I continually see observations submitted especially via the phone apps with unnecessarily large (in)accuracy circles around their locations. On the order of 100s of meters or more.
Many users may not be aware
- that these uncertainty values exist,
- how large uncertainty values limit the usefulness of their observations for many kinds of research and applications, and
- how to fix them either during observation activities or after the fact.
Personally I rarely use the phone apps, but I do know that smartphones pretty much universally have GPS chipsets onboard, and when active can narrow down observations to the nearest 5-10 meters in most situations. The uncertainty values of 100s of meters are probably coming from cell-tower triangulation only, with GPS off.
So I’m hoping that those more familiar / experienced with the apps and smartphones will chime in here with their advice on how to ensure the fewest and smallest location errors for observations. And on some of the related pitfalls like sketchy cell signals, turning autosync on or off in the app, uploading later from different locations, etc.
Of course it is understood that for some users in some locations, they may not want their whereabouts or observations pinpointed to GPS accuracy, and that is fine.
But for those who would like to ensure the most accurate possible locations for their observations, here is a place to discuss how.
Depending on where the discussion goes, it may be worth converting this to a Tutorial/Wiki topic - moderators feel free if and when that seems appropriate.