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Account termination
Poll ended at December 15th, 2014, 11:20 pm
yes 44%  44%  [ 8 ]
no 56%  56%  [ 10 ]
Total votes : 18
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 Post subject: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 14th, 2014, 11:20 pm 
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Joined: October 1st, 2011, 11:01 am
Posts: 1793
Location: huntsville
Should I terminate my HERP & Herpmapper account, deleting my records? I ask because one of Herpmapper's moderators or whatnot Keeps questioning my photography skills and gps locales. I explained my situation and why I only have county/city level coordinates for my records on HERP and Herpmapper, backing up the general area's random location with method of find and habitat areas. But he says that is not enough. And I'm tired of playing PM tag with him.

Thanks in advance, Sam Dery


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 9:40 am 
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Joined: November 5th, 2012, 2:10 pm
Posts: 445
Location: Cranberry township, PA
no because even without specific locales it is still good info. what if, and this purely hypothetical, you were to come across a new species to the area? even without gps you would still have county and area described. I do however see the usefulness of having the gps coordinates for data requests but other than that I see no point and actually see some danger in putting them. with all the cases of hacking happening in the news I would worry about putting rare species into the database.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 10:06 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:46 am
Posts: 611
Location: Albuquerque, NM
I have some records without gps data and like you have on occasion been asked to add the gps data. I have a serious issue with that. If I did not record gps data at the time, and do not know precisely where I was, then I think it is better to use an imprecise but accurate location. Its sort of like what I try to teach my physics students about significant digits when doing calculations. You don't want to claim to know an answer more precisely than you really do know it. I think if you know an animal was found in a particular county, but aren't sure exactly where, it is better, more logical, more truthful, more accurate, to just list the county rather than finding the gps coordinate for the center or some other part of that county from google maps or elsewhere. Just my $.02


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 12:38 pm 
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Joined: November 30th, 2012, 7:45 am
Posts: 492
Location: Fayetteville, Tennessee
Questioning your photography skills?! Wow.

I know you are a valuable contributor to the databases, i'd hate to see you delete your records because of some run-ins with a certain moderator. I fully agree with bgorum! IMO, even though the coordinates may not be exact, the records can still hold valuable information for the database.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 4:04 pm 
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Joined: January 19th, 2014, 4:34 pm
Posts: 532
Location: Springfield, VA
dery wrote:
Should I terminate my HERP & Herpmapper account, deleting my records? I ask because one of Herpmapper's moderators or whatnot Keeps questioning my photography skills and gps locales. I explained my situation and why I only have county/city level coordinates for my records on HERP and Herpmapper, backing up the general area's random location with method of find and habitat areas. But he says that is not enough. And I'm tired of playing PM tag with him.

Thanks in advance, Sam Dery


Most of your photos are fine, though sometimes I wonder how you get water all over the lens! :lol:

Really though, the majority of your photos are sufficient enough for an ID. But what I'm puzzled at is your method of placing coordinates. So if you found a herp on the outskirts of Huntsville, you place the record's coordinate right smack dab in the middle of the city? Am I reading that correctly? What circumstances drive you to do that?

Surely you have a good enough memory and knowledge of maps to put the coordinates close enough to where you encountered a herp. From your records, I gather that you do most of your Madison County herping at a few locales anyways - at the very least you could make all of those coordinates for that general area.

Maybe I'm a freak of a human being with unnatural skill at determining my general location on a map, but I'd say that 85% of my records have coordinates within 75 feet of where I encountered a herp, with many of those being within 10 feet. The other 15% would be from areas with poor phone reception and no visible landmarks or my records from kayaking trips, where even then I'm usually able to narrow down the section of the river I was on when I saw a particular herp.

I won't vote until I get more background info from you. I'm inclined to say no, but I really think you should put the effort in to get coordinates that are accurate within a few hundred feet at the very least. After all, don't you want the satisfaction of seeing all of your records precisely mapped out in Google Maps? It's like your own personal tableau.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 4:31 pm 
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Joined: October 1st, 2011, 11:01 am
Posts: 1793
Location: huntsville
mtratcliffe wrote:
dery wrote:
Should I terminate my HERP & Herpmapper account, deleting my records? I ask because one of Herpmapper's moderators or whatnot Keeps questioning my photography skills and gps locales. I explained my situation and why I only have county/city level coordinates for my records on HERP and Herpmapper, backing up the general area's random location with method of find and habitat areas. But he says that is not enough. And I'm tired of playing PM tag with him.

Thanks in advance, Sam Dery


Most of your photos are fine, though sometimes I wonder how you get water all over the lens! :lol:

Su


It happens due to a combo of shutterstick and attempting to correct the problem after taking photos after I retrieve an animal from a body of water, then getting my camera out of it's dry box. That won't happen soon since I getting a slr and shallow water housing.

"Really though, the majority of your photos are sufficient enough for an ID. But what I'm puzzled at is your method of placing coordinates. So if you found a herp on the outskirts of Huntsville, you place the record's coordinate right smack dab in the middle of the city? Am I reading that correctly? What circumstances drive you to do that?"

With my region of residence, it varries where the locale is. If it's within 10 miles or so, I often go by zip code, unless its on private property I have access to that has issues of littering/trespassing. So yes, occaisonally it's in a downtown area where the county's gps is marked. Besides the issue of safety and legality, my reason is that I have no interests in ipads, ipods, iphones, tv, or social media other than my ghosttowning and nafha-related forums.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 5:06 pm 
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Joined: October 1st, 2011, 11:01 am
Posts: 1793
Location: huntsville
me "The data are in fact in the St. Joe's bay region. All the records found in that area were found near the water."

anonymous: "But they were not found in the middle of the bay (that is where they map to). "

me: "Huh. I always used online maps' gps coordinates for the county. The map you emailed me is blurry but seems to be a mix of land and water."

anonymous: "The map I sent is all water (not blurry)... Export your HerpMapper observations to Google Earth to view. "

me: "I'll need to know which record to reimport then. Can you send me links to the records on naherp? That's the best I can do. I'm not real good with technology. Like I said, I'm used to entering gps at county level. The specific locales for my records are not marked by gps. :thumb:
Samuel Dery"

anonymous: "Sam,

I will see what I can do. In the future, you should only enter detailed lat/lon - not county-level lat/lon (and you should add comments to the notes of these records so people using these data know they are not exact locations).

