Looking closer, I see that the site where you observed that purple toadflax falls just outside of the official DOC boundary for the Karamea Ecological District, since it does not include the non-terrestrial parts of that estuary, and it looks like it’s changed shape a bit since when the region map was made (that’s one interpretation, at least). The rest of Karamea is all in it though.
These were the official shape files we got from DOC and uploaded to iNat NZ. I’m a bit reluctant to alter them. Does it matter much?
The observation is in the middle of Karamea, in my front yard. My camera does not have GPS, so when I upload a photo I choose “Karamea, West Coast, New Zealand” from the location search box, the actual pinned location is about 100m from my house.
It matters to me because I have started using the iNAT observation widget to see observations for my area. The only option I have for any observations that were located at “Karamea, West Coast, New Zealand” is “South Island” or something equally vast, which seems a bit silly.
It strikes me that any observations made at a river mouth or in an estuary should be able to be located in the local ecological district search? Including Karamea?
If I search https://inaturalist.nz/observations?place_id=80815 (New Zealand marine) and look for Linaria purpurea there it is, along with lots of other observations. I haven’t checked them all, but the ones I did look at include the general city/town area as well as New Zealand Marine.
It occurred to me, would it be simpler to change all the observations made by selecting “Karamea, West Coast, New Zealand” to “Karamea, New Zealand” which does have a pinned location up the river somewhere? Is this possible, or maybe this issue is more widespread?
Thanks for that clarification. Those location names you get from the search are coming directly from Google Maps. I’m not sure why “Karamea, New Zealand” and “Karamea, West Coast, New Zealand” are returned options by Google. The same thing happens on the Google Maps website.
Regardless, it’s certainly a good idea to then manually drag the pin on the map to where your observation was. When I look at your purple toadflax observation, it’s on the edge of the estuary with an accuracy circle of 1.6 km (I’m guessing you live a ways outside the town centre). More accurate locations are more useful.
I agree with you that it would make sense for observations at estuary mouths (and near shore marine observations) to be included in DOC ecological districts. That would be a question for DOC though as iNat is using their official shape files. If I remember I’ll raise that next time I’m talking with an appropriate data person in DOC.
More generally, though, note that there are other ways to add locations to photos (“geotag”). Neither of my cameras has a GPS in it, but my phone does, and I also have a GPS unit. My usual workflow is to have my GPS running throughout a trip (either my GPS unit or the Cyclemeter GPS app on my iPhone for shorter and less important trips). As long as the clock in my camera is set right, I can then automatically geotag all my photos with the GPS track when I get back to my computer. I can then upload all my photos to iNat with their exact locations (which the iNat uploader automatically grabs from the photo files).
Tony Iwane has made a nice tutorial on how this is done, at https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/geotagging-photos/66. He uses Adobe Lightroom for it, which is not free. I use Darktable, which is free. There are quite a few other apps out there that also geotag photos using GPS tracks.
I’m happy to give more details on that if you want to give it a go.
Wow, thanks for the info. I’ll look into getting a GPS unit and try it out. Very happy with my camera, so there’s no way I’m going to ditch that one! I’m using iNAT primarily as a learning tool, it’s amazing for that (for me at least). So I’ve not been too concerned with exact geolocation.
Most people, it occurs to me, use Facebook groups. It’s more about who’s got the nicest photo and the usual social media stuff.
It looks like you are using the Panasonic DMC-FZ1000. The Panasonic app for your mobile phone can be set to capture GPS data during a trip and which can then be sent via the wireless connection and embedded in the image metadata on the camera - which iNat can then extracts automatically when you upload photos.
Having said that I used to have the same camera and this process ran down my phone battery quite rapidly. I use the same process on my Nikon Z7 and the Nikon Snapbridge app - and that works seamlessly without draining my batteries on either the phone or the camera, so I’m not sure why the difference.
The GPS locations would be degraded but probably not absent. I believe phones usually use a combination of a built-in, but limited GPS receiver AND the mobile network to pinpoint localities (Assisted GPS). The built-in GPS receiver will operate regardless of network coverage - just nowhere near as accurate.
This has not appeared in the Karamea ecological district, nor the North West Nelson ecological district, which I still think is pretty silly. So if I use GPS I will still not end up with observations returned by the widget.
The iNAT observation widget requires a place ID, it does not appear to have the possibility to put in Lat and Long? Or maybe you can, please correct me if that’s wrong.
It strikes me that anything anyone observes on the beach or in the estuary will not be captured by the widget, that really needs to be fixed I think.
For interest the widget does support Lat and Long, this script is valid and returns observations in a 20km radius: …/observations.widget?layout=large&limit=5&order=desc&lat=-41.283333&lng=172.1&radius=20’
But this is not much good for looking at regional West Coast observations, New Zealand is long and thin and a large radius will just return everything. I would prefer to use the existing ecological districts if possible.
I had just worked this out independently, and tested it, came back here to say that this worked!
I put in observations.widget?layout=large&limit=10&order=desc&nelat=-40.831048&nelng=172.276462&swlat=-41.542460&swlng=171.901903’ and the widget correctly puts in the observations for the bounding box that includes all estuary and coastal observations. It’s great because I can define any area I want up and down the coast and as far inland as I want, which is more meaningful to me than the DOC ecological districts. Very cool.