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27 de junio de 2019

iNaturalist participation across the United States

Recently, I spent some time examining the umbrella project Biodiversity of The United States, by State ; created by @zoology123 This project collects observations across the 50 states and 15 territories of the United States. I was curious about how many states and territories I had made observations in (27 states and 1 territory). Here was my top 10 as of 23 June 2019:

Biodiversity of My Obs My Rsrch
Obs
My Rsrch
 %
My Species My Rank
  Washington 3,500 2,720 78% 861 7
  Arizona 490 380 78% 166 80
  Utah 278 193 69% 103 49
  Wyoming 164 53 32% 86 17
  Alaska 139 104 75% 86 58
  Oregon 115 69 60% 66 257
  Idaho 78 34 44% 41 121
  Montana 73 37 51% 38 88
  New Jersey 67 28 42% 38 352
  Nebraska 62 37 60% 33 63
  I started dredging around in my massive Google, Flickr and iCloud photo dumps and found a few more states (Kansas and New Hampshire) that I was able to add observations from. There's more gems in the photo archives to be mined; anyone else have a similar problem? After this, I was curious to see how observations varied across the United States. I assembled statistics state by state using data from the Biodiversity projects from each state (as of 23 June 2019), thanks @zoology123 along with current 2018 population estimates (see iNaturalist US observation Analysis 23 June 2019 I built an observation metric to understand what states have more or less observations compared to the overall population. For each state, I found how many observations existed for the state and also computed the sum of all observations for the United States. From this, I calculated % total US iNat observations Next, I computed the percent of the US population in the state. Finally, I computed a metric of observations as % total iNat US observations/ % total US population. Using Vermont as an example, there were 274,545 observations out of 12,901,089 total observations which is 2.13% of all US iNat observations. Vermont's population of 626,299 comprise 0.19% of the total US population. I divided Vermont's 2.13% of all US iNat observations by Vermont's 0.19% of the total US population and computed that Vermont has 11.2 times more observations than overall for the US. Alaska, California, Texas, Hawaii, and Maine are also leaders in iNaturalist observations. On the other end of the spectrum are North Dakota, Georgia, Nebraska, Iowa, and Puerto Rico. Here's a look at the data I compiled and some additional detail:  
Name Population estimate, 2018 Population Rank % total US population iNat Observations (23 June 19) % total US iNat observations (23 June 2019) % total iNat observations/ % total population Rank Census Bureau-designated region Census Bureau-designated Division
 Vermont 626,299 51 0.19% 274,545 2.1% 11.2 1 Northeast New England
 Alaska 737,438 48 0.22% 78,713 0.6% 2.7 2 West Pacific
 California 39,557,045 1 11.96% 3,295,194 25.5% 2.1 3 West Pacific
 Texas 28,701,845 2 8.68% 2,004,452 15.5% 1.8 4 South West South Central
 Hawaii 1,420,491 41 0.43% 92,740 0.7% 1.7 5 West Pacific
 Maine 1,338,404 42 0.40% 83,130 0.6% 1.6 6 Northeast New England
 District of Columbia 702,455 50 0.21% 42,201 0.3% 1.5 7 South South Atlantic
 New Mexico 2,095,428 37 0.63% 123,506 1.0% 1.5 8 West Mountain 
 Wyoming 577,737 52 0.17% 31,613 0.2% 1.4 9 West Mountain 
 Oregon 4,190,713 27 1.27% 214,269 1.7% 1.3 10 West Pacific

 

 

I also computed a regional metric using classifications developed by the US Census Bureau. I'll write that up in a separate post.

Some Notes on sources and methodology

I accessed Biodiversity of The United States, by State over the course of 8 hours during 23 June 2019. I gathered data satate by state by examining the number of observations for each state's project starting with https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/biodiversity-of-alabama
As an aside, I looked at other data for each state such as number of research observations, number of species, number of identifiers, number of observers, That's more grist for the mill, it was quite interesting to observe this data.

For each state and territory, I found the 2018 estimate of population from Wikipedia simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_population.

I excluded some of the smallest US territories: Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Howland Island and Baker Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll, Navassa Island, Wake Island, and Antarctic US Bases since I did not have a reliable 2018 estimate of the population.

Ingresado el 27 de junio de 2019 por brewbooks brewbooks | 4 comentarios | Deja un comentario

US regional iNaturalist participation

I built an observation metric to understand what US regions have more or less observations compared to the overall population. (More detail in this post iNaturalist participation across the United States.) For each Census bureau division, I found how many observations existed (as of 23 June 2019) and also computed the sum of all observations for the United States. From this, I calculated % total US iNat observations Next, I computed the percent of the US population in the division. Finally, I computed a metric of observations as % total iNat US observations/ % total US population.

