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 Post subject: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 5th, 2017, 3:00 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:22 am
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I'm not sure if this has been covered elsewhere, but I am just wondering, what seems to be the overall consensus on what the majority of herpers are using?

I've always favored NAHERP because I like this simple interface and the search functions, but recently I have been looking at HERPMAPPER and iNaturalist because I like the idea of being able to enter records on the spot with my iPhone.

So folks, your thoughts?

Bart


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 5th, 2017, 3:58 pm 
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Joined: January 19th, 2014, 4:34 pm
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Location: Springfield, VA
RenoBart wrote:
I'm not sure if this has been covered elsewhere, but I am just wondering, what seems to be the overall consensus on what the majority of herpers are using?

I've always favored NAHERP because I like this simple interface and the search functions, but recently I have been looking at HERPMAPPER and iNaturalist because I like the idea of being able to enter records on the spot with my iPhone.

So folks, your thoughts?

Bart


There is a mobile app for H.E.R.P. that you can use to enter records on the spot, though it is fairly basic in utility. I prefer H.E.R.P. as well (I've become very efficient at inputting records), and I only use Herp Mapper for international records. Meanwhile, I just import all of my H.E.R.P. records to Herp Mapper a few times a year to keep my records there updated.


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 6th, 2017, 6:17 am 
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Joined: May 14th, 2011, 11:16 pm
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA
I use all three. I just can't get enough data entry. I'm a monster at parties.

JimM


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 6th, 2017, 7:32 am 
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Thanks, guys. Yeah, I do see the import feature on HerpMapper and maybe I will use that in the future. After looking at all three sites I think I will mainly stick with NAHERP.

Bart


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 6th, 2017, 1:22 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2010, 10:05 am
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Location: Utah
duplicate post


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 6th, 2017, 1:26 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2010, 10:05 am
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Location: Utah
I use N.A.H.E.R.P. for all of my data entries except possible future foreign country entries of course. I love the google earth records feature and it caused a data entry addiction for me to 'fill in" my home state. I love the recent activity map that lets me know where others have been recently with a glance. I like that I can see who is requesting data and why. It is made up mostly of extremely knowlegable contributors and professionals.

On herpmapper, I like the species "lifer" list on my profile, data on who has collected the most of what, and how many of what stats my profile page. I regularly import all my naherp records to herpmapper. I only have one actual herpmapper entry all the rest are imported from naherp.

I hate iNaturalist because it is the wikipedia of herping; anyone can have an imput on the data or change it, even though often the group identification consensus is dead wrong. The I.D.s are solely based of of group consensus and are "research grade" if three idiots agree. Garbage. Also the taxonomy is not escalating for I.D. entries, meaning that if i add a subspecies to an I.D. it places the original general species I.D. into question rather than refining further it as it most certainly should. Aggrevating. The only cool thing is you can record mammals, birds, insects, plants etc. for a universal naturalist data entry website instead of just herps or birds or whatever. Some people are careless with localities of sensitive species or areas enabling collectors/poachers or at the very least favorite herp spot site destroyers. The website seems to contribute little if anything to actual research, instead is just a real world version of Pokemon where they gotta collect them all. I have seen the stupidest waste of time records on iNaturalist, such as human, pictures of their cat, a statue, or a photo in a reptile book as a herp record. that would never fly in a serious citizen science endeavor. Many Inaturalist users have no serious professional level integrity or no intention to use it for science. Funny thing is it is mostly rank amateurs who couldn't identify a species if it was hopping right in front of them with a guide book in hand, and they seem unwilling to learn from more experienced people while knowlegeable field experts or actual scientists are shouting I.D.s at them but still get drowned out by five other ignoramouses in consensus. Few people keep up with current taxonomy, species ranges or relevant herp literature so the taxonomy and range maps on Inaturalist are woefully out of date on many species thus adding significantly to the confusion of I.D.s. and labeling records as "out of area" when they are well within their natural range.
I only use Inaturalist to I.D. other people's herp records for my area, as I actually am trying to educate the public and further field herping and natural science in general, rather than playing pokemon.

