[Mastwatch] Casual observations at Gunung Palung

Cam Webb cwebb at oeb.harvard.edu
Wed Aug 17 02:30:08 PDT 2011

Dear Serge, Marco, all,

> Thank you for letting us know about this project. It looks very interesting.
> I would certainly think it would be great if data could be on this site and
> instant maps could be made.

Marco, I agree.  Thanks for the offer.

> Let's try to hear from more of the mastwatch readers and then see if we 
> can make up a usable excel sheet for people to enter data on or 
> something else that would be useful to enter data in and that is very 
> easy and quick.

Since there seems to be some momentum in this discussion and it would be 
great to keep it moving forward, I went ahead and made a Google Docs 
spreadsheet.  I sent the link to all on this list (currently 62 active 
email addresses).  Check your spam filter if you missed it.  Since the 
archives of the list are public, I think it best to keep the URL of the 
data sheet private (i.e., spam-proof), but anyone can add another person 
to the list of editors.

I populated it with some data from the earlier Mastwatch database.  The 
fields are:

  - Date of observation (YYYY-MM-DD, use 1st of month for obs to month
      only) *
  - Area (Peninsular, Borneo, Sumatra, Philippines, Indochina) *
  - Location name
  - Longitude (d.ddddd) *
  - Latitude (d.ddddd) *
  - Elevation (m) *
  - Forest type (Montane, Hill, Alluvial, Swamp, Kerangas) *
  - Real mast event, apparently? (Yes,No) *
  - Estimated spatial extent of this reproductive activity (km) *
  - Flowering or Fruiting? *
  - Percent all trees (> 10 cm DBH) reproductive *
  - Percent dipterocarps (> 10 cm DBH) reproductive *
  - Estimated months until fruitfall *
  - Canopy trees: list reproductive genera (comma-delimited)
  - Smaller trees: list reproductive genera (comma-delimited)
  - Comments
  - Data owner (person name)
  - Data use license (http://creativecommons.org/ prob by-sa or by-nc-sa) *
  - Data enterer (person name)

   (The fields with * use basic data validation in the spreadsheet to keep
    the data formats consistent)

This is just a suggestion for fields.  Everyone will have an opinion as to 
other fields to add, and in the beginning, feel free to add additional 
fields to the spreadsheet, perhaps after a short discussion on this list. 
The goal should be to capture key observations without making the list of 
fields too long and onerous.  Of course, we should really know what 
question we are asking first!  Please do post short outlines of questions 
to be addressed with the data.

A core aspect to agree upon first is what the fundamental data unit is 
that we are recording.  I suggest that it is an abstract `state of the 
forest' at a particular place and time (i.e., not a per tree, or per 
species record).  This is the thinking behind the DB I uploaded.

Hope this is something we can work with.



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