Summary of the HerpNET Georeferencing Process:

1. We constructed a gazetteer of unique localities in 2003 from the data you sent us for your collection. We standardized some of the country, state and county information for these data.
2. Other institutions downloaded regions from the HerpNET Gazetteer and georeferenced them following the MaNIS/HerpNET/ORNIS (MHO) guidelines and the Georeferencing Steps. Refer to the Georeferencing Checklist for a list of who georeferenced what.
3. The localities were then returned to MVZ, and we validated them for the correct data structure, whether they followed MHO guidelines, and whether they fell in the administrative boundaries (Country, State, County) of the original locality information. In cases where they did not fall in the correct administrative boundaries, we either corrected the georeference or made notes in the LocalityAnnotations and LatLongRemarks fields.
4. In 2008 most institutions sent a new copy of their database. If you sent this copy, we matched up the 2003 and the 2008 databases and marked which localities were no longer the same.
5. MVZ then matched up the completed georeferenced localities to your catalog numbers and created two files, a Repatriation File and an Exception File. These files are explained below. Zipped copies of these tab-delimited text files were sent via e-mail to curators and collection managers of participating institutions. Please keep a copy of these files somewhere safe as a future reference for georeferencing questions and please read these descriptions below carefully. Please direct any questions about these fields to the HerpNET coordinator.
If you are opening these files in a database or spreadsheet, please note that several columns have more than 250 characters and you will have to adjust for this in your database first so that you do not cut off these fields when importing the data. These fields are LatLongRemarks, LocalityAnnotations, DeterminationRef and NoGeorefBecause.
6. Institutions should evaluate the files they received and update their database and the copy of their database connected to their HerpNET server as soon as possible. We recommend putting these data up right away, as you can use the HerpNET portal to check your data using the mapping feature.


Fields found in Repatriation and Exception Files:

Unique Identifier Fields - These fields exist to help you match the georeferenced data to your collection catalog. Georeferencing Fields - These 13 fields are required for georeferenced data to comply with the MaNIS/ HerpNET/ ORNIS Georeferencing Guidelines.
Please include all of these fields in your database and update them from the repatriation file. Without all of these fields, the georeference is incomplete. These are necessary information during the georeferencing process, and without them, the georeference will not be certified with the MaNIS/ HerpNET/ ORNIS Georeferencing Guidelines. By keeping these fields, you are allowing users of your data the ability to judge the quality of the georeference and ensuring the repeatability of the georeferencing process. Validation Fields - These fields are not required, but are useful for judging how well the georeference matches the original locality information. They were used as part of the validation process. All coordinates were plotted in WGS84 and mapped on a GIS program using Global Administrative Boundaries data layers to check administrative boundaries. The administrative boundaries to which the coordinates plotted in the GIS program are found in the columns: StandardizedCountry, StandardizedState and StandardizedCounty. The original administrative boundaries from the locality description are listed in the fields: OrigCountry, OrigState and OrigCounty. Discrepancies between the GIS data and the locality description are noted under LocalityAnnotation above. It is very important to review the LocalityAnnotation field carefully. (Note that OrigCountry, OrigState and OrigCounty may not be verbatim from the locality description given to us in 2003 by the institution. While compiling files for georeferencing, all countries were categorized and corrected for spelling and region assignment. All North American states and provinces were categorized and corrected for spelling.) Exceptions File Fields - These fields are not required and are only for reference. These are only included if your institution sent us a 2008 copy of your database. These fields are only listed in the "Exceptions" file and therefore these records must be reviewed before updating your database. If changes were made to your collection catalog from 2003 to 2008 anywhere in the locality information (Country, State, County or Locality description), these records will be noted under ExceptionGeography field. The specific names of 2008Country, 2008State, 2008County and 2008Locality may be different, as these come from the names of these fields from your database. Please review the changes that were made and verify that the georeference is still applicable for your updated 2008 database.

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Updated CL Spencer 7 April 2009