New Collection Project is trickier than I thought

This week I found out that my new Collection Projects were not including all of my observations. After posting a support request, @tiwane helped me to understand what was happening. Long story short, if the GPS location of an observation has an accuracy that extends outside of the location, it is not included. For example, if the accuracy is 250m and that circle extends, even partially, outside of the project location borders, that observation would not be included. Tony explains it better in the FAQ.

One of the reasons why this might be happening is because of my camera app location accuracy. I knew that low cell signals would affect the coordinates and accuracy range, but some of my old observations were accurate only to 3km!

(Lakewood Estates Open Space) was missing over 300 observations (1/3 of all observations) because the GPS coordinates were outside of the boundary OR, more frequently, the accuracy of the observation extended outside of the boundary. I greatly expanded the border of the location and batch edited all of my observations near that location to an accuracy of 1m or 5m (took a little trial and error). The project is now within 4 observations of what it should be.

PRIOR to change:
568 observations, 363 species

AFTER change:
905 observations, 486 species

I also noticed this issue with my newest project, Overton Ridge Park. This one was easier solved by just broadening the location to a really wide area, but it is no longer clear what the coordinates of the actual location are.

I'm still watching and tweaking things, and obviously iNat is always making improvements.

Lähettänyt kimberlietx kimberlietx, 27. elokuuta 2018 00:28

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WOW. I wonder if this impacts Nature City Challenge entries/results at all.

Lähettänyt amzapp yli 3 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

@amzapp Only if the observation is right on the edge of the city boundary.

Lähettänyt kimberlietx yli 3 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

I have had the same trouble. How I get around it now is to always carry my handheld GPS when I am doing collecting observations. Once I get home, I load the GPX track into adobe Lightroom, and then load my photos. Lightroom uses the timestamp on the photos to geolocate them with the GPX track. Unfortunately, Lightroom isn't free, but I am already using it to process and archive my photos, so it works for me.

There may be free apps that do this as well (but you'll also need a handheld GPS).

Lähettänyt rowdius yli 3 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

@rowdius I wonder if having Google Maps open would use satellites instead of cell towers?

Lähettänyt kimberlietx yli 3 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

I have no idea. May depend on the brand of handset. I think my phone's camera app uses satellites, but takes a while to get a good fix. It would be worth trying for anything that needs a decent level of accuracy I think.

I may try it this morning and see if it does improve accuracy and fix time.

Lähettänyt rowdius yli 3 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

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