I did sent a more zoomed out photo to your e-mail. "


me:
"I don't keep track of locales, so I'll just have to do the latter. Can you send me the links to my records that need clarification?"

anonymous: "Do you have a smart phone? The mobile app makes detailed data entry very simple.

It will take me some time to get you all the links, but I will prepare them."

me: "No, I have an at&t rugby. I'm not tech-savy."

anonymous: "Are all of your data county centers, or are some lat/lon of the exact (or nearly so) spot of the observation? "

me: "Some are city-centered, e.g. Huntsville, AL. Otherwise just county centered."

anonymous: "In the future, you should take a photo of the nearest street, building address, or park name, and map to those areas. Data that are city / county centered have very little use to our conservation partners, and should not be entered.

Can you start going through your observations and adding comments on how they are mapped?

I am happy to talk with you about how to collect higher quality data if interested. "

me: "I always make note of the habitat to counteract such issues e.g. ghosttown, floodplain. I used to mark locales like that, but I had a few Leo encounters while doing so and they told me not to. Sorry, but making note that gps is not exact is all I can do. If that's a problem, I'll stop entering data on NaHERP and Herpmapper and remove my data from those websites since they wouldn't be needed. :roll:

Please don't bug me about locales and photo quality anymore,

Samuel Dery."

anonymous: "I apologize if I am bugging you, but I want to help you collect the highest quality data possible. It is obvious that you go to a great length to participate in these projects. Not sure why a 'leo' would tell you to collect poorer quality data. Both NAHERP and HerpMapper do not show point-location data to the public, so these data a well protected. Recently FL Fish and Wildlife Commission have used some of our data, but they only want highly accurate data for their project.

Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with to make high-quality data entry an easier process for you. "

me: "I don't care. I don't enter data just to donate. Like many, I enter for personal reasons like backup logging as well. If Florida Fish and Wildlife want records I feel unsafe creating, that's their problem. They can take it or leave it. So, Please just tell me whether I should terminate my HERP and Herpmapper accounts to stop the complaints such as yours, and leave me alone.

PS Please make it public on this thread if you do want my accounts gone: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=21101
That way, the need for locales will be known and this and the photo quality problem will not happen to anyone else. Or harm The databases. :thumb:

Sam Dery."


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 7:00 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:36 am
Posts: 590
Location: Sydney, Australia
Dery- the problem is that the admins of the database don't know what data is "for your own backup" or what is good enough to be provided to potential conservation managers. Only accurate data can be used for the latter, because otherwise time and money could be wasted trying to manage species that aren't actually present at a location, and other locations that might be necessary to conserve could go unmanaged and a population could go extinct as a result. If you are worried about the security of those data, talk to the admins, select your records to be completely unviewable by the public, or don't enter any records.

If you're just using it to back up your own data with vague locality info, then I suggest you find a different way to do so. There's really no point in uploading photos/records to the site unless they are accompanied by accurate locality data. There are plenty of photo hosting sites or basic data software packages (excel, dropbox, etc.) that would allow you to keep your own records at whatever accuracy you wish.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 7:03 pm 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
bgorum wrote:
I have some records without gps data and like you have on occasion been asked to add the gps data. I have a serious issue with that. If I did not record gps data at the time, and do not know precisely where I was, then I think it is better to use an imprecise but accurate location. Its sort of like what I try to teach my physics students about significant digits when doing calculations. You don't want to claim to know an answer more precisely than you really do know it. I think if you know an animal was found in a particular county, but aren't sure exactly where, it is better, more logical, more truthful, more accurate, to just list the county rather than finding the gps coordinate for the center or some other part of that county from google maps or elsewhere. Just my $.02


Again- there's no point in entering any data without accurate locality information, for the purposes of herpmapper. If you don't know where it was, then you can simply backup/upload your photos to a photo server without cluttering a conservation database with unusable data.

I'm speaking as a researcher who has used sources like this before to do real conservation research. Records without locality data are of no use whatsoever. Worse, missing or inaccurate locality data could actually harm conservation efforts. Better to not enter anything than to enter misleading or incorrect data.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 7:11 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Posts: 2416
Location: Greater Houston TX Area
How does a record lacking the level of accuracy desired by agencies compare to their use of historical data a century or more before GPS (or really, before accurate land survey information) to make policy decisions? In other words, let's say an agency wants a species protected because it "is known to occur in locality X," when the last record was 150 years ago and could be a mile (or many, many more) off?

I don't mess with HerpMapper yet (still using HERP)--is there a field for accuracy as there is in HERP? It seems it would be easy enough for an agency to filter records by accuracy; with their tolerance being inversely proportional to the abundance of a species/number of records available.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 7:34 pm 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Chris- historical data is often very precise based off of linear distances/angles triangulated from known landmarks. The old-school herpetologists out there were usually VERY thorough in their notetaking, especially since poaching concerns were rarely given much consideration back then. I've hiked up records that were reported in old field notes going back to the late 1800s. Still, I don't think the potential differences in accuracy matter much- those old records can be of little use to current conservation because population distributions have often changed in the interim, especially on the fringes. The goal of projects like Herpmapper, as I understand, is to see where animals still exist NOW, regardless of where they used to be.

There is a field accuracy setting on herp. If you aren't exactly sure of a location but can point to a general area, you should be able to note the accuracy. That said, records much more than a km from their actual location could be of little use, depending on the site and how it is managed.

My point is simply that people are wasting their (and others') time by uploading data without accurate locality data.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 7:56 pm 
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Joined: January 19th, 2014, 4:34 pm
Posts: 532
Location: Springfield, VA
dery wrote:
mtratcliffe wrote:
dery wrote:
Should I terminate my HERP & Herpmapper account, deleting my records? I ask because one of Herpmapper's moderators or whatnot Keeps questioning my photography skills and gps locales. I explained my situation and why I only have county/city level coordinates for my records on HERP and Herpmapper, backing up the general area's random location with method of find and habitat areas. But he says that is not enough. And I'm tired of playing PM tag with him.

Thanks in advance, Sam Dery


Most of your photos are fine, though sometimes I wonder how you get water all over the lens! :lol:

Su


It happens due to a combo of shutterstick and attempting to correct the problem after taking photos after I retrieve an animal from a body of water, then getting my camera out of it's dry box. That won't happen soon since I getting a slr and shallow water housing.