I will add one more database to your list:
Frogwatch USA http://frogwatch.fieldscope.org/ is an interesting group with many local chapters nationwide that are only focused on amphibian calls and locality data. You have to take a class and prove yourself competent to i.d. amphibian calls with a test before you can register with them, and your data is open to all other members and goes directly to the relevant government wildlife division and associated chapters for that area. It often is in conjunction with the local zoos aquariums or museums with a conservation program in place. My class gave me a cd of all of the amphibian calls in my state and has a phone app with fun little quizes, range, photos and calls on it. they have an phone app to record entries in most chapters. "I heard this species calling at this location in this estimated numbers on this date." Pretty simple. Still, it is a herp database that is citizen science driven and aids conservation.
The things I hate about it: they demand you start your observations after dark when many species can be heard calling or be seen and verified during the day, and wetland navigation is much more difficult at night anyways, and they want you to cup your ears like a hard-hearing geezer for three minutes during your observation period, they actually train that technique in their class no kidding. They do not collect audio recordings, videos or photos on their website for vouchers so any "data" is strictly reliant on the individual observer and is not independently verifiable. You have to select personal location sites and monitor them, if others have already established a post on your chosen location you can only add data to their post and not edit the location site information.


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 6th, 2017, 1:36 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:22 am
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Thanks for your thoughts, Jeremy.

I too get an overly "social media" vibe to iNaturalist as well, which was a big turnoff for me when I started looking at it. It does seem like Pokemon Go or something, lol. I think I am going to stick with NAHERP as I said, and maybe start using HerpMapper for on the spot data recording.

The frogwatch site sounds cool, but a bit more time consuming than the others, and hell, I barely have enough time to herp normally as it is! LOL. I envy you guys who get out all the time. I've really been trying this year to put aside other BS and get out and herp more. It's been a good season so far.

Bart


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 6th, 2017, 3:37 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Quote:
I hate iNaturalist because it is the wikipedia of herping; anyone can have an imput on the data or change it, even though often the group identification consensus is dead wrong. The I.D.s are solely based of of group consensus and are "research grade" if three idiots agree. Garbage.


Mmm I would quibble a little with this - it is overly broad, and overly scathing. iNaturalist can be used to set up different projects. The projects can have curators. The project admin can authorize one or three or twenty seven idiots to be curators. Or s/he can find some people that know what they're doing, and name them as her/his curator(s).

So in a decent project, curators make the ID calls. They may or may not be idiots. That depends on the project. Texas Parks & Wildlife has some kick-ass iNaturalist projects, and they have some good herp curators:

http://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/wildlife_diversity/texas_nature_trackers/app.phtml

Is there someone who systematically verifies IDs and up-to-date taxonomy in HERP? I honestly do not know.


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 7th, 2017, 12:56 pm 
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Joined: December 7th, 2011, 9:14 pm
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Location: Rancho Cucamonga, Ca
in herpmapper you lose the rights to your data whereas in herp you own the rights to your data


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 7th, 2017, 12:59 pm 
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mattg wrote:
in herpmapper you lose the rights to your data whereas in herp you own the rights to your data

Really? That's pretty effed up. You lose your rights how? Meaning voucher photos you post are no longer your intellectual property? If that's the case, that is seriously bogus...

Bart


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 7th, 2017, 1:03 pm 
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Joined: December 7th, 2011, 9:14 pm
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Location: Rancho Cucamonga, Ca
RenoBart wrote:
mattg wrote:
in herpmapper you lose the rights to your data whereas in herp you own the rights to your data

Really? That's pretty effed up. You lose the right how? Meaning voucher photos you post are no longer your intellectual property? If that's the case, that is seriously bogus...

Bart


i agree which is why none of my 6000+ records will be in herpmapper .they share the data, gps, etc. with whoever they choose . in herp YOU decide who or who not to release your data too. im not sure exactly how Inat works but so far i only have put birds on there.


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 7th, 2017, 1:37 pm 
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This is all good info and exactly what I was looking for. I am sticking with NAHERP.

Thanks - Bart


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 8th, 2017, 11:33 am 
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mattg wrote:
i agree which is why none of my 6000+ records will be in herpmapper .they share the data, gps, etc. with whoever they choose . in herp YOU decide who or who not to release your data too. im not sure exactly how Inat works but so far i only have put birds on there.


Actually, this is why I stopped using HERP altogether. I don't have time to enter records in three separate databases so I enter my US data in Inaturalist, and my international records in Herpmapper (which also has all my HERP historical records). I control who can access which data by the controls within those two databases.