 

Region Division Population estimate, 2018 % total US population iNat Observations (23 June 19) % total US iNat observations (23 June 2019) % total iNat observations/ % total population Rank
 West Pacific 53,441,278 16.2% 3,957,722 30.7% 1.9 1
 South West South Central 40,318,727 12.2% 2,296,972 17.8% 1.5 2
 Northeast New England 14,853,290 4.5% 761,005 5.9% 1.3 3
 West Mountain 24,552,385 7.4% 919,914 7.1% 1.0 4
 South South Atlantic 65,322,408 19.8% 1,856,532 14.4% 0.7 5
 South East South Central 19,112,813 5.8% 507,656 3.9% 0.7 6
 Northeast Mid-Atlantic 41,257,789 12.5% 1,030,636 8.0% 0.6 7
 Midwest East North Central 46,931,883 14.2% 1,132,770 8.8% 0.6 8
 Midwest West North Central 21,376,861 6.5% 406,606 3.2% 0.5 9
 None None 3,576,620 1.1% 31,276 0.2% 0.2 10

 

 

Using the Pacific division of the West region as an example, there were 3,957,722 observations out of 12,901,089 total observations which is 30.7% of all US iNat observations. The Pacific division population of 53,441,278 comprise 16.2% of the total US population. I divided the Pacific's 30.7% of all US iNat observations by the 16.2% of the total US population and computed that the Pacific has 1.9 times more observations than overall for the US.

At a regional level, the Pacific division leads with a 1.9 observation metric, that means that these states contribute about twice the observations as compared to the overall US population.. The states (and observation metric) that comprise the Pacific division are: Alaska (2.7), California (2.1), Hawaii (1.7), Oregon (1.3), and Washington (0.9) In this case, almost all the states were above the overall US. The exception was my home of Washington State, the laggard of the Pacific division.

Next, the West South Central division had a 1.5 observation metric. The states (and observation metric) that comprise the West South Central division are: Arkansas(0.6), Louisiana (0.7), Oklahoma (0.6), and Texas (1.8). In this case, the strong performance by Texas naturalists (about 3/4 of the West South Central division population) brings up the performance of the division.

The New England division had a 1.3 observation metric. The states (and observation metric) that comprise the New England division are:Connecticut (0.5), Maine (1.6), Massachusetts (1.0), New Hampshire (1.0), Rhode Island (0.4), and Vermont (11.2). I'm mighty curious as to why Vermont has such a high metric; we all have something to learn from them.

On the other end of the spectrum, the entire midwest region was well behind the rest of the United States. Here are states (observation metrics) for the Midwest region:
East North Central (0.6): Illinois(0.6), Indiana (0.4), Michigan(0.5), Ohio (0.9), and Wisconsin (0.6)
West North Central (0.5): Iowa (0.2), Kansas (0.4), Minnesota (0.8), Missouri (0.4), Nebraska (0.3), North Dakota (0.3), and South Dakota (0.4) As an aside, I've had recent opportunity to explore some of the midwest region and have found it might interesting.

Finally, the regions not covered in the US Census divisions had an observation metric of 0.2 These comprised: Guam (1.1), U.S. Virgin Islands (0.8), Northern Mariana Islands (0.5), American Samoa (0.4) and Puerto Rico (0.2) The low metric for Puerto Rico caused the overall metric to be low; because Puerto Rico has almost 90% of the population of this region.

I spent time thinking about an observation metric because I wanted to learn more about the iNaturalist population in the US but I'm also quite curious to understand how this data looks for the world. After all, we all live on Spaceship Earth. I'm heartened to see the iNaturalist staff and community starting to look at how we can use this wonderful tool across the globe.
Sources

I assembled statistics state by state using data from the Biodiversity projects from each state (as of 23 June 2019), thanks @zoology123 along with current 2018 population estimates(see iNaturalist US observation Analysis 23 June 2019

Census Bureau-designated regions and divisions
Region 1: Northeast
Division 1: New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)
Division 2: Mid-Atlantic (New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania)

Region 2: Midwest (Prior to June 1984, the Midwest Region was designated as the North Central Region.)
Division 3: East North Central (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin)
Division 4: West North Central (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota)

Region 3: South
Division 5: South Atlantic (Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, District of Columbia, and West Virginia)
Division 6: East South Central (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee)
Division 7: West South Central (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas)

Region 4: West
Division 8: Mountain (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming)
Division 9: Pacific (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington)

Puerto Rico and other US territories are not part of any census region or census division
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_regions_of_the_United_States#Census_Bureau-designated_regions_and_divisions accessed 25 June 2019

Ingresado el 27 de junio de 2019 por brewbooks brewbooks | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

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