"Really though, the majority of your photos are sufficient enough for an ID. But what I'm puzzled at is your method of placing coordinates. So if you found a herp on the outskirts of Huntsville, you place the record's coordinate right smack dab in the middle of the city? Am I reading that correctly? What circumstances drive you to do that?"

With my region of residence, it varries where the locale is. If it's within 10 miles or so, I often go by zip code, unless its on private property I have access to that has issues of littering/trespassing. So yes, occaisonally it's in a downtown area where the county's gps is marked. Besides the issue of safety and legality, my reason is that I have no interests in ipads, ipods, iphones, tv, or social media other than my ghosttowning and nafha-related forums.


I'm still confused. Are you just looking up the GPS coordinates for the nearest town to each record and putting those into H.E.R.P.? Why don't you use Google Earth/Maps coordinates or even the built-in map when you make a record? For example, say you found a turtle on a log along the north edge of a pond in City Park. Why don't you pull up City Park on Google Maps, find that pond, and then place your coordinates marker roughly where the log was and get your coordinates that way? Sure, it takes a *little* bit of effort, but we are talking about providing accurate data here. I'm just having a hard time understanding why you would do it any other way than that.

And I want to say that no one here wants to discourage you from herping. You have a strong passion for it, which I admire, and you also have a bevy of records. But it would be so much more useful for researchers and your own personal records if you properly geotagged each record. It doesn't have to be exact, just close enough. Heck, being one kilometer off-target is a lot better than being 20 KM off-target.

If you need a demonstration on how to get accurate coordinates, please don't be afraid to ask.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 10:10 pm 
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VanAR wrote:
Dery- the problem is that the admins of the database don't know what data is "for your own backup" or what is good enough to be provided to potential conservation managers. Only accurate data can be used for the latter, because otherwise time and money could be wasted trying to manage species that aren't actually present at a location, and other locations that might be necessary to conserve could go unmanaged and a population could go extinct as a result. If you are worried about the security of those data, talk to the admins, select your records to be completely unviewable by the public, or don't enter any records.

If you're just using it to back up your own data with vague locality info, then I suggest you find a different way to do so. There's really no point in uploading photos/records to the site unless they are accompanied by accurate locality data. There are plenty of photo hosting sites or basic data software packages (excel, dropbox, etc.) that would allow you to keep your own records at whatever accuracy you wish.

Excuse me? I'm pretty sure I mentioned before that there was more than one reason. Wow. I'm leaning more and more towards terminating my Accounts and my HERP forum account.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 10:22 pm 
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Joined: October 1st, 2011, 11:01 am
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Location: huntsville
mtratcliffe wrote:
dery wrote:
Should I terminate my HERP & Herpmapper account, deleting my records? I ask because one of Herpmapper's moderators or whatnot Keeps questioning my photography skills and gps locales. I explained my situation and why I only have county/city level coordinates for my records on HERP and Herpmapper, backing up the general area's random location with method of find and habitat areas. But he says that is not enough. And I'm tired of playing PM tag with him.

Thanks in advance, Sam Dery


Most of your photos are fine, though sometimes I wonder how you get water all over the lens! :lol:

Su


It happens due to a combo of shutterstick and attempting to correct the problem after taking photos after I retrieve an animal from a body of water, then getting my camera out of it's dry box. That won't happen soon since I getting a slr and shallow water housing.

"Really though, the majority of your photos are sufficient enough for an ID. But what I'm puzzled at is your method of placing coordinates. So if you found a herp on the outskirts of Huntsville, you place the record's coordinate right smack dab in the middle of the city? Am I reading that correctly? What circumstances drive you to do that?"

With my region of residence, it varries where the locale is. If it's within 10 miles or so, I often go by zip code, unless its on private property I have access to that has issues of littering/trespassing. So yes, occaisonally it's in a downtown area where the county's gps is marked. Besides the issue of safety and legality, my reason is that I have no interests in ipads, ipods, iphones, tv, or social media other than my ghosttowning and nafha-related forums.[/quote]

I'm still confused. Are you just looking up the GPS coordinates for the nearest town to each record and putting those into H.E.R.P.? Why don't you use Google Earth/Maps coordinates or even the built-in map when you make a record? For example, say you found a turtle on a log along the north edge of a pond in City Park. Why don't you pull up City Park on Google Maps, find that pond, and then place your coordinates marker roughly where the log was and get your coordinates that way? Sure, it takes a *little* bit of effort, but we are talking about providing accurate data here. I'm just having a hard time understanding why you would do it any other way than that.

And I want to say that no one here wants to discourage you from herping. You have a strong passion for it, which I admire, and you also have a bevy of records. But it would be so much more useful for researchers and your own personal records if you properly geotagged each record. It doesn't have to be exact, just close enough. Heck, being one kilometer off-target is a lot better than being 20 KM off-target.

If you need a demonstration on how to get accurate coordinates, please don't be afraid to ask.[/quote]

I'm confused too. Did you even hear me say that I am not tech savy? Do I need to record all my run ins with the law and all my electronics to prove to you that I don't know what geotagging is, Use gps from my computer when I get done herping, That I don't feel safe documenting locales, etc, etc?
I'll terminate my accounts later this month. :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 11:27 pm 
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dery wrote:
VanAR wrote:
Dery- the problem is that the admins of the database don't know what data is "for your own backup" or what is good enough to be provided to potential conservation managers. Only accurate data can be used for the latter, because otherwise time and money could be wasted trying to manage species that aren't actually present at a location, and other locations that might be necessary to conserve could go unmanaged and a population could go extinct as a result. If you are worried about the security of those data, talk to the admins, select your records to be completely unviewable by the public, or don't enter any records.

If you're just using it to back up your own data with vague locality info, then I suggest you find a different way to do so. There's really no point in uploading photos/records to the site unless they are accompanied by accurate locality data. There are plenty of photo hosting sites or basic data software packages (excel, dropbox, etc.) that would allow you to keep your own records at whatever accuracy you wish.

Excuse me? I'm pretty sure I mentioned before that there was more than one reason. Wow. I'm leaning more and more towards terminating my Accounts and my HERP forum account.


