Observation Record


An observation is a report of a specific species, at a specific place, on a specific date. An observation can represent an infestation (e.g. several Quagga Mussels covering a dock) OR an individual sighting (e.g. a single Feral Swine observed in a field). Multiple observations can be made for the same infestation/population.


Observations in iMapInvasives appear as a point on the map, with different symbols depending on the locational accuracy of the observation (e.g., approximate records are displayed as orange squares), and whether the observation is confirmed or unconfirmed. All contributors of observation data must have at least a Level 2 account with iMapInvasives.


Your state/province may require or provide in-person or online training; contact your Data Administrator for more information.

If you observe an invasive species in the field and intend to submit a record to iMapInvasives:

  1. Take a photo (optional but highly recommended)

  2. Record who observed it, species name, date, and location

  • Field forms for data collection are available under the Resources tab from your home screen

You can also submit observations from the field using the iMapMobile App for iOS and Android smart phones.

Creating an Observation (using a PC)


1.  Login to your local iMapInvasives site using the Participating States and Provinces page.

  • If you forget your Password, click the "Forgot Password?" link.

  • If you forget your User Name, email your state administrator.  (Note that User names are typically the first three letters of your first name plus full last name, all lowercase.)

  • Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are preferred web browsers when using iMapInvasives.  Older versions of Internet Explorer are not compatible with iMapInvasives.

2.  Once you login, you will be directed to the home screen.  Go to:

     > Enter Data  > Observation

3.  Proceed through the steps of data entry:

    a.  PHOTOS - Not required, but strongly encouraged to confirm species ID.

    b.  WHO - Name of the observer.  If observer name is not an option in the pick list, that person does not have an active  

         iMapInvasives account.  Contact your state administrator to create or reactivate the account.

    c.  PROJECT - Is this observation part of a project?  If so, select the applicable project from the pick list.  To create a new

         project, contact your state administrator before entering your observation data (see Projects section for information on

         creating a project).

    d.  WHAT - From the three radio buttons available, choose either Animal, Insect, or Plant.  Then from the drop down menu,

         select either the scientific name or the common name of the species found. 

    e.  WHEN - Select the date the species was observed.  (*TIP - the calendar defaults to the current date,

         so if you need to select a different month or year, click the month or year at the top of the calendar

         box to view more options.  You can also use the arrows to scroll to and select your date.











    f.  WHERE - The location of the invasive species. To get to the correct location, you can either: enter coordinates, use the


         by Location box, r drag and zoom the map. Once you see the correct location, click on the map to place a point - a yellow

         circle with cross-hairs will appear to mark the point.

    g.  SUMMARY PAGE - Ensure that all the information you in have input is correct before submitting your observation record. 

         If anything is incorrect, use the numbers at the top or the arrows on the side to go back and make your change.

    h.  SUBMIT OBSERVATION - If desired, note the observation ID# for reference (e.g., if you would need to list it in a survey or

         treatment record.) 




Creating an Observation (Using the Browser-based website on a Smartphone)


  1. Enable GPS on phone or tablet

  2. Check network connectivity (3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi)

  3. Keep phone or tablet in portrait orientation

  4. Reduce photo resolution for faster upload

  5. Take a photo of invasive plant or animal

  6. Open your device’s web browser

  7. Login to your state/province’s iMap page

  8. Select “Observation” under “Enter Data”

  9. When/if prompted, hit "OK" to share your location with iMapInvasives.org

  10. Proceed through the steps for observation data entry as described for PC data entry above

  11. In step 6, if you enable your current location, the map will auto-zoom to your location. If this is not the location where your observation was made, there are several ways to navigate on the map:​
           a. Zoom in and out of the map using the
              + and - buttons
           b. Pan the map by dragging with your finger
           c. Use the inset map to ensure you are in the            correct part of your state or province; if
               not, drag the blue box to the correct
               section of your state or province.
           d. You can hide the inset map by tapping the
               arrow in the bottom-right corner.
           e. You can hit the compass tool in the upper-
               right corner to reset your location to the
               center of the screen.

  12. Once you are ready to place your point:
           a. Tap the map to drop the yellow circle with
               cross-hairs. The cross-hairs intersection is
               where your point will be placed. 

           b. If your point is not in the right location,
               tap the map again to move it or hold the
               center of the cross-hairs and drag it to a
               different location

  13. Click the right arrow button to review your record, then Submit Observation to enter the record.

Creating an Observation (Using the Browser-based website on a Smartphone)


If you would like to use the out-of-connectivity mobile app, as opposed to the browser-based data entry on your smartphone, see iMapMobile App for instruction.


Editing an Observation

An observation record can be edited by the User who entered the record until it has been confirmed by the iMapInvasives Administrator. Edits can be made to both the data fields and the location. Some fields are only available after submitting the observation, such as Comments, Access, and Directions. You can also add an Assessment to the observation while it is unconfirmed. Once the record has been confirmed, only the Data Administrator can edit the observation. You will usually have a few days to edit a record before it is confirmed, but this process will be different for each state/province.


Viewing and Querying Observations

For instructions on viewing observations on the map see View a Single Record or View a Subset of All Observations


For instructions on viewing observations in a table or report see Custom Observation Query.