Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ's
How do I submit data?
Please have a look at the following slideshow: How to submit records - it shows you step by step what you need to do in order to submit your photos to LepiMAP, or any other Virtual Museum project.
How accurate do I need to be with my GPS coordinates?
The more accurate you can be the better. Try to be within at least 500m?1km from the actual locality.
Why there are so many options for GPS coordinates?
Some people set their GPS to use degree, minutes and seconds, others use degree, minutes and decimal minutes, and still others use decimal minutes. This is sometimes written as DD MM SS, DD MM.MMM, and DD.DDDDD respectively. So the Virtual Museum can accept all three GPS settings. Note that whichever setting you choose to use for latitude, you need to use the same setting for longitude.
Why do I need to give a nearest town?
This helps us to pick up some of the big errors in entering latitude and longitude. It is easy to interchange them. The "nearest town" provides a useful way to check if a mistake has been made.
How do I use the gazetteer?
Sometimes people take a lot of pictures at the same place. This is particularly true if you have a camera trap (which has a set GPS point). Then, having the position of the camera in the gazetteer makes data submission a lot easier. To set up a gazetteer, you enter all the location details of the spot where you took your photos, as you would usually do, and then where the form asks for "Gazetteer locality name" you enter a name that will be saved for future use. This saved name will then be available from the Gazetteer drop-down menu next time you want to submit data from this same locality. PLEASE NOTE: Gazetteer localities should not be larger than 1 ha (100m x 100m)!
I can't identify the species in the photo. Do you want me to submit this as a record?
Yes, please do submit it. We have an ID panel. Members on the ID panel will do their utmost to do an accurate identification. If the record cannot be identified, for one reason or another, the "Comments" field will be filled out, and an explanation given as to why positive ID is not possible. Sometimes, a record might only be identifiable to genus or family, and the identification will be assigned to this level.
Why can't I do the final identification of the record?
It is hugely helpful if you do identify the species, either using common name or scientific name. Someone from the ID panel then simply has to click on the species from a "drop-down" menu. The point of this is that it imposes a particular taxonomy on the records. If the IDs are done in any other way, discrepancies creep into the database in the form of mis-spellings (or alternative correct spellings) of names, or if an older taxonomy is used. Our strategy solves the problem that common names and scientific names are not always in one-to-one agreement with each other.
What if I forget to enter the project I intend the picture to be submitted to?
We will look at the picture and fill in the project for you. Please DO NOT submit the record a second time.
What is the security on the records? Can they be used unscrupulously?
All the ADU websites are protected by a "Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License." However, we cannot guarantee that everyone will respect this. Thus our recommendation is to make the resolution of your photographs relatively small, less than 1MB.
I have thousands of records I want to submit. Is there a quicker way to upload the photos than to do it one-by-one using the Virtual Museum website?
Yes, there is a bulk upload facility. Contact Rene Navarro (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details. Basically, you enter the data in an excel spreadsheet. Then you email the spreadsheet to Rene, and put the photos on an FTP site, Drop Box or burn then into a CD/DVD and post to Rene Navarro, Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa.
I see that you already have 1000s of records of the species I have a photo of. Do you really want me to submit it?
Yes. Firstly, your record might well fill a gap in the distribution map. Secondly, your record confirms the continued existence of the species at the locality.
Are there any sneaky differences between submitting to the various Virtual Museums to trip me up?
No. The only Virtual Museum that asks for additional information relative to the others is PHOWN (PHOtos of Weaver Nests) - for this Virtual Museum you are asked to estimate the number of nests in the weaver colony, and there is a drop down menu which asks whether the colony is in a tree, a reedbed or a human-structure (eg a Southern Masked Weaver colony in a fence - eg http://vmus.adu.org.za/?vm=PHOWN-1 ).