Don't take offense. It's not clear to me what your other issues with the system are. I'm simply pointing out that, as someone who has used this kind of data professionally, you entering records with inaccurate or no locality data is useless for the intended mission of the program. If you don't want to enter accurate data, or are unable to do so for whatever reason, then it's better that you not enter the records at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 11:32 pm 
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dery wrote:
I'm confused too. Did you even hear me say that I am not tech savy? Do I need to record all my run ins with the law and all my electronics to prove to you that I don't know what geotagging is, Use gps from my computer when I get done herping, That I don't feel safe documenting locales, etc, etc?
I'll terminate my accounts later this month. :thumb:


You can't load google maps through the herpmapper website and figure out within reasonable accuracy where you were herping? You go to the map, select "satellite view" and then zoom in where you were herping and try to get as close as you can. In most cases, if you can remember key landmarks (roads, buildings, rock outcrops, etc.) then you should be able to pinpoint a location within 100 meters or so. It's that simple. If you don't feel safe documenting locales, then why go through all the trouble to upload records in the first place? You're just wasting your own time, and providing no useful data for conservation. Not being "tech savvy" is no excuse for wasting your own time or potentially the time of conservationists looking for good locality data. It ain't rocket science.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 3:11 am 
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bgorum wrote:
I have some records without gps data and like you have on occasion been asked to add the gps data. I have a serious issue with that. If I did not record gps data at the time, and do not know precisely where I was, then I think it is better to use an imprecise but accurate location. Its sort of like what I try to teach my physics students about significant digits when doing calculations. You don't want to claim to know an answer more precisely than you really do know it. I think if you know an animal was found in a particular county, but aren't sure exactly where, it is better, more logical, more truthful, more accurate, to just list the county rather than finding the gps coordinate for the center or some other part of that county from google maps or elsewhere. Just my $.02



First off, every data request that NAHERP gets asks only for records with specific GPS information. So leaving off any GPS coordinates would keep it out of nearly all the requests.

Many museum records were made without coordinates. Now in the era of electronic updating and curating, new GPS coordinates are being added to those records after-the-fact. In many cases they are just like Dery's and simply point to the middle of the city that was named in the original record. If Dery added the points on his own with the map tool, he would get far more accurate than that default.

Samuel, I think you should continue to enter records. By using the map tool on the record, you can place the icon as close as possible to the site where you found the animal without needing any additional program or technology. And now that there's an "accuracy" field, you can write what your margin of error for that particular record is - whether it's 5 meters or 1 kilometer, or even 5 km or more.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 3:29 am 
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Isn't it somewhat bias/overkill to insists on being more specific when mapping a spot in the US and not caring if it's in other parts of the world? Defined and fixed levels of detail may be the solution, allowing for aggregation of data. The problem is this is usually achieved by admin predefining areas, which is in the scope of this db virtually impossible if more precise than administrative/political units.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 4:06 am 
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Location: Springfield, VA
dery wrote:
I'm confused too. Did you even hear me say that I am not tech savy? Do I need to record all my run ins with the law and all my electronics to prove to you that I don't know what geotagging is, Use gps from my computer when I get done herping, That I don't feel safe documenting locales, etc, etc?
I'll terminate my accounts later this month. :thumb:


Sounds to me like you think geotagging is more complicated than what it really is. If you know how to find where you were on a map, it's very simple. Here are some quick directions:

https://support.google.com/maps/answer/18539?hl=en

Again, we are here to help. Now if you don't feel safe providing specific coordinates, that's a different story, though as you know H.E.R.P. does a good job of safeguarding your records.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 7:27 am 
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Quote:
You go to the map, select "satellite view" and then zoom in where you were herping and try to get as close as you can. In most cases, if you can remember key landmarks (roads, buildings, rock outcrops, etc.) then you should be able to pinpoint a location within 100 meters or so. It's that simple.


VanAR - I don't think this is a good attitude for NAFHA or the FHF. If you've never taught map reading or worked with people that have never dealt with satellite imagery, calling it simple when for them it may not, is like a slap in the face. It's simple to you because you've probably done it thousands of time, just like drawing blood for a phlebotomist is simple.

Dery - your records are valuable and you should stay and continue entering records. Plus, the SE chapter needs you. Blasphemous I know, but I'm not terribly concerned with accuracy. I would much rather see an inaccurate record than no record at all. What if the Florida Museum when given the holotype for the S.F. Rainbow Snake was like, "Uh, this is not a very accurate description at all of where it was found. Let's toss it because its useless." I don't know how anybody can argue that less data is better. There is good data and there is bad data, but the researchers should be given the option to decide where that line between them falls. It isn't our place as contributors to take that choice away from them.

If you want more accurate records but don't know how to do it, send me a PM and I'll try and walk you through it. I haven't taught maps & graphs in the geography department here, but I know enough people who have that I would like to think I could help you. If you don't want more accurate records, then that is your business.

As far as HERP goes, I've never seen anywhere anything that says you can't use it for your own personal record keeping. I'm not sure about Herpmapper as I don't use that. Both are free to the public so it seems like you can do pretty much whatever you want as long as you are respectful.

Also, in your discussion with the admin, it seemed liked even they were not clear on how Google Earth (GE) functions. I have records of toads that if you looked on Google Earth might tell you I was 100 feet into a pond where I found them. It was during a really dry time and the size of the body of water had changed, but GE doesn't update their maps or satellite imagery every month. Some of the most recent images for areas around Gainesville are from 2012. Lots can happen in 2 years.

Bottomline for me - Dery you have autonomy and you can do whatever you want. I'm not here to tell you what to do (nobody here is your boss). But I would ask you to evaluate the value of the whole organization, and just because one admin has a beef with your level of accuracy, don't let one individual detract from the group as whole.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 7:39 am 
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Sam's post isn't accurate.

1) I never criticized your photography skills. I did follow up with you regarding a few observations with incorrect ID or photo voucher insufficient to ID the animal.

2) You admitted in your PM to me that you DO have the ability to provide detailed location data, but choose to obfuscate it.

My Last PM to you:

Quote:
I apologize if I am bugging you, but I want to help you collect the highest quality data possible. It is obvious that you go to a great length to participate in these projects. Not sure why a 'leo' would tell you to collect poorer quality data. Both NAHERP and HerpMapper do not show point-location data to the public, so these data a well protected. Recently FL Fish and Wildlife Commission have used some of our data, but they only want highly accurate data for their project.

Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with to make high-quality data entry an easier process for you.

-Chris


Your Response:

dery wrote:
I don't care. I don't enter data just to donate. Like many, I enter for personal reasons like backup logging as well. If Florida Fish and Wildlife want records I feel unsafe creating, that's their problem. They can take it or leave it. So, Please just tell me whether I should terminate my HERP and Herpmapper accounts to stop the complaints such as yours, and leave me alone.

PS Please make it public on this thread if you do want my accounts gone: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=21101
That way, the need for locales will be known and this and the photo quality problem will not happen to anyone else. Or harm The databases. :thumb:

Sam Dery.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 7:53 am 
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The problem with Sam's data is that he DOES enter lat/lon but that they do not actually correspond to the actual location of the observation (in some cases basking turtles in forests, DORs in lakes, etc.). This obfuscation isn't always noted in the comments or the accuracy field, making these data difficult to sort out.

-Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 8:19 am 
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Quote:
How does a record lacking the level of accuracy desired by agencies compare to their use of historical data a century or more before GPS (or really, before accurate land survey information) to make policy decisions? In other words, let's say an agency wants a species protected because it "is known to occur in locality X," when the last record was 150 years ago and could be a mile (or many, many more) off?


I've heard this argument from many people, and I find it silly every time I hear it repeated. Technology has changed, we have the ability to use GPS to provide more accurate locations, so why shouldn't we push to do that? By herping areas and recording GPS coordinates for finds, we can update those old records with more accurate location data, and eventually make it so we don't have to rely on notes to try to figure out where a location was.

Quote:
What if the Florida Museum when given the holotype for the S.F. Rainbow Snake was like, "Uh, this is not a very accurate description at all of where it was found. Let's toss it because its useless." I don't know how anybody can argue that less data is better.


Less data isn't necessarily worse, and more data isn't necessarily better. The first time a species is recorded from a county, it adds the information that the species exists in that county. Every new year the species is recorded from the county, also shows that the species is still present in the county. When you record 10 of the same species, in the same county in a year though, what do the extra 9 records add? Are they all from a single location, or are they wide spread in the county? Those extra 9 records don't really add anything to what we know. Those extra 9 records aren't necessarily all recorded by the same person either. If there is a well known herping spot in a county, many people may herp it, and there may be 100 records for that county from that single location, yet no one will know that they are all from the same place.

Something everyone needs to keep in mind, is that while HerpMapper and HERP are free for you to use, they are not free to run. They both cost money. Every record in the database, every voucher uploaded, slowly add to the costs involved. Right now, both are growing at a slow rate, so the cost of storage is dropping faster than the storage requirements are growing. That may not always be the case though. Even if storage prices were not a factor, there is still work put into the project to keep it running. I am not sure about the motives of others involved with the projects, but I can tell you that I am not doing this simply to provide you guys a free place to keep track of your data for yourselves, and a place to backup your data. My motivation is to assist conservation groups in collecting data. That is why HerpMapper was started separately from HERP with a different data sharing model.

If there is a large enough interest in having a place to log your sightings for your own use, without being held to any data standards, then someone should setup a for profit database that runs off ads or subscription fees.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 8:58 am 
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For those of you arguing that Dery's data is important to keep, you are missing the big picture. The issue here is Dery's GPS locations seem to be a gross misrepresentation of the actually locality of a large quantity of data. This is not a handful of records in question, it is over 3,000 records. If it was just a few records, then the argument that the data has value even though the location is not accurate would have some footing (see Dons example). I think we all have some data that falls into the category. When this type of data is viewed in the larger context of all the data in the database (or data request) it has little effect in the overall pattern of the data, it might show up as an outlier or be obscured by the overall trend of the data. However, large quantities of inaccurate data incorporated into a dataset have the potential to distort the overall pattern or trend. And that is a problem, as it may lead to incorrect conclusions being drawn from the data.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 10:30 am 
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Don Becker wrote:
Quote:
How does a record lacking the level of accuracy desired by agencies compare to their use of historical data a century or more before GPS (or really, before accurate land survey information) to make policy decisions? In other words, let's say an agency wants a species protected because it "is known to occur in locality X," when the last record was 150 years ago and could be a mile (or many, many more) off?


I've heard this argument from many people, and I find it silly every time I hear it repeated. Technology has changed, we have the ability to use GPS to provide more accurate locations, so why shouldn't we push to do that?


Sorry; I wasn't clear. I didn't mean to infer that just because old records are potentially more inaccurate, that we shouldn't worry about our current records. I was talking about declaring species to be known from location X (and potentially making policy decisions, such as making species X T/E on the outside chance its range extends over a political boundary) when the original data shows the location as vaguely as "the Red Beds region of the Cimarron River, Oklahoma Territory" and so on (I'm paraphrasing from a fuzzy memory of notes I read 30 years ago). I enjoy sleuthing out some of those historical records and wish I had more time to do so.


Regarding the topic of inaccurate coordinates in HerpMapper--I think the problem as it's being discussed is not merely "inaccurate data," but "deliberately misleading data." Some databases I use will obfuscate the true coordinates a user inputs, so the public can't pinpoint the locale if accessing that record, but the data is still available to the individual who input it as well as researchers. HERP only displays down to county, so it's obfuscated (or more accurately, generalized) in that way. HerpMapper seems capable of displaying some pretty large polygons (based on Chris Smith's map in this thread) which are another way to "mask" the locality information to the general public.

Therefore, for Dery's case (and presumably others) the issue as I see it seems to be a matter of mutual trust. Is HerpMapper (or any other database) trustworthy as a place to input your personal observations, with accurate coordinates, without fear of them being misused? I think so. But the "mutual" aspect is that we need users to be trustworthy in how they input their coordinates, for reasons already detailed by others.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 11:34 am 
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I have some solutions if Sam interested?

If you interesting in my thoughts for the HERP database I would like to talk to you on the phone.

Communicating through a forum often comes across as being attacked.

Sam if you would like to talk about this please PM me a good phone number to reach you at and a good time to call.

Thanks
Brian Hinds
HERP Board Member


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 12:59 pm 

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We're about to start a project using volunteers to collect road-cruising data that need to be accurate if we want to assess finescale snake habitat associations. If I were told that someone were entering lots of records with locations that are known to be incorrect or approximated, and that (s)he wasn't indicating the degree of uncertainty in the locality, then I'd delete all records from that individual before running analyses. The scientific value of the records is minimal to nonexistent.

