I need to make up labels for a large number of leps I collected during a road trip in northern DRC. Since I was traveling with a team and capitalizing on our short rest stops / motorbike breakdowns, I wasn't able to label each capture with specific GPS coordinates... I mean, I could have taken the time to do that, but that would have meant missing out on a lot of very interesting specimens.
Anyways, I know they were collected along the road between Gwane and Bangu, Bas-Uele. What is the proper way to put this info on a label?
GPS coordinates could be very helpful if in 100 years the country’s name or cities names would change which in Africa did in past quite often. You could not include seconds in GPS , so the location will be known in larger area.
GPS coordinates could be very helpful if in 100 years the country’s name or cities names would change which in Africa did in past quite often. You could not include seconds in GPS , so the location will be know in larger area.
I agree with this sentiment. But an abbreviated set of coordinates still maps to a precise dot in a computer. I usually add the abbreviation "approx-" to such labels as in:
Thanks all! Some approximative GPS coordinates are needed in this case. Between Gwane and Bangu, as short as 10 years ago, there were a number of other villages. Sadly, due to rebel activity/war they've all disappeared. Bangu itself is down to less than 50 people.
I agree with the earlier responses, but could offer one option. I've never done this before, but would it be possible to create a data string that reads something like [road between XX° xx' and YY° yy'] using the coordinates for Gwane and Bangu as the end-points? This would create GPS readings not reliant on future names, while enclosing the collecting area between two "plottable" points on a map.
Granted - the data would be cumbersome on a label, but scientific accuracy should preside over aesthetics anyway...
Tom, I have not tried this myself, but you should be able to get exact coordinates for every specimen with a little effort, using a smartphone and switching on the Global Positioning Systems - GPS, GLONASS, or whatever you may have available in Congo. Supposedly satellite GPS work directly with your phone, so even if there is no mobile phone networks in the area in question, you should be able to obtain GPS coordinates.
The idea here is what you call "Geotagging". Geotagging is used by some professional photographers who want to shoot without worries and bother about GPS location at a later point, in post handling. Every time you take a picture with your phone camera, your phone will include in its metadata (e.g. aperture, iso, format, resolution, etc), coordinates of where the picture was taken. Obviously the GPS and settings on your phone need to be set correctly.
Now, you collect a specimen and before wrapping it up (now that you have fresh supplies of glassine paper ), you snap a picture of the specimen and you will then have precise GPS metadata, on the reference picture of your specimen. If you collect more specimens of the same species, on the same spot or anywhere else, you may want to pre-mark a bunch of envelopes, as to avoid mix up of, say 20, "identical" Eurema specimens. Of course this will slow you down a bit, as compared to just catch and pack, but you will have precise data in exchange for each specimen.
I believe there is free software to which you can download the pictures and extract the GPS metadata from, maybe even some smart phone apps? I believe you can even load the pictures into Google maps on your PC, to have an interactive map of your collections.
I read in news before about military personel that posted pictures from combat zones, to their social media, and enemies were able to extract geotags from these pictures and could since use it to plan attack on their enemies, so there can be deep implications to geotagging photos if one use them in public domains. I guess that would not be a concern for you though....
Post by exoticimports on Oct 29, 2019 12:56:41 GMT
Just a note: in my experience GPS doesn’t penetrate heavy canopy.
Note also, in some areas governments (notably USA and Russia) like to experiment with skewing GPS signals. I’d have to search to see if it’s been observed in Congo or not, but it isn’t usually done in mother country.
exoticimports I use a dedicated GPS unit with antennae that so far hasn't failed me in the forest here. The GPS has also been very accurate. DRC is nearly at the bottom of every development index that I've seen, so I doubt they'd have GPS scrambling capabilities out in the bush where I was. (In fact this area I visited had no cellphone signal, no radio, no electricity, etc.)
I also use the geographic coordinates given by my phone. Another possibility, if by collecting along a road or a track and we do not know the name of the locality, back home or at the hotel, I go to Google Earth, search the exact location of the collecting what gives me and the geographical coordinates (to the nearest second) and the altitude. Data that I insert in the label.
It is also certain that the metadata provided by the camera or the cellular phone is useful. That's why I always do at least one photo of the biotope.
In this regard, a note about the storage of photos (and about the localization of a collecting). In the past, I used Google's Picasa system which was very convenient because you could place a marker at the exact location of a photo or capture (by getting the exact altitude). Google has unfortunately closed Picasa to replace it with a system (Google Photos) that is better suited to the demand of the general public (holiday photos, family photos). You can not geotag precisely the photo unless the place name is in Google Earth, which is far from always the case since, most often, we will look for insects and butterflies where people do not go and where there is no agglomeration recognized or known by Google...
With the photo below of a Doxocopa clothilda, we have an example of the regression of the Google Photos system compared to the old Picasa software. The geolocation indicates the west of the village of Puerto Narino while the photo was made on a forest path located east of the village. With Picasa, I could place the marker in the exact place. With Google Photos, I am obliged to comply with what the software imposes on me. Nevertheless, as already said, in Google Earth, I can find the precise place and its geographical coordinates.
On Google Earth, the exact location of the Doxocopa clothilda picture (including geographical coordinates and elevation):