In regard to the intellectual property, all three sites protect your intellectual property (i.e. your photos). No one can legally steal them from there. The difference has to do with to whom they distribute data.

Inaturalist
You have a choice who can access your data. If you set your location as "Open", anyone to access your locality data. If you enter the location as "Obscured", it randomly moves the location up to 6 miles in any direction for public posting. If you enter the location as "Private", no one can see your GPS data or locations (except project curators for specific projects IF you allow them - some projects require curators to be able to see your GPS data, others don't. But you choose which projects your data belong to). So you have absolute control over your data distribution at least to the degree that any online database can offer.
Inaturalist data are distributed to any projects that anyone creates under the stipulations outlined above. You can decide not to participate in a project.
obscured record - http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/2899577
private record - http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1621357

Herpmapper
In herpmapper, you enter your data with the understanding that any of the approved projects (approved by the Herpmapper directors) will have access to your data. But the public at large only sees your records down to county (or similar level). However, you don't really get to decide which projects you contribute to, you trust your data to the Herpmapper team.

HERP
No one can use your data without your specific permission for that project. But there is no "open" setting where you can upload your data with the intent of it being shared. You have to vote in each and every case. Of course, the flip side of this is that HERP data doesn't get shared as much because it is more onerous for agencies, etc. to get access to it. Since Herpmapper contains most of the same data, I suspect it is easier for agencies to just skip HERP and go to Herpmapper where they don't need every user's permission to access data, just the database managers.

Another big difference is how they deal with taxonomy updates and identifications.

HERP has a very slow system of taxonomy updates. They have to be done by the database manager and it thus uses rather old taxonomy. And if something is misidentified on HERP, there is no solution unless the record owner decides to update it. Since there is "abandoned" data on HERP, it will be misidentified for perpetuity. Here's one that has been wrong for almost a decade - http://www.naherp.com/viewrecord.php?r_id=15430

Herpmapper has a team of taxonomy updaters that go through and update taxonomy as it is accepted. They discuss new taxonomy and appropriate common names and make the changes. Users can enter a record under a new taxon that isn't in the list and it will be flagged so that the taxonomy editors can add that taxon. Herpmapper also allows synonyms so that records with older taxonomy can automatically be updated to the newer taxonomy when changes occur.

Inaturalist Taxonomy is controlled globally and taxonomy changes are made when the team who run it make the across the board change. But taxonomic/identification errors can also be fixed by the fact that people can make corrections to your identifications. And there is a mechanism where users can change common names or add synonyms they prefer to the database. Scientific names are only changed by the database managers and when they do they usually put a link explaining the change with the link to the paper.

Here's an example of how a misidentified record has been corrected by public review (and a couple of project curators) - http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/6511227

_________________________________

There is also a difference in their apps. Herpmapper and HERP use the same app. It is good, but a bit of a pain to use in the field as it is slow to look up names. The Inaturalist app is much more field friendly because it will read time and GPS off photos directly. This means you can use your phone to snap a photo of a critter and don't need internet access or phone access while in the field. The app makes the "record", reads the GPS and time off the photo and enters all that information for you. All you have to do is type in the identification and submit.

_________________________________

Inaturalist allows you to flag a record because you want help with/feedback about the identification. Neither HERP nor Herpmapper allows that.

_________________________________

As for data output, Herpmapper wins here. Don has really put together some great stuff for how to view your data and your lifelist, etc. in Herpmapper. There are "badges" for different achievement levels, etc. Fun stuff. - http://www.herpmapper.org/profile/29-chris_harrison

Inaturalist does allow you to make custom lists, like keeping a lifelist of Bufonid frogs you have seen in Brewster County, Texas. Those custom lists can be fun/helpful, but they aren't as easy to make.

Herp will allow you to access those things, but you can't keep a running list the same way you can in Inat and it doesn't have all the cool output that Herpmapper does.

_________________________________

There are differences how they deal with sound. Herp and Herpmapper allow you to upload mp3s directly. Inaturalist still requires you to use Soundcloud to host your recordings which sucks in a HUGE way.
_________________________________

I know people criticize Inat for its "social media" aspect of allowing people to comment on observations and suggest identification corrects. And yes, there are rare cases where someone corrects your identification wrong but generally others will come in an "fix" the identification by putting in the right identification. Part of the fun of using Inat is being able to help identify other people's records.