I also don't buy the argument that it's ok to keep recording inexact localities just because the old museum records were often approximate (which is absolutely true). It's easy to get coordinates from a $100 GPS, and that expense is small compared to the gas money spent by a serious herper during a single activity season. I'm among the least tech-savvy people in my profession, but I can turn on a GPS and push the 'page' button until I get to the page with coordinates. People have hacked big contiguous chunks of habitat into lots of little heterogeneous fragments, and we need exact localities for just about every herp-centric conservation question I can think of.

This argument is unfortunately fodder for the sorts of discussions I've heard among agency biologists and land managers about whether to use publicly-sourced data. Way too often, the kneejerk statement is, "You can't trust herpers to provide correct information, and snakers are the worst of the bunch."


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 1:17 pm 
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My feeling (in case anyone cares) is that we are"contributing" data, not just "storing" it. Therefore, we have a responsibility to ensure that the data are as accurate as possible. If Sam wants to obfuscate his localities for conservation or legal reasons, that is his prerogative. However, it must be obfuscated in a systematic and clearly identified way. You should never just "lie" about a location. What I would suggest is figuring out a consistent but repeatable circle of confusion (say 10km/6mi) and pick a point within that distance a random direction away from the precise spot. Enter that spot and enter 10km as your accuracy. Just don' t lie about locality.

It is simple and you get good data albeit less precise than it could be. And I'm prepared to bet that 90% of the data requests that we get that would be enough precision.

And the reason data requestors ask for GPS data most of the time is because we offer it. If the record has no existing GPS data, the end user has to look it up. It is more work for them. But good data without accurate GPS are still good data.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 1:39 pm 
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chrish wrote:
What I would suggest is figuring out a consistent but repeatable circle of confusion (say 10km/6mi) and pick a point within that distance a random direction away from the precise spot. Enter that spot and enter 10km as your accuracy. Just don' t lie about locality.


If that is a policy that people want to make for HERP, then fine, but I do not want people doing that for HerpMapper. If you are uncomfortable putting the location into the record, just don't submit the record. I would would prefer if people would NOT tell other people to do this, and again, at least in the case of HerpMapper, just tell them NOT to enter their data if they are uncomfortable with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 2:19 pm 
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I agree with Don on this one. I hope that HERP and HerpMapper have proved trustworthy to the Herping community, but if one feels uncomfortable with entering a particular observation then don't. That is your right.

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 2:32 pm 
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Quote:
What I would suggest is figuring out a consistent but repeatable circle of confusion (say 10km/6mi) and pick a point within that distance a random direction away from the precise spot. Enter that spot and enter 10km as your accuracy.


There is no reason to obfuscate data that is hidden from public view.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 3:18 pm 
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narrowfellow wrote:
I also don't buy the argument that it's ok to keep recording inexact localities just because the old museum records were often approximate (which is absolutely true).


Who's making that argument? (I'm not, as I attempted to clarify; but I didn't see anyone else doing so either).


spinifer wrote:
There is no reason to obfuscate data that is hidden from public view.


I agree, and I think that is the crux of the discussion taking place (but I could be wrong).


Chris Smith wrote:
I hope that HERP and HerpMapper have proved trustworthy to the Herping community, but if one feels uncomfortable with entering a particular observation then don't.


This too.

HERP data that is requested by researchers has to be released by the records' owners, yes? That's another "failsafe" to help prevent misleading data being incorporated into research...assuming the individual who purposely inputs incorrect data is a person who wouldn't consent to releasing their data in the first place...

I haven't voted on this poll, because it struck me somehow as a little "off" to be taking a vote on this. But the discussion the thread has generated has been interesting and informative (at least to me).


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 4:03 pm 
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Quote:
Less data isn't necessarily worse, and more data isn't necessarily better. The first time a species is recorded from a county, it adds the information that the species exists in that county. Every new year the species is recorded from the county, also shows that the species is still present in the county. When you record 10 of the same species, in the same county in a year though, what do the extra 9 records add? Are they all from a single location, or are they wide spread in the county? Those extra 9 records don't really add anything to what we know. Those extra 9 records aren't necessarily all recorded by the same person either. If there is a well known herping spot in a county, many people may herp it, and there may be 100 records for that county from that single location, yet no one will know that they are all from the same place.


If people put in accurate location data, then anyboy reviewing the data will see they call come from the same place.

The other 9 records add value if they're from different locations or times of year. When thinking of maps we tend to think of spatial value, but there is temporal value as well. When do species emerge, when do they disappear, etc. I've always been told the mantra of researchers is "more data".

In terms of accuracy - yes we should all strive for the most accurate data. Not everybody has a GPS or wants to use them. I consider myself a hobbyist/ amateur photographer, not a professional herpetologist. I try to give the most accurate data that I can, but if I had a $100 to spend I wouldn't buy a GPS. I'd put it towards road cruising or better camera equipment. I'm not a paid research technician plotting highly accurate accounts of species. I'm doing this for fun. I don't see the need to obfuscate my locations. HERP does a pretty good job of that already. But criticizing anybody who doesn't use a GPS is going to turn a lot of the hobbyists away, which I thought this whole thing was built around.

Researchers want the highest resolution of data they can find, and purposely obfuscating the data muddies the water for sure, but I still bet there are people who would find value in less than accurate data. It just doesn't offer the best resolution.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Isn't two-way trust the cornerstone of any citizen science project? The users must trust the organization to keep locations secure, provide a professional setting, and only relsease records to other professionals. The organization must trust their users do their best work. I think anybody who requests citizen science created data assumes it is more like gray literature. We don't have any peer-review accuracy checkers. For example, anything I submit to the FLMNH database is scrutinized by the curator. It's his job to ensure everything is properly labeled and as accurate as possible. As long as we don't have a team of experts scouring over records, we're always going to be vulnerable to people misidentifying things or giving inaccurate locations (or deliberately obscuring locations). Literally anybody could create a HERP account and fill it with garbage.

We as an organization must decide do we want to include folks that contribute less than perfect data or not, and what level of imperfection will we allow? I vote to include it because I think it is up to the (paid) experts to pour over the data and decide what to keep and what to reject. We volunteer our time and our sightings and offer it to them. It is their decision to accept or reject.

