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.
Institution - Name of originating institution.
Georeferencing Fields - These 13 fields are required for georeferenced data to comply with the MaNIS/ HerpNET/ ORNIS Georeferencing Guidelines.
CollectionCode - An alphabetic code used during the HerpNET project indicating your collection and collection type (for example, if MVZ had separate Amphibian and Reptile collections, collection code would be MVZ-A and MVZ-R).
CatNum - Catalog Number or number indicated by your institution as unique identifier for the specimen. This may be a field number or locality number for some collections.
HerpNETGazetteerLocalityID - A unique identifier used by HerpNET to condense identical verbatim locality descriptions into one record per institution per unique locality.
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.
DecLat - Latitude in decimal degrees.
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.)
DecLong - Longitude in decimal degrees.
MaxErrorDistance - Uncertainty is a distance calculated according to MHO Guidelines.
Extent - Distance from center of named place to outer most edge according to maps or gazetteers.
MaxErrorUnits - Length units for MaxErrorDistance and Extent.
Datum - This is the three-dimensional projection of the globe associated with the coordinates. This information must be included with the DecLat and DecLong field, or coordinates will not plot correctly.
DeterminationRef - Reference map, website or gazetteer used in the georeferencing process to find coordinates. This field may contain more than 250 characters.
DeterminedDate - Date record was georeferenced.
DeterminedByPerson - Person and Institution who georeferenced this record.
NoGeorefBecause - The reason(s) why georeference could not be completed. If there is information in this field, the record has been reviewed by a georeferencer and an attempt has been made to assign coordinates. The reasons may include: conflicting information, unable to locate or captive specimen, etc. This field may contain more than 250 characters.
LatLongRemarks - Notes made about how the locality description was interpreted or exceptions to MHO guidelines. Please read these carefully when considering how well the record was georeferenced. This field may contain more than 250 characters.
LocalityAnnotation - Corrections to be made by curators or collection staff to the locality description. For example: misspellings, name changes, wrong directions, incorrect country, state or county information given in the original locality description. If there were discrepancies between the original locality description and location that the georeferencer determined, this will be noted here. Please read these carefully when verifying the georeference and make changes to your database accordingly. You do not need to keep this field in your updated database, but you should update your database with the relevant information before making it available. This field may contain more than 250 characters.
GeorefMethod - This field indicates whether or not the record was georeferenced according to the MHO guidelines. Records were stamped with MaNIS/ HerpNET/ ORNIS Georeferencing Guidelines if one of the following combinations of fields was populated: [DecLat, DecLong, MaxErrorDistance, Extent, MaxErrorUnits, Datum, OrigCoordSystem] or [NoGeorefBecause, DeterminationRef, DeterminedDate, DeterminedByPerson].
StandardizedCountry - This is the country the latitude and longitude coordinates plotted to on a map according to the GADM (Global Administrative Boundaries) GIS data set.
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.
StandardizedState - This is the state or province (or equivalent title for administrative level 1) that the latitude and longitude coordinates plotted to on a map according to the GIS data set.
StandardizedCounty - This is the county the latitude and longitude coordinates plotted to on a map according to the GADM GIS data set.
OrigCountry - Country as listed in original locality description (see note above).
OrigState - State or province as listed in locality description (see note above).
OrigCounty - County as listed in locality description (see note above).
OrigCoordSystem - Indicates the format coordinates were originally published by the cited reference in the DeterminationRef field. All coordinates are reported in decimal degrees in the DecLat and DecLong fields, therefore coordinates originally referenced in degrees minutes seconds or degrees decimal minutes would have been recalculated to decimal degrees. Therefore, there is the possibility of false precision if this recalculation was made. Watch for coordinates such as 40.00000 or -65.50000 or -121.59999. Note that these are not precise to the fifth decimal place, only to the nearest degree or minute if the OrigCoordSystem field states "degrees minutes seconds" or "decimal degrees."
DatumProj4Keyword - When the coordinates were transformed into WGS84, this is the keyword ArcView 3.15 (GIS Program) recognized as the original datum.
DecLatInWGS84 - Latitude in decimal degrees in datum WGS84. Here all of the coordinates were transformed to plot in WGS84. This ensured that these coordinates plot in the same datum reference system and can be mapped on HerpNET and other sites (e.g., Google Earth). Coordinates with a different datum system are not comparable to GIS layers or other coordinates in a different system, for example, NAD27, AUS or NAD83.
DecLongInWGS84 - Longitude in decimal degrees in datum WGS84.
NamedPlace - Refers to the primary feature or starting feature in a locality description. For example: "10 mi North of Mount Vesuvius" indicates the starting place, or named place is Mount Vesuvius. The Extent field is a measure of the radius of the NamedPlace.
ValidToLevel - This indicates the lowest administrative level to which a georeference was validated. For example, if the georeference matched the Country and State levels but not County, this would say State. Values include Country, State, or County.
Lacking - Indicates which fields were incomplete, therefore why the record did not receive the GeorefMethod stamp MaNIS/ HerpNET/ ORNIS Georeferencing Guidelines.
GeorefedInHerpNET - Indicates if record was georeferenced as part of the HerpNET project.
VerificationStatus - The default for this field is "unverified". If the coordinates associated with this record have been reviewed and approved by the original collector or collection, field can be changed to "verified by collector", "verified by curator", etc.
LocalityID - Unique identifier for this record.
2008Country - Verbatim country as listed in 2008 database from institution.
2008State - Verbatim state as listed in 2008 database from institution.
2008County - Verbatim county as listed in 2008 database from institution.
2008Locality - Verbatim locality as listed in 2008 database from institution.
2003Country - Verbatim country as listed in 2003 database from institution.
2003State - Verbatim state as listed in 2003 database from institution.
2003County - Verbatim county as listed in 2003 database from institution.
2003SpecLocality - Verbatim locality as listed in 2003 database from institution.
ExceptionGeography - Indicates which fields were detected that are different between 2003 and 2008. Note whether these field changes are important and affect the georeference that was completed. If this record is still satisfactory, it can be repatriated to your database.
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Updated CL Spencer 7 April 2009