2.3 Visits

A visit is when an observer has gone to a location to collect environmental sensor or biological data. Visit metadata is important information to collect as it helps to:

  • Provide quality control procedures for environmental sensor media and metadata collection at the location
  • Relate field activities to equipment, media and biological data
  • Record general information about the landscape where the environmental sensor was placed or the biological data collected

WildTrax supports a variety of visit metadata and uses an integrated approach based on feedback from major WildTrax users. The goal is to provide ways of standardizing field metadata collection so that it can be easily shared with other organizations or WildTrax users. You can request additional functions or features by contacting WildTrax Support. Every time an observer visits a location, the records are populated and summarized in the visit metadata form. For each visit, you can also choose to add environmental sensor equipment, or conduct a point count. Within these forms, you can also choose to add environmental sensor equipment to your visit. When equipment is placed at a location during a visit, WildTrax calls this a deployment. Conversely, if you’re visiting a location and picking up an environmental sensor, this is its retrieval.

To create a visit:

  • Go to the tab in the organization.
  • Click
  • Select or search for the location from the list in the table. Click the crayon icon to enter the Visit form.
  • Enter the visit date. Note: You’re only required to enter the visit date in order to create a visit; the rest of the fields are optional.
  • Click after which the visit photos tab will appear.

2.3.1 Visit metadata

The visit metadata form allows you to have a history of the location’s visits over time. It also summarizes what environmental sensor equipment was deployed and retrieved at the location. Clicking on the icon will take you to the visit form, where you can enter more information.

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Once the main visit form has been filled in, the button will turn green and allow you to begin adding sensor metadata to the visit. You can also save and close the main visit form, taking you back to the visit metadata: an overall summary of all visits, sensors and equipment at that location. This section of the visit form is handy when you are servicing sensors over multiple months or years.

You can add sensor (i.e. equipment) information by clicking the visit and then the in the visit metadata form or when you are entering visit metadata at the location level.

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2.3.2 Visit photos

WildTrax has the ability to upload photos for every unique visit you make. Once you create a visit, the Visit Photos tab will appear, allowing you to upload either a folder of images or a single file.

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Select your photos and click . Your photos will be appended in order down the form. You can click either on to add more attribute information to the photos or to remove it altogether.

2.3.2.1 Visit photo attributes

WildTrax supports the following metadata for each visit photo. The name of the photo will be taken from the file name.

  • Direction: cardinal direction of the location broken down into sub-cardinal units
  • Vertical Angle: angle at which the photo was taken relative to cardinal north
  • Access: the accessibility of the visit photo; this is determined by organization administrators
  • Comments: any useful information about the visit photo

2.3.3 Visit autogeneration

All media loaded into WildTrax contains spatial (locations) and temporal (date and time) metadata. You can take advantage of automatically generating visit metadata with the autogenerate visits function found in the button. This step follows the “implicit route” of getting visit metadata into the system.

WildTrax provides two ways of connecting metadata to media:

  • Implicit route: Uploading media through projects and autogenerating locations and visits
  • Explicit route: Creating locations, visits and connecting media via organizational projects

You can choose settings for the autogenerator prior to creating and quality controlling the visit metadata. The fields you can modify are as follows:

  • Gap days: The threshold number of days between media (recordings or images) or point count surveys beyond which a new visit will be created.
  • Check equipment: Compares the serial numbers associated with the equipment that collected the media against those entered in the visit metadata.
  • Create new records: Suggests new visit records based on dates associated with the media
  • Alter incorrect dates: Compares dates associated with the media to those entered in the visit metadata. The date of the first image or recording is considered the first visit (e.g. a sensor deployment) and the date of the final image or recording is considered the next visit (e.g. a sensor retrieval)
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A few things to note before getting started:

  • The visit autogenerator won’t give accurate visit metadata for ARU data because only a subset of recordings is typically uploaded to WildTrax for processing and these recordings are not usually the first collected by the sensor (e.g. the voice note or a test recording). The advantage of using the autogenerator is when a large amount of media has been uploaded to WildTrax but no visit metadata has been created yet. This sets the stage for an organization administrator to manage the visit metadata, append visit photos, etc.
  • Image sets and surveys, on the other hand, work great!
    • When image sets are uploaded into the system, all images, including those triggered at the start and end of the set (such as a human setting up or taking down the camera), will be used to autogenerate the visit.
    • Surveys are simple as there is only one occurrence at a given time and location, so the visit history is unique.
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To use the autogenerator:

  • Click in the Visits tab of the organization
  • Click Autogenerate Visits
  • Choose the settings you’d like to use (see above)
  • Click . Depending on how much media or visit metadata you are running the autogenerator on it may take a moment to process the results.
  • The corresponding table will show the location, a comparison of the media and visit metadata dates. The Action field summarizes the information that the autogenerator creates
  • Select any of the locations to accept the results
  • Scroll to the bottom of the table to create visits or override individual selections by creating all visits. The results will then be populated in the visit metadata form.

2.3.4 Syncing visits

Just like with locations, you can batch upload and download visits and visit metadata by clicking the button. 

  • Click the  in order to get the current list of all visits and metadata in your organization. If you don't have any metadata yet, the csv will provide the column headers. 
  • Conduct the edits or changes to your csv
  • Click on 
  • This will take you to the Upload CSV form; choose your local CSV file and click —this will allow you to preview the changes you’ll be making to your location data. If there are no differences, a prompt indicating will appear
  • To accept the modifications, scroll down and click

Here's a list of the fields required and their description for the csv that you'll be uploading. 

  • Location: the location name
  • Visit date: The day of the visit in the format YYYY-MM-DD
  • Snow depth: snow depth in meters; e.g. 0.45
  • Water depth: water depth in meters; e.g. 0.03
  • Crew: the crew who visited the location
  • Bait: whether the visit was baited
  • Access method: the access method of the visit e.g. on foot, ATV, helicopter, etc.
  • Land features: any significant landscape features around the location at the time of the visit; e.g. beaver dam, agricultural field, etc.
  • Comments: a description of the visit

2.3.5 Adding sensors to visits

If you’re using an ARU or a camera to survey the location, you can add the sensor information either through the visit overview form or the visit itself. Click on to open the sensor form.

You won't be able to add sensor and equipment information until the visit has been created or selected. In other words you need to have visited the location first in order to deploy or retrieve equipment. 

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Within these forms you can select the sensor type (ARU or camera) and the visit during which the equipment was deployed or retrieved. You can do the same thing by clicking on the visit you’d like to add equipment to while you’re creating the visit.

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You can also quickly register new equipment by clicking the button when you select the sensor or equipment type in the form.