Survey data provides information on the search for a particular species including whether or not the species was found (presence or absence). By completing a survey record, a user draws a polygon around the area that was searched and then describes the specifics of the survey (target species, amount of people in crew, paid vs. volunteer, weather conditions, etc.). Users Level 4 and higher will be able to enter survey data.
Creating a Survey
Prior to creating a new survey record, you have the option to create the associated observation records first, or you can have iMap automatically generate the associated observation records after you’ve created the survey record. Generated points will be at or near the centroid of your survey polygon; you may then edit the location of generated points by opening each observation record. If you’ve collected many data points during your survey and want to ensure that your survey polygon is inclusive of all these data points, you may want to create your observation records prior to creating a survey record as you will then be able to see all of your data points as you are drawing your polygon. If you’ve only collected a few data points, you could choose to have your observation records automatically generated by iMapInvasives after your survey record has been saved.
From the My iMapInvasives page, click on the Survey link under the Enter Data box.
To begin entering a survey record, you must first choose a Survey Type.
Options for survey type include Aquatic Simple, Aquatic Systematic, Cerceris Wasp, Host Tree, Terrestrial Simple, Terrestrial Systematic, and Linear. For a more detailed description of these survey types, click here.
Once you choose the survey type, the first step is to map the polygon (area surveyed for the target species). Refer to Creating a Polygon for instructions on how to draw the polygon representing your survey area.
Due to the complexity of the survey data entry form and the amount of time it may take you to completely fill in the form, we recommend you regularly save your work by clicking the “Update Main Survey” button at the bottom of the form.
Once a polygon has been drawn around the area surveyed, scroll down and begin filling in the information located in the Basic Survey Fields section. Required fields are highlighted in pink. If a required field has not been populated, the program will not allow the record to be saved. If you try to save before these are populated, the screen will be redirected to the missing fields, and they will be marked in red.
Begin by filling in the Lead Contact for the survey. If the name of the lead contact does not appear in the drop-down list, that means this person is not a registered user of iMapInvasives. To add their name to this list, send an email to your state administrator with the person’s name and email address and an account will be created.
If your survey is part of a Project, be sure to tag the survey under the correct name in the Project drop-down list. You must be a member of a project for a project to appear in the drop-down; the iMap administrator or your project leader can add you to a project. The benefit of including data in an iMap project allows similar data to be grouped together and to be queried for very easily at a later date. (If you’d like to add a project to iMap, please refer to the Projects section of this user manual.) In this example, I am including my survey as part of the data gathered by the Weed Warriors, a local volunteer group that works at keeping Presque Isle weed-free.
If your surveyed area has a Site Name, be sure to list it in the associated text box.
Fill in the Goal of your survey by choosing an option from the drop-down menu. Options available include: Find potential ED/RR locations, Find new infestations, Pre-treatment survey, Post-treatment survey, and Survey campground.
To fill in the Survey Start Date and Survey End Date fields, please choose the appropriate dates from the calendar that appears. For questions on how to utilize the calendar, please reference the Creating an Observation Step 5.
In the field titled Targeted Species, select all the species that were being surveyed for. Select species by looking up the scientific name of each in the provided pick list. In the Targeted Species Detected section, select the species from the pick list that were found from the completed survey. Again, select all that apply.
If none of the targeted species were found, do not leave this field blank. Select “**None Detected**” from the pick list.
Notice that the drop-down menus (e.g., Lead Contact, Survey Goal, etc.) only allow one option to be chosen whereas the fields that say “Select Some Options (e.g., Targeted Species, Targeted Species Detected, etc.) allow several options to be selected. Be sure to fill in as much information as necessary, relevant to the data collected from your survey.
At this point, if you have not already created observation records for data collected from your survey, you have the option to let iMap automatically generate one observation record for each of the detected target species you just listed. In this example, I listed Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) and Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose) as the two species that were detected from my survey.
By choosing “Automatically generate one observation for each targeted species detected seen above for me”, iMap will create two observation records, of which I will then need to access and enter any relevant data to each record. (To access these observation records once they’ve been created, you can go to the My iMapInvasives page, click on “View Table”, and your newly created records should be at the top of the list. Click on each record and fill in any appropriate information such as photographs, voucher information, and general comments about the observation.)
If you do not wish for iMap to automatically generate your observation records for you, you can also choose to enter these records now yourself. Click the radio button next to “Do NOT automatically generate observations for me” and click the hyperlink “Observation record” - you’ll be re-directed to the Observation Data Entry screen where you can begin entering your observation records. Once you have manually entered observations, list all the Observation ID numbers that were created as a result of this survey In the Resulting Obs IDs box (e.g., PA-3859U, PA-3691U, etc.).
The Advanced Survey fields are next on the data entry form. Since there are many optional fields available, the “Advanced Survey Fields” section is collapsed by default. Click the arrow at the left side of the advanced section to reveal these additional data categories which include “Who”, “What”, “When”, “Where”, “Weather”, and “Photos and Sketchmaps”. Click the arrow next to each category to expand the data fields. None of these fields are required to be filled in; however, they do provide an extra level of detail to your record, if needed. An example of the “What” section is shown in the following screenshot.
The fields at the bottom portion of the record under the “Survey Type:” heading are customized based on the survey type you initially chose when first starting the record. In this example, I chose Terrestrial Simple as my survey type, and the fields that appear are based on this survey option.
In the screenshot below, I’ve chosen “Understory/Ground Vegetation” in the field titled Focus Area of Survey, “Visual” and “Collecting” as my Sampling Methods, and “Open Naturalized Area (e.g. Grassland, Old Field) as the Landscape Type for the area where my survey was done. Be sure to fill in as much information as applicable as certain fields will allow you to choose more than one option. If a certain field does not have the option you are looking for, simply jot down the information in the Overall Survey Comments box.
Once you have completed your record, be sure to click the “Update Main Survey” button again at the bottom of the page to save your work. You can click the “View on Map” button to view your finished survey record on the full iMapInvasives map.
Editing a Survey
Surveys can be edited at any time by the person who created the record or the Lead contact, unless the record has been deleted by an iMap data administrator.
Viewing and Querying Surveys
Refer to Viewing and Querying Advanced Records for instructions on how to view surveys created by you or another user.
From the iMap home page, scroll down to the section titled “My iMapInvasives Data” and the parameters of the survey data you would like to download. The file will be provided as a file geodatabase (.gdb), which can be opened in several GIS programs including ArcGIS, Garmin BaseCamp, and qGIS.