As some of you may notice I’ve added “Elevation” Observation Field for 1181 of my observations: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?field:Elevation

These values should be considered approximate quantities, and I’ve noticed values seemed to be questionable near complex topography in particular. Elevation quantities were omitted where they were noticeably misleading. Still, I find these quantities helpful in understanding the distribution of plant species, as well as identifying locations (elevations) that have been unexplored.

For nearly all observations, the data comes from the Puget Sound basin DEM: http://gis.ess.washington.edu/data/raster/tenmeter/. Some observations (All in Bryn mawr-Skyway area) use another raster file that I don’t remember is from. Sorry 🤷🏻‍♂️. These values were kept because they were believed to be more accurate.

I will continue to do this in batches for my Puget Sound observations in the future. If you think you have a better estimate I’d welcome changes to the reported values. I recommend reporting the elevation as “X feet” in the “Elevation” Observation Field. I’d further recommend reporting the elevation without commas and by rounding to the nearest foot.

Last thing I’ll say about this for now is that one quick way of searching observations by elevation is to modify the url below by replacing “Y” with the elevation (in feet).:


For example, you could search for elevations at sea level with:


Anyways. Hope this brings another neat dimension to iNat in Puget Sound and that others might also consider adopting this reporting framework.

Posted on February 27, 2019 07:41 AM by space_coyote space_coyote


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