Uploading open source data?

#1

I know that some cities in the US have open source GIS data on the park system and in the case in Minneapolis, even boulevard tree data. Would uploading this data be helpful? Or possible? If I can get up-to-date data from the foresty department would it be okay to upload?

For example, there is only 1 observation for Alnus glutinosa, but in the data from 2012 there are 17 located in the city boulevards.

Love to hear thoughts and ideas on this

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#2

that’s an interesting idea, though, i think if you just added observations with locations and times but no photos or such, those probably would end up being casual grade anyway and would not show up in most people’s default views anyway. if you went to each of these locations and captured original observations, i think that would be more in the spirit of iNaturalist, but if these trees are planted, they might end up casual grade still.

if the forestry department did have photos that could be loaded, i think i would load them under the department’s iNaturalist account rather than your own, since you would want the department to be shown as the owner of the photos.

i think iNaturalist ultimately pushes its data over to GBIF, and GBIF aggregates data from iNaturalist and other sources. so i wonder if it might make more sense to see if the forestry department’s data can be pushed to an aggregator GBIF instead of iNaturalist?

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#3

Yeah, while there are good reasons to record planted plants on inaturalist at times, doing a huge slug of only planted trees might annoy some people. In the least, make sure you mark them all as not wild.

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#4

I say upload them. It can be handy when someone asks “what is this tree”… you jump into iNat and see that it has an observation for it… species found just like that!

If seedlings pop up in gardens, it can be handy to see what trees are nearby so you can make some educated guesses as to what they are.

Many good reasons to upload them!

But yes, as Charlie says, they have to be marked as cultivated.

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#5

actually, another interesting reason to upload them, is if they are chopped down in the future, and you get fungi growing up from the roots, knowing the tree type can be helpful in identifying the fungi!
(I have had this situation)

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#6

I know this can rub Charlie the wrong way (sorry!) but iNaturalist is primarily a community and social network, not a data repository (the data is a result of the community), and users should only upload observations of things they themselves have observed. So please don’t upload data like this to iNaturalist. Something like GBIF would be a better place for it.

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#7

hahaha… but nature observation of species is to inaturalist what photos are to flickr or posting your dinner or selfie is to instagram or bickering about politics is to twitter… if you don’t have that, there’s no point! On the other hand you don’t post 7000 of someone else’s photos to Flickr.

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#8

very good point!

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