I have been uploading observations for a few years, and only recently did I learn about the “accuracy” field. A seasoned user pointed out that my observations lacked this field, and that it is actually quite important to include this piece of information. From other posts on the forum I can see that not knowing about this field is actually quite common (see e.g. here and instructions on bulk updating to correct this here). I think that this issue is especially relevant to users whose photos are already geotagged, so they will not be drawing any circles on the map and they will simply not see any numbers in that Acc box, or see any need to fiddle with it.
How do these people currently learn about and add info to the accuracy field? As far as I can tell, you have to click on the location field so that the map pops up (which these users will not do very often as they think their photos are already geotagged). Underneath this map there are multiple fields, one of them reading “Acc (m)”. There is no explanation or indication that this information is useful/important, and from forum posts I think it is clear that this current workflow makes many people overlook (the importance of) this field.
My suggestion is: let’s make the (lack of) accuracy data more obvious - while not too intrusive nor required - for users uploading photos through the web interface.
I am attaching some options for this that could be considered.
OPTION 1: add an indication in each observation box to allude to the (absence of) accuracy data. I am attaching some samples below. In this example, there is an ACC text at the right top of each observation box to indicate whether or not accuracy data are available. Most importantly, when the user hovers over this text, a message is shown what that means and the user can click it to learn more (redirect to a page that describes what this is, why it is important, and how to deal with lacking accuracy data). If the observation already has accuracy data, that icon turns green.
Alternative scenarios are to only show this icon if accuracy data are missing (so hide if present), and of course exact location and style are to be fully figured out.
OPTION 2: add a box to set accuracy data without having to open the map
This will make it more obvious to users that this exists, and a small text blurb can explain it a bit more right away. In this sample I am only showing it in the box on the left, as not to make the regular boxes too big, although those might also be an option.
OPTION 3: add an alert on the page if accuracy data are missing
This is a simple one: it adds a message e.g. at the top or bottom of the page, if one or more observations has accuracy data missing. The drawback is that you don’t easily see which one (perhaps add a button?) and it makes the page a bit less clean.
OPTION 4: add more info in the map popup
Alternatively, some additional warnings + info links can be added to the popup map. The ? is a link to learn more, and by adding text to warn people that this is missing (without requiring it when submitting the page) more attention is drawn to this.
That is it. I think any of these options would be an improvement over the current system and would help people like me catch this shortcoming in their uploads much, much earlier. I personally prefer option 1, which I think is not very intrusive and yet makes it very clear whether or not this is missing. I would love to hear what other people think.