Sharing obscured locations with MBP

Short

Please consider adding Maryland observations with obscured locations to the project "MBP Sensitive" - https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/mbp-sensitive. Maryland Biodiversity Project (MBP) is a biodiversity-focused non-profit that handles sensitive data with great care. We archive biodiversity data for posterity and share with appropriate stakeholders in the science and conservation community. The MBP web site only shows record details at the USGS quad level by default and only to county level for vulnerable species.

To share your coordinates, please complete the following easy steps: Go to the "MBP Sensitive" project and then "Your Membership". Under Settings, there's the item "Do you want to make your private/obscured observation coordinates visible to the project curators?" Please click "Yes, no matter who adds the observation to the project." Then anytime anyone adds something there, we can see the coordinates and map to the right county/quad (and have for research/conservation/posterity).

Details

iNaturalist supports at least two forms of geoprivacy. Record-level geoprivacy allows individuals to mark records as “obscured” or “private”. To protect sensitive species, iNaturalist also marks all records of certain taxa (i.e., endangered, S-ranked, vulnerable) with “obscured” geoprivacy via a “taxon_geoprivacy” field.

We have to go a bit technical for this paragraph. When records are obscured - whether at the record level or the taxon level - our MBP data ingest tool cannot see the precise locations. Based on our testing, the “obscured” coordinates can place the location outside of the actual quad, county, or even state. The state can be confirmed elsewhere, so our current approach is to ingest the record and media and map them at the state-level only with county and quad not populated.

So what can we do?

  • First, if/when comfortable with all details, including species / site sensitivity, you can remove the record-level geoprivacy and add records as “open”. This option is not available for taxon-level geoprivacy.
  • Add records to the MBP Sensitive project and grant curators permission to see the coordinates -
    https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/mbp-sensitive

Why two projects?

It came down to deciding whether we wanted to manually add every record or just have to add the sensitive records. Our main project is a collection project and automatically collects all MD records in iNaturalist (with some other basic rules). Unfortunately, the trade-off is that curators/managers of that project cannot see obscured coordinates. MBP Sensitive is a “traditional” project, which does allow observers to share coordinates with our curators. As noted above, MBP will archive any obscured coordinates for posterity and share with appropriate stakeholders in the science and conservation community. Our web site only shows record details at the USGS quad level by default and only to county level for vulnerable species.

Lähettänyt billhubick billhubick, 30. kesäkuuta 2020 14:35

Kommentit

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Thanks for doing this. It might take some practice to get the hang of it.

Lähettänyt jrcagle 4 kuukautta sitten (Lippu)
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Our pleasure! Thanks for supporting. Please feel free to ask questions here or tag me in an observation to discuss.

Lähettänyt billhubick 4 kuukautta sitten (Lippu)
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To share your coordinates, please complete the following easy steps: Go to the "MBP Sensitive" project and then "Your Membership". Under Settings, there's the item "Do you want to make your private/obscured observation coordinates visible to the project curators?" Please click "Yes, no matter who adds the observation to the project." Then anytime anyone adds something there, we can see the coordinates and map to the right county/quad (and have for research/conservation/posterity).

Lähettänyt billhubick 3 kuukautta sitten (Lippu)
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Here's another option available to people, if comfortable. First, some context - For me to make MBP ingest of obscured coordinates work, I had to set up special authentication between MBP and iNaturalist. (Most people won't want to delve into the gory details, but they are here - https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/api+reference.) Anyway, when the script is run, it has to run as a specific person with an iNaturalist account, so that's me. I run the script as me (iNat user billhubick, authenticated) and then iNaturalist shows me what I can see. Because I am a curator of MBP Sensitive, we can ingest obscured coordinates via the API.

If comfortable with it, you can share your coordinates with me one time and all your records should come in with coordinates and counting at the county and quad level without extra work.

Here's how to set it up:

First, I think you have to follow my user name to see my name in the next step - go to https://www.inaturalist.org/people/billhubick and click "follow billhubick" next to my name.

Then go to Account Settings via the menu in the top-right of any page. On the far right, there's a heading called "Your Relationships". Under it, click "Manage your relationships". Search for my username "billhubick" and click enter. Then by my name select the box for "Trust with hidden coordinates".

That's it. No worries if not comfortable with that option, but it's a big enough time saver I thought it's worth offering! Also, still worthwhile to add to MBP Sensitive. Of course we promise to only use obscured data for valid science/conservation purposes.

Lähettänyt billhubick 14 päivää sitten (Lippu)

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