((webpage is in process))

Preview on GeoLocate and georeferencing specimens

We will be using bryophyte portal and lichen portal to access the records in our database in order to georeference the specimens.

This flash tutorial from Symbiota provides a general description of how to use the georeferencing tools within the portals. The tutorial describes how to generally use batch georeferencing and data editing on the portal sites along with the GeoLocate Tool.

After creating an account on the corresponding portals and logging in you can now edit specimen records and start the georeferencing process.


Georeferencing and Data Editing Process

1. Under the “Specimen Management” tab, select the collection that you are to be georeferencing (eg. FLAS, FTU, FTG, etc., different collections will appear depending on the project you have been assigned to work on).

2. After selecting a collection (we are using the University of Central Florida Herbarium (FTU) collection in this example), the Data Editor Control Panel displays options for editing records. For georeferencing we will be using the “Edit Existing Occurrence Records” and the “Batch Georeference Specimens” options. Data Editor Control Panel


How to Search and Edit Records for GeoLocate use

The first step to georeferencing records is to have understandable and accurate data for the GeoLocate Tool to read and infer the locality. Sometimes there are misspelling or formatting issues when a specimen is digitized, we have to fix these issues first so that we can get accurate data to be georeferenced. Use the guide on editing records for a general understanding on editing.

1. On “Batch Georeferencing Tools” you can start searching for records to be edited and geolocated. Searching by county and going down the list is an easier way of keeping track of where you or your coworkers left off and it helps with finding the localities of several specimens since they are collected within one region that you can quickly become familiarized with.

Query Form



Advanced Search using Batch Georeference Tools

Alternative search options appear when the green plus button next to county. You are now able to search by family/genus and can access previously georeferenced records. Normally the Query Form outputs records that have yet to be georeferenced.

1. To see records that have already been georeferenced, check the “Including previously georeferenced records” box. And complete the search by completing any other the other fields such as County, and click “Generate List.”

Advanced Search 1-1

2. Some records do not show up in the return count in Batch Georeference Tools. This a result of the way the tool searches for records as Batch Georeferencing Tools searches only for the Locality term. If there is nothing entered in the locality term it does not show up in the return counts. If label data does not have a locality, enter [N/A] in the locality field.

3. As you are going through the list of counties use the Statistics box and the return counts to compare any discrepancies.

Advanced Search 3-2



Editing records on “Batch Georeference Tools” page 

1. To edit a record on “Batch Georeferencing Tools”  first highlight a record or set then press the pencil icon to open the “Occurrence Data Editor” page in a new window.

GeoLocate Icons 3

2. In the new window of the “Occurrence Data Editor” page, you can edit misspellings and formatting errors.

Occurrence Data Editor 1

3. Take this specimen for example. There is a misspelling in locality field, we can infer that  what is meant is “corner” but always check with the label as well.


GeoLocate 12

GeoLocate 13

4. After making the edits, making sure there are now extra spaces or everything is transcribed accurately from the label onto the record data, save your edits. The button is located at the bottom of the screen.

GeoLocate 16

5. You can also enter Section Township Range and verbatim coordinates if they are provided in the label data. Press the Tools option to open hidden fields for editing.

Tools STR verbatim coordinates 1

6. After making sure that everything is entered correctly from the label data and the edits are saved, you can now start georeferencing using GeoLocate.




How to use GeoLocate tool

Once all record data is entered correctly and with out any mistakes, the georeferencing process can begin. We can select multiple batches or sets of records that use the same locality description (even though though they might be different samples or species)  to make the process quicker.

1. While on the Batch Georeferencing Tools page, in the Return Count, highlight a set of specimens by clicking on it. You can select multiple records by holding the “Ctrl” or “Shift” button. Once highlighted, press the GeoLocate Tool button to open a new window of the GeoLocate tool.

GeoLocate Tool Selecting Multiple Specimens 1


2. In the new window of the GeoLocate tool, we will be using the different maps provided to confirm the locality given in the description. We will also be using the tool to place a marker on the approximate spot where the specimen was collected with an uncertainty radius and error polygon if needed.

GeoLocate Tool Use 2


3. To measure a distance, click the measure tool and then click on the map



If the uncertainty radius is unknown/undefined, leave it blank. If the uncertainty radius is a specific point which does not need a uncertainty radius (but may have an error polygon) put zero for the uncertainty.