Journal archives for November 2014

06 November, 2014

Help Make Observations Research Grade

As some of you may have noticed, the mothership for iNaturalist Vermont will hit 1 million observations sometime this week. While this is definitely a cool milestone, here at the Vermont Atlas of Life we like to keep a closer watch on the number of Research Quality observations. These are a subset that have locations, dates, photos, and IDs corroborated by the naturalist community that can be harvested by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, BISON and other science databases.

The subset of research grade observations has usually comprised just over half of all observations on iNaturalist. We have 11,101 observations (and growing!) that have photos but have not yet become research grade.

Can you help us close the gap by putting your ID skills to task? Here's a link to the iNaturalist Vermont observations that need your help.

Let's help iNaturalist hit a half million research grade observations and iNaturalist Vermont become even better. With darkness arriving early, its a perfect time of year to be a virtual naturalist!

Posted on 06 November, 2014 21:03 by kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 7 comments | Leave a comment

10 November, 2014

New Mapping System for iNaturalist

iNaturalist just passed the one million observations mark, but what does one million observations look like? To find out, they marked the occasion by launching a new series of interactive maps that, for the first time, allow all of these observations to be visualized together (

When you’re zoomed out, the maps summarize the observations as a grid. The darker the grid cell, the more observations it contains. All observations not flagged as captive or as having location issues are mapped. Observations with geoprivacy set to obscured are only included at coarse zoom levels.

At very fine zoom levels, the grid cells are replaced by individual, clickable observations. The colors indicate the branch of the tree of life that each observation represents. White borders indicate ‘research quality’ observations.

The software driving them was prepared by our collaborators at Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals earlier this year. But it took the support of their new home at the California Academy of Sciences, including lots of hard work by Patrick Leary and iNat’s new beefed-up backend to share them with everyone.

Check out the outline of Vermont painted by all or our observations from iNaturalist Vermont, a project of the Vermont Atlas of Life.

Or zoom in closer and see the observation-filled Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park.

Posted on 10 November, 2014 13:21 by kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 2 comments | Leave a comment

12 November, 2014

Vote for the October Photo-observation of the Month

Thanks to September winners Susan and Dean Greenberg for choosing a slate of awesome photo-observations for us to vote on. One of these images will be crowned the October winner. Please comment indicating the number of your favorite shot and be sure to get your photo-observations entered this month for a chance to be the November winner!

  1. - Tri-colored Bumble Bee (Bombus ternarius)
  2. - Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum)
  3. - Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis)
  4. - American Golden-Plover (Pluvialis dominica)
  5. - Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)
  6. - Turkey tail mushroom (Trametes versicolor)
  7. - Coyote (Canis latrans)
Posted on 12 November, 2014 21:33 by kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 10 comments | Leave a comment