Observer Android is far more developed than Observer for iOS. An iOS user, I know nothing about Android hardware and want to get an Android tablet to do mapping. I do NOT need cellular capability, just WiFi.

Can someone recommend an Android tablet that won't break the bank, to be used exclusively for mapping.

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Observer Pro (Android) now has the ability to show background lines and polygons which are not connected to an observation. This can be useful if there is a certain discrete area -- eg. a trail -- that you need to survey periodically. If a line representing the trail appears on Observer Pro's map when you are in the field, then you can easily tell when you get close.

Which lines and polygons to display is a personal choice, and is controlled from My Calflora / Preferences.

To choose lines and polygons, go to Preferences and open Observer Pro with Weed Manager: Background Lines and Polygons. When you select your Organization from the drop down, it will load a table with all of the named lines and polygons associated with that organization.

This feature is currently only available to Weed Manager users.
More Information:

Is there a way to take the results from a "what grows here search" on a laptop onto a phone? You can't do a "what grows here" search directly with the Observer Pro app, is that correct?

I'm using an Android if that matters. Sorry if this question has already been asked.

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For Weed Manager users, there is a new feature in My Calflora / Preferences which gives you much tighter control over how many historical observations are loaded into Observer Pro.

Go to "My Calflora / Preferences / Using Observer Pro with Weed Manager." If you are a member of multiple organizations, you can choose one or more of them as active -- during your next session with Observer Pro, you will able to contribute data to any organization selected as active. Inactive organizations will not appear on the phone at all.

For each active organization, you can choose one or more projects. During the next REFRESH, historical observations will only be loaded into Observer Pro for the selected projects.

Practically, using this feature to control what project data is loaded onto the phone can make a huge difference in the time it takes to do a REFRESH. Also, when less historical data is loaded, Observer Pro responds more quickly.

Note that choosing active organizations and projects is a personal preference. If another member of your organization needs to work on different projects from you on the same day, they can set it up with their own preferences

More information is here:

In version 2.0.111 of Android Observer Pro, there is a new way to find and load offline map caches. From the first screen, touch "Offline maps". The Offline Maps screen begins by displaying a long list of available map caches (this is the same as in previous versions of the app). Touch MAP in the upper right. A map will appear showing the bounding box of every available map cache.

To load a map cache from this view, zoom in, and touch one of the balloons. An info window will pop up with the name of the cache, and the bounding box of that cache will be highlighted orange. Touch the name in the info window, and the app will ask you if you want to load that cache.

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If you are using Observer Pro as an Independent, it is now possible to load your own list of historical records. This can be useful in the field if, for instance, you want to check on the well being of a plant you observed last year, or if you want to try to find a plant that someone else observed.

(The ability to see historical records on the phone has been available to Weed Manager users for several years. Now it is available to Independent users.)

To use this capability, first you need to save a search by name from Observation Hotline. Do your search in Observation Hotline, then open TOOLS / SAVED SEARCHES, enter a name for your search, and press SAVE.

Then go to My Calflora / Preferences:
In the section called "Using the Phone Applications as Independent" / "Historical Records", choose your search from the drop down of available searches. At the top of the page, press SAVE PREFERENCES.

The next time you REFRESH, all of the records returned by your search will be loaded into the app. To see them in the app, choose the "Advanced data collection" project, and press History / MAP. The historical records appear as purple points.

To add a new assessment of one of these records, touch the purple point. An info window appears with information about the record. Touch the info window, and then touch NEW ASSESSMENT.

In version 2.0.111 of Android Observer Pro, you can use all of your plant lists from the app. This includes any plant lists that are in a group that you are a member of.

Your plant lists are brought into the app when you do a REFRESH.

To find them, press Observe, then "Touch to select plant".

On the right hand side of the Plants screen, there is a menu that includes the lists called "All plants" and "Recent plants". The last item in this menu is "Other" -- touch "Other", and another menu will appear with all of your plant lists.

Hi guys,

I am trying to understand the utility of adding a new assessment to an observation vs editing the original observation only. We use Observer Pro to map invasive species in State Parks. I am trying to use Calflora to track information about which infestations/observations of infestations were treated and when. What is the practical difference between adding a new assessment to an existing record vs editing the "Notes" field within the existing record and adding treatment history there?

Thank you!


Hi, Henry here again. I seem to be having a number of issues, and I am not sure which are my fault, possibly the phone itself, a bug in the App, or a combination. I apologize for the length of this message, but I want to give you all the pertinent data, so you can get the complete picture. I had previously used Observer on my older iPhone, model 5. No problems. Captured data, uploaded to the web site, entries editable. I just recently upgraded to an iPhone 7. All my old apps migrated, so my Observer did too, and was working fine. Had my Cal-IPC list downloaded, everything fine. Did a training with Jutta at the IRC. Downloaded the Pro version. Looked good to go in their office.

Problem 1) I have 2 organizational groups I am a user with (IRC, OC Parks) and each group has several projects to choose from. In the field yesterday, everything SEEMED to be okay with one exception. I was in OC Parks with the NCCP 2017 Weed Project template. My Map* function was not finding my current location. No matter where I was, it kept defaulting to the exact same spot, somewhere in Laguna Canyon. No biggie, I thought, I just kept adjusting the view to where I was and dropped points. NOTE HERE: I later found out that each different project in my drop downs, from both the IRC and OC Parks, each project template has a different default map location. No matter what, the Map* function does not go right to where I am, only right to that deafault specific to the Project Template.

Problem 2) From yesterday's work, I had 11 observations recorded. When I got back to my home office wifi, and tried to upload them, the phone app kept hanging. None of the 11 entries changed, none dropped off the history queue. But When I went back into the CalFlora website, under My Observations, I had a partial upload. In fact, it showed 4 entries, uploaded twice, with sequentially progressing observation ID numbers. Obviously, I had hit "upload all" twice. No matter what I try on the phone, it hangs and doesn't get past the first few records.

Problem 3) Just out of curiosity, I switched over on the phone to my older Observer app. It now showed up as if I was a completely new user. All my plant lists were gone. When I tried reloading the lists again, they never downloaded.

Since we are moving here into CalFlora for all of our field data, with multiple associated projects and templates, this is kind of a crucial thing. Any idea what's up here? I am all ears, and I actually hope that you have heard this before. I hate being first in line. And thank you for your attention.

A bunch of us here down in Orange County are moving to CalFlora for uploading our survey and treatment data. I was sitting with Jutta Burger yesterday at a training and I think we found a bug in the Apple iPhone Observer Pro app. When using the auto-find feature to locate a species you want, you HAVE to use a cap letter for the first word, or the feature does not recognize what you are typing. Strangely enough, on Jutta's android, Observer Pro does not care if you use a Cap or Lowercase first letter. on Apple phones and also my iPad, it HAS to be a cap first letter. Strange, huh? I always use all lowercase in the field, I find it easier for me, and I finalize everything back at the office. Not a big deal, but good to know so I do not go crazy, as I did the first time I was trying to make a field entry. Thanks, have a great day!
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