Adding survey time to data collection

Feature request template:

What Wildbook should this feature be in? Manta Matcher, Internet of Turtles, all?

What would you like to see? Collecting the additional data point: survey time. For underwater surveys this can practically translate to “dive time” i.e how long were you underwater during this survey.
How would this functionality help you?T his helps when establishing encounters per hour as you can group all encounters with the same Time In and dive time together. It helps to normalize effort.


The survey data construct does have a start time, end time and effort fields, but they are not yet
accessible through bulk import. This is a logical extension of the accepted fields in the import feature.

I’m marking this request accepted, and have created a work ticket reference WB-474.

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Awesome Colin!
Although I have never seen an end time or an “effort field” for Manta Matcher and IOT. Am I missing something (talking regular “Report an encounter” method)?
Thank you!

My apologies, I misunderstood where you were attempting to add this data. We have a data construct called survey, but it is not created during single encounter submission.

I would recommend using “Observation” for this. It is a type of data point that researchers can use for anything they wish to define. You can designate a name like “Time In” or “Dive Time”, and a value to correspond to it. When you are using the encounter search feature you can search for a specific name and value like “Time In” “12:04” or instead just search for the name “Time In” and return all encounters that have any value for that name. I’ll include a screen shot of where this is found on the encounter page.

You cannot set these from the submit page, it must be done from the encounter page. You can add as many of them as you like.

There is also the Survey data construct we use to contain multiple Occurrences, which then contain Encounters of animals. This is what I was referencing above. I think this may be an overly complicated solution for your stated usage. If you like I can say more about this process as well in case there are other aspects you would like to use.

Hope this helps!

Thanks Colin,
Sorry it took me a while to circle back to this.
I guess I was hoping we can have a dive length (survey length) be possible from the initial upload screen so that citizen scientists (not back end users like us researchers) can put in their dive times. Perhaps it can be input along with the date? At least when it comes to SCUBA surveys most divers would have this information logged in their dive computers. Thanks for your help!


Thanks for taking the time to add some detail, I think I understand better now.

The difficulty is the Encounter record a user submits is supposed to be an instant, seeing the animal at one time and in one place.

Wildbook does have a survey, which can contain many encounters and a moving location over a span of time, but this is not yet part of the single record submission process.

There isn’t a great way to add this to the encounter currently, but as we look at expanding and streamlining our submission process this is something we can keep in mind.

I’ll make a separate ticket for this request now: WB-581.


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Additionally, based on the added detail you’ve provided, I think we have something like this planned. I’m going to provide you with the tracking number for the “custom field per wildbook” functionality we’re looking at: WB-425.
Once we get to a point where that work is a bit more solid and reviewable, we can revisit and discuss if it meets your needs or if there’s an aspect we aren’t considering.


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As an FYI, Jon is or will be working on something like this for me. I’m using a third party app for volunteers to send data into Wildbook, and one of the things the app is recording is survey time between when a user clicks “start” and “end.” (As well as a map of their route.) So, somewhere that time and route is being sent into Wildbook and stored, although it’s not appearing anywhere in Wildbook that I can see it yet until I have another custom development phase towards the end of 2020.