open the EDIT THE LINE tab. Press to edit the line before converting it to a polygon.
If there are many erroneous vertices, check
When the line is ready, open the MAKE A POLYGON tab.
Choose a Buffer distance, and choose whether you want to allow the software to introduce holes in the generated polygon. (Note that polygons that have holes are not editable in this application.) Then press .
If you need to, press to edit the polygon.
Note: If you have KML file that contains a polygon, you can upload it here and just use the polygon. If you have a KML file that fails to load, please send it to us in an email and we will adjust the algorithms to make sure that kind of KML will load in the future.
|Polygons Generated from Lines|
Here are some examples of polygons generated from lines.
Note that the choice of a buffer distance (meters) is related to how far the observers could see -- well enough to identify plants -- on either side of the their path.
In series 1 above, the terrain is hilly oak woodland, so 5 meters is appropriate. In series 2 above, the terrain is flat desert, so 10 meters is probably more appropriate than 6 meters.
Note that in 2C above, where the buffer is at 6 meters,
the user checked
|Finding your Survey Records|
Once you have entered a survey record, you can find it in
It may be easier to find it if you
check only surveys / checklists.
If the survey is published, you can also find it with the Checklist / Survey Search application. This application is particularily useful for finding surveys owned by a group.
|Survey vs. Checklist|
The concept of a survey is very similar to that of a checklist,
in that both are associated with an area and a plant list.
But where a survey happens over a very discrete time interval,
perhaps just one day, the time element of a checklist is much more
fluid. For instance, a checklist might represent all of the plants
an observer has seen in an area during multiple visits over the course
of several years.
(Since some plants are only identifiable at certain times of year,
a really comprehensive checklist necessarily involves multiple visits.)
With this application, you can distinguish between a survey and a checklist by setting the value of the field called Method (as in the method you used to assemble the information).
The date on a survey record indicates the date that the survey was complete. For a checklist where there were multiple visits to an area, it is the date of the last visit.
May, 2020: v. 1.30 released. If you are adding plant names from another document in the PLANT LIST tab, it now accepts free text containing plant names. Using this method, each plant name does not have to be on a line by itself.
May, 2019: v. 1.09 released.
May, 2019: v. 1.07 released. This release includes the ability to see lines and polygons of the observations that are part of this survey. It also includes the Region field in the RECORD DETAIL tab. In the OBSERVATIONS tab, observations are sortable in either ascending or descending order.
March, 2019: v. 1.03 released.
May, 2018: v. 0.94 released.
July, 2017: v. 0.76 released.
June, 2017: v. 0.70 released.
April, 2016: v. 0.60 (beta) released.