The only real criticism I have regarding accuracy and HERP is that I would like to see it changed so that you can't enter anything without some kind of evidence voucher. I don't understand that utility of data points without evidence to back them up.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 4:45 pm 
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mtratcliffe wrote:
VanAR - I don't think this is a good attitude for NAFHA or the FHF. If you've never taught map reading or worked with people that have never dealt with satellite imagery, calling it simple when for them it may not, is like a slap in the face. It's simple to you because you've probably done it thousands of time, just like drawing blood for a phlebotomist is simple.


The point is that herpmapper is a mechanism to provide data to management agencies. Although users are obviously able to use it as a backup for their own observations, that is a secondary use that they could just as easily do on Excel, Word, facebook, instagram, google earth, etc. Since the data are primarily meant for conservation, entering records with missing or deliberately altered locality data is actually a problem rather than a solution- it is a waste of both the user's time and that of a potential management agency.

There's also an expectation of responsibility here too. If you choose to contribute data for conservation using a service like Herpmapper, then it is YOUR responsibility to upload data that are accurate and reliable. The website has clear instructions on how to do this. If a user chooses not to follow those directions, then their data may not be reliable. I'm sure that Don, Chris, et al don't have the time to sift through every record to ensure they are accurate. Like they say above, if you aren't willing to provide accurate data, then it's better for everyone if you simply don't add records at all.

The point is, for something like Herpmapper to work, selfish arguments like "I don't have a GPS", or "I don't know how to record localities" are USER-level problems that then cause the database as a whole to be unreliable. Nobody is forcing anyone to upload data, so if you don't have the capability or intention to upload reliable data, then don't do so. Or, if you want to contribute usable data that can hopefully be used for conservation, then learn how to do so properly using the instructions provided on Herpmapper, or on google earth, google maps, etc., or ASK FOR HELP. Or just buy a damn GPS and record localities accurately on your own. A user who refuses to do all of the above and takes offense when help is offered (as Chris seems to have done) isn't helping Herpmapper provide reliable data for conservation, which is the whole point of the exercise in the first place. They're simply wasting time- their own and that of others.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 5:28 pm 
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Sam, Please see my response above.

I would like to talk to you about this over the phone, if possible.

Let's figure out a win win solution together. :thumb:

Brian Hinds
HERP Board Member
NAFHA International Coordinator


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PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 6:36 pm 
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Quote:
The point is, for something like Herpmapper to work, selfish arguments like "I don't have a GPS", or "I don't know how to record localities" are USER-level problems that then cause the database as a whole to be unreliable. Nobody is forcing anyone to upload data, so if you don't have the capability or intention to upload reliable data, then don't do so.


My point is we as a group do not have a working definition of reliable. Older and lower quality GPS systems will be less reliable than newer, higher tech ones. Are you going to tell anybody who doesn't have a top-of-the-line GPS to not bother entering their data? Or should we all pony up for the most accurate model available and upgrade as often as possible? How far do we go? I don't have a GPS and don't plan to use one anytime soon, but I sure think my data is reliable. Who are you to tell me its not? Shoot, if GPS accurate data is only acceptable, why bother having the Google Earth pin drop as an option? Anybody with a GPS can certainly record lat/long straight from their device. Do we care about elevation data too? Should we all be using LiDAR to ensure the highest level of accuracy for that as well? Maybe we should all carry around a portable thermometer and anemometer too. Goodness knows I've been miles away from the nearest weather station. They are USER level problems only if the USER thinks they're a problem. I am one user who has no problem not using a GPS.

This is my point - everybody has their own working definition of what is "reliable". They all fall along some continuum. What is problem for you may not be a problem for others. I can't find anything on the HERP page regarding specified levels of accuracy. The only thing HERP requires is that your record matches with the county you select. I don't know about Herpmapper - I don't use it.

If we collectively have a problem with some users' definition of "reliable" then we need to decide what is and is not acceptable, put it to a vote, and make adjustments as necessary. However because enforcement is pretty much impossible, we must trust each others judgment.

Edit to add: I'm not trying to be a jerk and I'm not defending anybody who purposely obfuscates their data. I just get a little defensive when it is insinuated that my data is unreliable because I don't use a GPS.

Edit to add (again). HerpMapper does specify "If you do not have any data for the longitude and latitude fields...try to be as detailed as possible." However, the level of detail is going to vary among users. Evidently a GPS is not a requirement for HerpMapper.


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PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 6:54 pm 
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I think teaching Sam how to properly enter GPS coordinates will be easy if someone does it over the phone with him. My concern right now is that he may have already thrown in the towel and might not be checking the forums anymore. He's a passionate herper - just needs some direction with making entries. And I'd like to think that at least a fair portion of his records can be updated with coordinates, though it will take time.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 7:12 pm 
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I dont think anyone is questioning your data here, captainjack. Its sounds like you do the best you can to provide an approximate location.

On the other hand, it sounds like Dery is using a coordinate finder (like this http://www.latlong.net/) and typing in a county, city, or zip code to get coordinates, rather than using the map function provide in the database.


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PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 7:14 pm 
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Quote:
My point is we as a group do not have a working definition of reliable. Older and lower quality GPS systems will be less reliable than newer, higher tech ones. Are you going to tell anybody who doesn't have a top-of-the-line GPS to not bother entering their data?


You should try to be as detailed as possible. If you can browse the maps and get to a rough location where you were, put the marker where you think you were, and make a note in the comments about how accurate you think you are. Found a DOR and don't have a GPS? Take a photo of the street signs at the nearest intersection, and then take note of how far you were from that intersection. Take note of the mile marker you were at on a highway. If you were in a park, at least make note of the park (HerpMapper has a private notes field for that, which should probably also be added to HERP, could use the Locale Field too). There are plenty of ways to get a more accurate location than just the center of the county or a town, even without a GPS.


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PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 9:13 pm 
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Quote:
You should try to be as detailed as possible. If you can browse the maps and get to a rough location where you were, put the marker where you think you were, and make a note in the comments about how accurate you think you are. Found a DOR and don't have a GPS? Take a photo of the street signs at the nearest intersection, and then take note of how far you were from that intersection. Take note of the mile marker you were at on a highway. If you were in a park, at least make note of the park (HerpMapper has a private notes field for that, which should probably also be added to HERP, could use the Locale Field too). There are plenty of ways to get a more accurate location than just the center of the county or a town, even without a GPS.


