I’ve been visiting a place in Europe for a few weeks - and someone who saw a rare flower I posted asked me to add my observations in that region to a site called “observation.org” and not inaturalist. He said scientists employed at the local natural history museum use observation.org to keep track of conservation efforts, and that it’s also the data used by the local government.
Initially I dismissed the idea and thought what’s the point and why can’t they just use the inaturalist data instead of some obscure website. But then I checked if anyone is actually using that site and they claim 151 people added 4360 observations of 1442 species in the last 7 days in Salzburg. Compared to 60 people, 432 observations (a large chunk by me) and 252 species on inaturalist. So for some reason it actually is used a lot more than inaturalist in that particular region.
Anyway, now I’m torn again, it would be a lot of work adding a few 100 observations to a slow and buggy website (makes me realize how spoiled I am by inaturalist), but it does seem to be used a lot and somehow is the “official” place to share observations with local scientists in Salzburg (interestingly enough just there and not in any other states in Austria).
Just wondering if anyone else is double-posting their observations to different sites for some reason? And whether it seems like a good idea or not?
Probably not the biggest deal in the world but this other platform also exports its observation data to GBIF so if you upload to both, the observations would presumably be double counted there.
Yeah, I wouldn’t double post (both iNat and observation.org go to GBIF). Your data from iNat are perfectly accessible. If the researchers know how to use observation.org, they certainly know how to use iNat and GBIF as well - if they aren’t using them, that’s on them imo. I get frustrated with the “use our platform or else” mentality that some companies/organizations take (not sure that’s the case here, just a general complaint to the universe!)
observation.org does allow non-photo and non-species observations (like just habitat observations and such), I believe, so it could be useful in that context if it’s something you’re interested in.
Overall, I would think it’s more valuable to use iNat, save the time, and use that time to make more observations/some other valuable activity. If you would find uploading the observations to observation.org personally more rewarding though, go for it.
i don’t think double counting is a worry. if i were doing research, i’d do a fair bit of deduping by time/place and by indiv to control for various biases. consider e.g. school groups or even bird walks where multiple folks post the same individual/time/place.
It think this will grow as a problem, as many regional and even national sites are rarely well made UI/UX-wise, just take a look at the Norwegian Artsobservasjoner - it is painfully outdated, and I only use it in “emergencies”.
It appears that many are unable to understand the scope and goal of our work - it is for the life of our planet, not for personal agendas or career goals. I have suggested for ages that they update from a 1990s UI to current best practices, and strongly advised them to look into iNat. Just utter silence, and no change.
I find iNat the leader in so many ways, and the natural path is not to spend lots of money on locally developed sites, but instead focus on content, and let iNat be the global interface to accessing those data.
I also think that these regional sites more and more will realize that the go-to place is iNat, as more and more data is uploaded there and not their regional sites.
I for one will only upload my observations on iNat and my personal blog.
observation.org is not so bad in terms of UI/UX - there are worse. There e.g. is also https://www.naturbeobachtung.at which is operated by the Naturschutzbund (main office in Salzburg). Whenever I contribute my volunteer time to projects I always check how open the project is. For example, I don’t want to feed a company with my data which then makes money out of it and does not share it. So I check: can the data be accessed and used? Is the technology build on open source software so that others could change/fix it and also use it for different purposes?
For iNat both is true. I think also observation.org claims to be open source but I have not found the source code of their platform so far. naturbeobachtung.at is not open. So I’m reluctant to contribute there even if it is run by a environmental NGO. For the same reason I would also never contribute data to Google Maps but only to OpenStreetMap.
It used to be the same here in Sweden, with artfakta.se being the preferred (but very clunky) platform for conservationists here, but ever since iNat got a Swedish version, all RG observations from here show up on their maps too.
Nowadays it is very very closed. Read the “Gebruikersvoorwaarden” and you see it is far from open.
old.observation.org is not that bad but i always use the app, not the website.
The new website is up to date with userinterface but works 3 times slower.
Anyway, now I’m torn again, it would be a lot of work adding a few 100 observations to a slow and buggy website (makes me realize how spoiled I am by inaturalist), but it does seem to be used a lot
There is a subsite, waarneming.nl that only included the Netherlands and they have 85.000 observations in a day… The international part is not that popular.
If you decide to copy your observations take a look at
Vetgedrukte tekst with this link: https://old.observation.org/import/import_inaturalist.php
Time is not imported and - in my opinion - also photo’s, but maybe this is related to a setting somewhere… I think in iNaturalist.
[quote=“elias105, post:1, topic:32617”]
it would be a lot of work adding a few 100 observations to a slow and buggy website (makes me realize how spoiled I am by inaturalist),
[/quote] I add observations without media to this slow and buggy website to save time… but I use the app. If you have a lot of photo’s you are spoiled by the efficient data entry of iNaturalist webversion… ;-)
Of course local site (and it was started as local, Netherlands and now more for Europe) would have more observations than iNat, for noww or forever I can’t say, but there’s no reason to spend time on duplicating your observations that go to GBIF and even if they don’t, iNat is a good replacement for localized websites, not going with a mainstream view on where to post from Salzburg can one day push scientists from there to discover this platform.
I somehow came across the app of observation.org, yesterday.
And asked me a similar question, it looked as if there would be challenges like in SEEK, and I thought, maybe I I could get some new inspiration and use it a bit/look at the challenges.
But, after doing an account the only challenge that I could see, was finished since months.
And I decided, that it really is better to concentrate on Inat, as I love it. :)
So I deleted that app of observation.org.
Just do what feels right for yourself. :)
Ah, yes. - I once looked at that…
Thanks for reminding me at the bingo.
As I am mainly online via mobile, it was a bit complicated.
I think it’s important not to look down on these platforms. On observations.org and their local versions, e.g observations.be and waarneming.nl, ID validation is provided by experts with regional knowledge. The data is also a bit different from iNaturalist so it has its advantages. I would not export all of my observations but I certainly will export those of particular interest.
There are three apps and you probably found ObsIdentify, a remake of Seek. You have to choose ‘‘The Netherlands’’ or Belgium as country. In those countries you probably will find challenges. And I have to admit that ObsIdentify looks great. For data entry I use the app for Android, Obsmapp.
Correction, it seems the country is related to your GPS position, so you cannot fake it. You have to travel if you don’t have challenges…
Observation & GBIF https://www.gbif.org/dataset/8a863029-f435-446a-821e-275f4f641165
There is nothing wrong with posting your observation on observation.org or elsewhere. If you want to post in both places, do it! However, as pointed about above, it should not be necessary – researchers should be able to find the observations in both places.
There is a duplicating of data in GBIF as was mentioned, so there’s no real reason to use both and means you have to change licenses here to avoid that.
There’s duplicating in GBIF, true, but I don’t think licensing is a problem.
Note: I do not recommend posting photos in two places. But people can if they want to.
Strict licensing would stop iNat records going there, I don’t know how that website works with that problem though.
I didn’t even think about finding a way to prevent double posting, but I can actually prevent them from sharing observations (GBIF I assume):
Anyway, thanks to some very insightful replies here I made up my mind and will keep posting to inat only. (And also because I’m too lazy really, I’m already up late just getting my observations posted to inat every day… )