Key Concepts:

Table: Observations

Field Name Description
OBJECTID Primary Key
SET_ID The observation set that is associated with the record from the input filter
Species_ID PISCES Species code for the record
Zone_ID Mapping Unit (HUC12) ID
Presence_Type The observation types of the record
IF_Method The input filter code path that processed this observation from source data
Certainty Certainty value of a record (depreciated)
Longitude Longitude if observation came from point data
Latitude Latitude if observation came from point data
Survey_Method Type of surveying method used to capture and identify species.
Notes Additional information about the record added by operator
Observation_Date Date of the observation as noted in the source data
Date_Added Date and time record was added to the database
Other_Data Semicolon separated fields captured by input filter


Defined in: defs_Collections

Collections are a way to group any set of observation records for retrieval by the PISCES export tools (for example records that have undergone review). Collections are defined by the user to distinguish database level differences in the type and quality of the data. It is a quick way to subset records for map outputs and database queries that belong to the same data group.

The main use for data collections is for distinguishing quality controlled data. Quality controlled data collections are sets of records that have been vetted and reviewed by experts and considered authoritative. Many map sets and queries are set up to run using only quality controlled data. Data records that don’t belong to the collection are not included in the output until the records are reviewed by experts and then added to the collection. Collections can be used to segment off data for more than just quality control purposes. When PISCES’ copy of the HUC12s was updated, a collection of records affected by the change was created so that it would be possible to track those changes.

Records for species can be added to collections using the Add Species Data to Collection tool. The tool appends the new records for the species to the collection.

Workflow with Collections

Collections are commonly used as part of the editing workflow, and are the structure underlying PISCES quality controlled data. Collections usually come in as the final part of the editing workflow. First, the PISCES operator will import a new dataset, which contains untrusted data - aka data that hasn’t been vetted to be valid, or which doesn’t translate cleanly to HUC12s. Then, the operator can generate a range map showing all data available for a given taxon (map set Unlimited Range Maps). Using the resulting map document and the tool to modify data, low quality and incorrect data can be removed from a range, and new data added to fill in, based on available experts. Once that process is complete, the operator runs the Add Species Data to Collection tool, adding the data to one of the quality controlled data collections to mark any remaining records for the taxon as being of high quality. Once the records are added to the appropriate collections, the data will show up on the maps for high quality data (Main Range Maps)

Transaction Logs

The database logs all transactions so that changes can be traced. Often, changes can be easily reverted. The database logs all changes from the Add or Modify Data tool in the Transactions Table.

All records that are removed are stored in a table called Invalid Observations. The table documents the rational why records were removed from database. Transactions can be reverted using the Undo Transaction Tool.