Plant Species Occurrence Database

04-15-2019 01:56 PM
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New Contributor II

I would like to create a database that allows me to track the occurrence of individual plants. Before I reinvent the wheel, I want to see what others have done. The primary purpose would be to identify what individual species are found in a geographic area, for example in a preserve or private parcel. This database would be for my personal use, I just want to keep track of the plants I see! 

The database would track:

  1. Locations of individual occurrences. My current thinking is there would be a point showing the location of a single plant of particular species, for example an individual long leaf pine. I can think of instances where a polygon might be useful, for example an infestation of cogongrass that is almost 100% of the ground cover, but I am not sure that I want to go there yet.
  2. For each occurrence:
    1. Scientific Name
    2. Common Name if available
    3. Date sighted
    4. Name of individual making the observation
    5. Photo(s)

I would want to eventually expand the database to include animals identified; I haven't determined if that should be in a separate database. I am thinking that you could put everything in a single database and use a species taxonomy to separate everything. I do not have much (ok, almost none) experience in using plant and animal taxonomies. It will be important to import authoritative species lists, so I am looking for suggestions on the where to obtain this information. I have found a few on the Internet, but I could use some recommendations. I am focusing on Florida at this time.

Access could be through ArcGIS or a ArcGIS Online web app.  The general use pattern would be:

Data Collection. Initially I want to keep it real simple and don't bother with a field data collection application, though that is a logical place to go.

  1. Take a photo (geocoded) in the field
  2. In the office complete the identification process and populate the database

Data Query/Display. Once again I am keeping this real simple out of the box. I just want to be able to search by any of the fields and return occurrences in tabular or map format. The search should return all tabular information, including photos.

Thanks in advance for thoughts and suggestions.

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New Contributor II

I see that I had several people view my post, but no one chimed in with suggestions! Off I will go to develop my database, free from having to follow what someone else did ! I will report back on what I ended up doing in case someone is interested.

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