I’d like to be able to search for certain taxa within particular elevation ranges, e.g., “Pinaceae in California above 6000ft” or “Tangara in Peru 500-1000m.” Is there already an easy way to do this? And if not, would it be easy to implement?
Adding elevation data to observations has been discussed in the past, and it’s unlikely we’ll be implementing it. https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/altitude-on-observations/1476
I would probably download a CSV of data (eg Pinaceae in California) and use a separate program to see which ones are above a certain elevation, going by coordinates and topographical maps. Even then, you’d have to take into account the accuracy of each location, which could throw things off quite a bit.
At my previous job, I worked quite a lot with maps – and I can tell you that the accuracy of altitude measurements can vary wildly, even on maps generated by professional government surveyors. Most phones and cameras would, I imagine, pull altitude info from the altitude corresponding to the GPS coordinates of a published map.
If you’re only looking for a very general altitude, this might not be an issue.
If there is a specific, smallish number of species you want to look at where altitude really matters, it may be worth considering getting a number of interested people to add “Altitude” tags to the relevant Observations.
yep. the only really accurate elevation data is high resolution LIDAR Digital Elevation Model data which we are lucky to have where I live but most places do not, and it’s a huge dataset and would be extremely intensive on the server to store and calculate, i think. And that’s just for the few areas it is available.
I’m going to close this request, as it’s not something we’ll be implementing. Feel free to start a convo in General if you want to talk elevation data.