New App/Database for TEXAS

General use board for NAFHA-related items.

Moderators: Scott Waters, Don Becker

Post Reply
User avatar
chris_mcmartin
Posts: 2427
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Location: Greater Houston TX Area
Contact:

New App/Database for TEXAS

Post by chris_mcmartin » September 6th, 2012, 1:18 pm

This one is a project on the iNaturalist site.

Link to Database: http://www.inaturalist.org/​projects/herps-of-texas

Link to Android app: https://play.google.com/store/​apps/​de ... t.andr​oid

Link to iPhone app: http://itunes.apple.com/us/​app/inatura ... 97028?mt=8


I'm somewhat frustrated on a personal level, because I've just started using the H.E.R.P. app in conjunction with naherp.com myself, and I hate seeing what could easily be deemed duplication of effort. That being said, apparently this particular project has the support of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and will actually be used directly by them in formulating management options. In addition, the Snake Days team is developing means by which an event-specific database can be ported into the iNaturalist TX Herps project with minimal effort.

Perhaps Andy Gluesenkamp can chime in with additional information?

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: New App/Database for TEXAS

Post by Brian Hubbs » September 6th, 2012, 2:58 pm

I think it might be awhile before they even have a fraction of the records we do, and I don't like how they show everyone where everything is... :o
Why contribute to something like that?

User avatar
Fundad
Posts: 5721
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 am
Location: Los Angeles County
Contact:

Re: New App/Database for TEXAS

Post by Fundad » September 6th, 2012, 4:20 pm

Do we allow advertising of competing Databases here? :shock: :lol:

No... :lol:

Fundad

User avatar
chris_mcmartin
Posts: 2427
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Location: Greater Houston TX Area
Contact:

Re: New App/Database for TEXAS

Post by chris_mcmartin » September 6th, 2012, 5:10 pm

That's the conundrum in which I find myself (adding more databases to "keep up with," less controls on data, etc).

I've only started using naherp in the last month or so (and only with incidental-type finds since I downloaded the H.E.R.P. app), so I'm somewhat reluctant to take on another database obligation.

On the other hand, it sounds like TPWD is going full-tilt with this one, and we TX herpers are potentially on the verge of getting the "powers-that-be" opinion of us turned favorably.

I'm torn! :|

User avatar
Gluesenkamp
Posts: 290
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 6:57 am
Location: Texas

Re: New App/Database for TEXAS

Post by Gluesenkamp » September 7th, 2012, 6:48 am

Thanks for the props, Chris. The TPWD Herps of Texas project on iNaturalist is our latest effort to engage the public (citizen scientists) in documenting the diversity and distribution of Texas herps. It is by no means intended to compete with H.E.R.P. or any other project. That's the beauty of such observation-based projects: you can share any given datum with multiple projects. Yes, location information is visible to the public but you can adjust the level of precision to suite your preferences. Why contribute? Information is used by the Texas Natural Diversity Database and TPWD's Habitat Assessment Programs as well as our Wildlife Diversity Program. A common goal of all of these programs is to manage and conserve Texas biodiversity. Documenting what is where and when is the first step in determining status and detecting trends and avoids the pitfall of anecdotal information that has been the bane of conservation efforts in the past (the example of the Texas horned lizard comes to mind). In addition, this project may serve as a depository for observations gathered by non-herpers (i.e. birders) and a source for information for anyone interested in TX herps. We hope to extend the functionality of this project to facilitate submission of observations currently being gathered under our Texas Amphibian Watch, Box Turtle, and Texas Horned Lizard monitoring projects as well as our rare animal reporting forms. I realize that some people are not inclined to share data, some will prefer to continue to contribute only to other databases, and some are not concerned with management and conservation of Texas herps. However, this project already shows promise in terms of the number of observations, species, and tracked species posted to the project in its first week (100 species and counting). Once again, this project does not compete with other databases and it is our hope that we will be able to share data across projects in the future.

User avatar
chrish
Posts: 3295
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:14 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX
Contact:

Re: New App/Database for TEXAS

Post by chrish » September 9th, 2012, 4:58 pm

Andy,

Has TPWD considered requesting the data from HERP for Texas? Maybe Don could get it into a format you could import?

I have over 1300 records in the NAHerp database for Texas going back to the early 80s. But frankly I'm not sure I want to enter 1300+ records into another database, even if I do believe in the cause. And then there are the other 3500 Texas records in the HERP database that others might want to contribute but not duplicate.

Did TPWD consider using the HERP database for this project rather than the INaturalist database? I find the INaturalist database contains a lot of inaccurate data.

Chris

User avatar
Gluesenkamp
Posts: 290
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 6:57 am
Location: Texas

Re: New App/Database for TEXAS

Post by Gluesenkamp » September 11th, 2012, 10:19 am

Yes, Chris.
We are keenly interested in obtaining data from other sources. I contacted H.E.R.P. a couple of years back and they responded positively. I think it was a matter of discussing it among the board members and getting our DB guy to follow up. Of course, he's got other things on his plate (as do I) and I think we just plain dropped the ball on pursuing that with vigor. As I stated in earlier posts, this project is not intended to compete with other databases and it is my hope that we can share data in the future. So, I don't care where people are reporting their observations, as long as they are reporting them. As to the accuracy of data in the iNaturalist DB: the Herps of Texas project is curated by three knowledgeable herpetologists and any observations extracted to the TXNDD must be confirmed by one of those curators.

Shane_TX
Posts: 603
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 5:44 pm
Location: Upper TX Coast

Re: New App/Database for TEXAS

Post by Shane_TX » September 15th, 2012, 8:33 pm

I have over 1300 records in the NAHerp database for Texas going back to the early 80s. But frankly I'm not sure I want to enter 1300+ records into another database, even if I do believe in the cause. And then there are the other 3500 Texas records in the HERP database that others might want to contribute but not duplicate.
Maybe Don could get it into a format you could import?
He did that already; no need to ask more from Don!

Someone can export csv data with a bit of tweaking. Photos will probably not be as easy......
As to the accuracy of data in the iNaturalist DB: the Herps of Texas project is curated by three knowledgeable herpetologists and any observations extracted to the TXNDD must be confirmed by one of those curators.
Who are the three? Why flood a project with data that cannot be managed by three people? You should at least mention what will be flushed and why you have never requested data from HERP.

Shane

User avatar
Gluesenkamp
Posts: 290
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 6:57 am
Location: Texas

Re: New App/Database for TEXAS

Post by Gluesenkamp » September 17th, 2012, 5:17 am

Shane,
The three curators are Toby Hibbitts, Travis LaDuc, and myself. So far, we have not drowned in the deluge. We don't plan to "flush" any data but we will be extracting observations on tracked species for the TXNDD. We felt that casting a broad net (herpers/nonherpers, tracked/not tracked species) would be the best approach. Regarding H.E.R.P.: we certainly would like to obtain data from them in the future. Inquiries were made some time ago and the response was positive but I think we just plain dropped the ball. In any case, there is no reason why we can't share in the future.

Shane_TX
Posts: 603
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 5:44 pm
Location: Upper TX Coast

Re: New App/Database for TEXAS

Post by Shane_TX » September 26th, 2012, 6:29 pm

we will be extracting observations on tracked species for the TXNDD
Got it.
In any case, there is no reason why we can't share in the future.
You should contact the NAFHA IB. They would love to discuss the idea of TX museum data being dumped into naherp.com;) On a real note though, it's so damn easy to request and get data from naherp that it takes work to deny blanket data. You should just request everything from TX (it's already been done and approved by a consulting firm IIRC).

Shane

Post Reply