I think I do all of these - but there is always going to be some error. For example, my estimation of the distance between said animal and the nearest intersection is subject to my ability to guess distances, and try to remember that when it comes time to enter data. I felt like VanAR was suggesting any data that isn't tied to a GPS is crap (which included my data). That it is selfish of me (or anybody else who doesn't use a GPS) to not want to spend the money on a GPS, etc.

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Do we have any idea of how many people use HERP data only to the county level? I was talking to my wife about this and she suggested turning off the lat/long requirement for data entry. Have the default for those folks who choose not to include lat/long be the dead center of the county. Researchers seeking more specific data would easily be able to throw out all of those records but those people who only need to the county level would still have them. It would be a systematized way of furthering obscuring data for those folks who want to put in data but not put in lat/longs, and would avoid having multiple different types of user created obfuscation.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 9:40 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:48 am
Posts: 2388
Location: Delmarva
Quote:
For example, my estimation of the distance between said animal and the nearest intersection is subject to my ability to guess distances, and try to remember that when it comes time to enter data.


My guess is that your guess of distance is not very good. I pull up Google Earth real quick and use the measure tool to get accurate distances. Need Google earth to figure out county many times anyway.

Quote:
Do we have any idea of how many people use HERP data only to the county level? I was talking to my wife about this and she suggested turning off the lat/long requirement for data entry. Have the default for those folks who choose not to include lat/long be the dead center of the county. Researchers seeking more specific data would easily be able to throw out all of those records but those people who only need to the county level would still have them. It would be a systematized way of furthering obscuring data for those folks who want to put in data but not put in lat/longs, and would avoid having multiple different types of user created obfuscation.


Of our 63 requests, not a single one to my recollection was interested in county level data. Lat/Long used to be optional, but too many people were entering records without lat/long (or any description of location) just to fill in the map.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 10:16 pm 
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Joined: October 1st, 2011, 11:01 am
Posts: 1793
Location: huntsville
My decision about this post final. My Herpmapper and HERP account will soon be terminated. Here's my reply to the question via proboard pm: "Yes that is my decision. Keep the money. I don't trust the board or NAFHA anymore, so why ask that of those I distrust? As for my database accounts, since I obviously don't trust Don Becker more or less than the rest of you, he can do that at his discretion. I'll see you around on FHF as a person removed from NAFHA. Goodbye. ;)" This poll has ended.

Someone please remove me from Nafha southeast chapter membership. I'll come back to this forum in january. Hopefully a lurker with no
connection to nafha or any people, databases or events related to it. Goodbye ye trolls. :beer:


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 17th, 2014, 5:15 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:21 am
Posts: 3351
Location: Iowa
If you decision was made up already, why did you make a poll? So far, the majority of people don't think you should terminate your account, me included. Part of the goal of NAFHA is to educate. Part of education is constructive criticism. Why can't we work to help each other to record more accurate data where possible? If your reasoning is simply that you don't trust myself or others involved, then why?


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 17th, 2014, 5:57 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 am
Posts: 5722
Location: Los Angeles County
Sam, It's your choice.

I would like to talk to you about it, over the phone.

For HERP I would prefer you allow us to fill in you Accuracy field 5 miles or whatever your ave distance is. This will eliminate your records from requests that need it to be correct, but allows your records to be used for other requests and counts.

Such as DOR counts, Drought Counts, Method Counts, etc. That said these items are not as important as location.

Anyway, I think I can help, maybe.

Fundad


Normal Years 4,971 Snakes 1,055 Young Recorded. Aug 2010- july 2012
Drought Years 2,888 Snakes 680 Young Recorded. Aug 2012- July 2014
LA, SD, Riv, SB, and Orange Counties.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 17th, 2014, 6:19 am 
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Joined: November 3rd, 2012, 6:00 pm
Posts: 2282
Location: Gainesville, FL
Quote:
Of our 63 requests, not a single one to my recollection was interested in county level data.


Yes, but because county level data is public, those seeking it would not put in a request. I bet there are way more than 63 people that use HERP as it is and thus data only to the county would be helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 17th, 2014, 7:03 am 
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Location: Iowa
We have also released data to people who said that the majority of it was not useful because it didn't included location information other than the county the record was from.


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 17th, 2014, 8:59 am 
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Joined: November 3rd, 2012, 6:00 pm
Posts: 2282
Location: Gainesville, FL
I updated my HERP default setting to be accurate within 500m. I used GE measurement tool to measure across some of the parks I visit, and a 500m radius covers them very well. I'll just have to remember to narrow it down when I know I can be more accurate (e.g. my boards). 500m seems rather large to me, but I'd rather give a larger estimate of error than a smaller one.

I don't know that I'll go back and revise everything. It's hard to remember that level of detail from even a few months ago. Many of my records are probably pretty close, within 100m. I can't uniformly apply the 100m to past records, and wouldn't want to either. Some things I know are much more accurate and others I know are much less accurate (esp. historical entries).


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 17th, 2014, 12:10 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Posts: 4730
Location: "Buy My Books"-land
Wow...Sam, I can't believe how you've turned a simple mapping project like HERP into a disaster soap opera. If you can't contribute accurate data to make a difference, then go ahead and remove all your data. I'm sorry you've taken all the helpful suggestions as criticism. It wasn't meant that way. But, I'm not going to plead with you to not jump ship...you have to do what you want, but just remember, if you decide to get active again and do it right, all those entries will have to be re-done. I wouldn't want to do that... :o Oh, and I understand that you might have trouble reading maps or finding locations from the sky on google earth. If that is the problem, please ask someone to explain it to you, walk you thru it, and help you get the hang of it. Seriously.

This reminds me of Bellanger's little hissy-fit a few years ago when he removed 3,000 records because a few morons were "picking" on his records...UNBELIEVABLE!
This is not a soap opera, it's a database where we try to make a difference. That's all, and people are here to help with problems. :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 17th, 2014, 2:39 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:13 pm
Posts: 2340
Location: Minnesota
This should go to the HERP Board for official discussion and decision.

-Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
PostPosted: December 17th, 2014, 2:48 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
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Location: "Buy My Books"-land
I think it's already there, isn't it? I think I commented on it...


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