My experience over the years of using all three is that this public feedback aspect is what makes Inat so strong. If someone posts something and gets an ID correction, they are usually grateful and will post more data in the future. And that's the goal of all of these projects!

I also like that you can flag other users to bring their attention to records. I am a curator for the Herps of Texas project and I frequently use that to bring other people's attention to an important record - http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/2795549

But don't listen to our opinions. You should upload a few records to each one and play around with them to see which one meets your needs.


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 8th, 2017, 1:57 pm 
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Thanks, Chris, for your input.

I probably should be a bit more clear on why I like NAHERP the best (so far). For me personally, the ease of use and the incredibly simple interface is what I like best about the application itself. I also like the fact that people do have to request data rather than it just being freely available to whoever. If someone wants my data, I want to be notified each and every time. Is it more difficult for institutions to access data? Sure! But I think if the data is really needed, it shouldn't be to big of a deal to request it from the owner. This way, both parties are in the loop.

The sharing and social media aspects of the other apps is precisely what turns me off about them. Call me a curmudgeon if you want, but I hate all that stuff. I hate FaceBook and Twitter and for the most part, I hate computers and cell phones altogether! LOL For me it's just another account, another footprint on the web, and ultimately, it could be another invasion of my privacy. I'm not paranoid or trying to hide anything, it's just the concept that bugs me. For the past 5 years or so, I have been trying really hard to limit my digital footprint. I've been unsubscribing from forums, online retailers, websites, etc; really getting things down the bare minimum of only what I want, when I want it. I'm at the point now where I get less than 10 emails a day, which is awesome. I will say this though, I do like communicating with other herpers, learning from them and talking about cool finds. But that can be done via NAHERP.

So I like NAHERP a lot because it is minimally invasive. I did sign up with iNaturalist and immediately I started getting stupid email updates from them. I do understand you can turn all that off in your preferences, but I should have to TURN THEM ON if I want them, not the other way around. It's this whole concept that chaps my ass. If I don't ask for something, I don't want it! I deleted my iNaturalist account today solely based on what I experienced with it over the last 72 hours. Not to mention the interface was another big turnoff for me. It's like Facebook for people who like nature.

What I am after is a way to easily catalog my finds for my personal reference first. If a legitimate institution or project wants to use it for research or conservation, I am 100% down, I just want to know when and how my data is being used, and I prefer to be directly involved with the process. I started looking outside of NAHERP because I do like the idea of being able to snap a photo of an animal and immediately have a GPS, time and date stamp applied to the find. This streamlines the process and alleviates the need to remember or record the data some other way. So I need to look at HERPMapper a bit more before I write it off. I think it does have some of the convenience features I am after. But again, I want full control of my data and locations and who can and cannot access it.

I hope this clears up what I am after, and why I find programs like iNaturalist annoying. I don't herp to become popular on the web, or gain points on websites. I herp because I enjoy seeing the animals in their natural habitat and I enjoy taking photos of them and cataloging my finds. I don't mind sharing my data or occasionally showing off my stuff on sites like FHF, but I don't want the fine details shared with the world over, unless there is a specific need for it that benefits the research or conservation of an animal.

I know there are unethical people out there who can and will use public data to exploit nature. I do not want to aid them in this in any way shape or form.

Bart


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 8th, 2017, 4:57 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 1:46 pm
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Location: Seattle, WA
Herpmapper won't import everything from HERP. I have nearly 200 it won't import for whatever reason.


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 15th, 2017, 10:07 am 
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I prefer NAHERP because I felt it was set up best to include the most collaborators and have the best community feel to the project. Some of that has been lost now, but I still see it as the best option of those available.


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 15th, 2017, 6:51 pm 
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I prefer NAHERP over iNat because I like its inclusion of more weather fields than iNat (which I think only includes temperature unless the user [or perhaps project creator?] creates additional fields), plus moon phase.

I prefer NAHERP over HerpMapper because NAHERP was first, and though I haven't done it yet, it appears to be relatively easy to import your data to Herpmapper should you choose to do so.


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 19th, 2017, 1:54 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:19 am
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Location: Redding, CA
I stopped submitting records.

Use to use an eTrex Legend, via serial port. PC motherboard don't have serial ports anymore. There are adapters but getting them to work in Linux (my OS) hasn't always worked.

Bought a USB Garmin. It worked until I lost the cable, and it seems Garmin requires a Garmin cable, not just any USB cable will work for some reason I can't fathom.

So I said f*ck it. I'm not paying an outrageous price for a replacement Garmin brand cable so the result is I just don't enter records any more.

I won't use Google Earth because I won't use Google anything, they are a monopolistic company that is extremely evil and gets away with their evil by doing things like having their CEO praise Trump's son in law, so I can't get the required geo-location data any more.

Blame greedy corporations for my lack of data submission. Garmin for making a GPS that requires their specific cable, and Google for massively violating their "Don't be Evil" motto.


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 19th, 2017, 6:25 am 
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FunkyRes wrote:
I stopped submitting records.

Use to use an eTrex Legend, via serial port. PC motherboard don't have serial ports anymore. There are adapters but getting them to work in Linux (my OS) hasn't always worked.

Bought a USB Garmin. It worked until I lost the cable, and it seems Garmin requires a Garmin cable, not just any USB cable will work for some reason I can't fathom.

So I said f*ck it. I'm not paying an outrageous price for a replacement Garmin brand cable so the result is I just don't enter records any more.

I won't use Google Earth because I won't use Google anything, they are a monopolistic company that is extremely evil and gets away with their evil by doing things like having their CEO praise Trump's son in law, so I can't get the required geo-location data any more.

Blame greedy corporations for my lack of data submission. Garmin for making a GPS that requires their specific cable, and Google for massively violating their "Don't be Evil" motto.



This might just have instantly become my favorite non-herping-related comment ever on this site. :lol



On a positive note, there are online maps you can look up which will allow you to determine the coordinates with a great deal of accuracy, much like Google Earth as long as you don't need the habitat-photo-resolution to find where you were. That's what I used for some time when my only computer was too underpowered for Google Earth.


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 19th, 2017, 8:04 am 
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FunkyRes wrote:
Linux (my OS)

Nice, I've always wanted to make the switch to a Linux based OS. Being in IT professionally for 25 years now, I have seen everything I really liked about computers disappear completely. Windows has been shiite since Windows 7 came out, and I've never been an Apple person. So on numerous occasions I have thought of making the switch over to FreeBSD or RedHat or something. The only reason I haven't is because it would mean more computer time for me and to be honest, if I never had to spend a day in a cubicle staring at a screen again for the rest of my life I would be happy.

Bart


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 24th, 2017, 9:54 am 
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Location: Monterey Peninsula, CA
Jeremy Westerman wrote:
I hate iNaturalist because it is the wikipedia of herping; anyone can have an imput on the data or change it, even though often the group identification consensus is dead wrong. The I.D.s are solely based of of group consensus and are "research grade" if three idiots agree. Garbage.


It is an individual preference whether the official ID of your observations are the ones you made or the group consensus. (The group consensus is useful for the case where people submit observations but never follow up on them.)

John


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 Post subject: Re: HerpMapper vs NAHERP vs iNaturalist
PostPosted: June 24th, 2017, 5:49 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
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Location: "Buy My Books"-land
Quote:
HERP
No one can use your data without your specific permission for that project. But there is no "open" setting where you can upload your data with the intent of it being shared. You have to vote in each and every case. Of course, the flip side of this is that HERP data doesn't get shared as much because it is more onerous for agencies, etc. to get access to it. Since Herpmapper contains most of the same data, I suspect it is easier for agencies to just skip HERP and go to Herpmapper where they don't need every user's permission to access data, just the database managers.


Chris...this is not entirely true. If you DO NOT vote on release of your data to a request, your non-sensitive data is automatically released, if you selected that option in your profile. If you did not select an option, well...I don't know what the default is... :o

I prefer n.a.h.e.r.p. because it allows me to protect the data I want to protect, and to have a voice in the distribution. I have given my non-sensitive data to Herp mapper, and am (still) the largest contributor to that site (over 8800 records), but I do not like the way it is set up and they only get the garbage I don't care about.

NAHERP has many more perks for the contributor, as Jeremy said, so it IS the better of the 3 databases. Accept no less...and try to catch up to me if you can. I'm closing in on 15,000 NAHERP records now... 8-)


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