Frequently Asked Questions about the Phone App

If you can't find the answer to your question, use the Support link in the footer, but remember we are volunteers and we will respond as quickly as we can.

Seaside Dragonlet, female

This FAQ is specific to the phone app. Questions that apply to all of Odonata Central can be found on the general FAQ page. Many of these are relevant to using the app, so please check there as well.

Watch a 10 minute instructional video: Introduction to the Odonata Central Phone App

Entering Observations

  • How do I add an observation to my checklist?

    To add a species to your checklist, you enter the number observed in the space before the species name. There are three ways to do this: (1) You can tap the space where the "+" sign is. Each time you tap the space, it adds 1 to the species total. (2) You can tap the species name and enter a number into the Count field on the details screen. (3) You can enter the number observed in the search bar, hit a space and then type species name. When the species appears below, tap it and the number will be added to the current total for that species.

    If you do not have a count, you can add the letter X instead. You can only do this using method 2 above.

    If you need to decrease the number you entered, you can do that by editing the number using method 2 above.

  • How do I add an observation for a species not on the displayed checklist?

    To manually add a species to the list, use the search bar at the top. Type the number you saw, a space and then start typing the species name. The choices will dwindle and soon you will see the option "Search Entire Taxonomy" at the bottom of the list. Click that to search a world list of odonates (which is stored on your phone). A list of matches will appear. Scroll the list to find the one you want and tap on the species name. If this list is too long, redo the search but type more of the name before selecting "Search Entire Taxonomy." Note that, in the world wide taxonomy, not all species have English names so scientific names will appear in the list of matches even when you have English names toggled on.

  • Can I add photos to my checklist with the app?

    Since most people take photos of odonates with cameras and not with their phones, we did not provide this capability. You can add photos to your checklist by editing the checklist on the Odonata Central website after you have processed your photos. Note you can still use your phone by accessing the Odonata Central website with your phone's browser and adding photos that way if you want. Photos are very important documentation and we strongly urge you to add all your photos to your checklists.

  • What geographical regions can I enter data from?

    Odonata Central is focused on the Western Hemisphere. Records submitted from the Western Hemisphere will be subject to vetting. However, records can be entered from all over the world.

  • What is the difference between online and offline modes?

    When you open the app, it tests for a strong cell phone signal. If one is present, you can continue in online mode. If one is absent, you are automatically switched to offline mode. You can switch to offline manually if your cell phone signal is weak.

    In offline mode, you do not see a checklist when you click add records since this comes from the website. You add species one at time by using the search bar. Searches are conducted in a worldwide Odonate taxonomy that is stored on your phone.

    Once you have completed your checklist, you cannot add your location while you are offline. Instead you save your checklist which is time stamped with the time and date. Later, when you are online, you access these with the "Saved Checklist" icon on the home screen. Click on the saved checklist to add the location and submit to the Odonata Central Website.

  • Can I name my saved checklists?

    No. Saving a checklist is intended for temporary use when offline. You should open your saved checklists and add the location and submit to Odonata Central website as soon as you are online.

  • What is the most efficient way to enter locations on the app?

    Save your most used locations and designate them as Favorites. These appear at the top of the list of Saved Locations and can be selected with one click.

  • Can I practice using the app without submitting a checklist to Odonata Central?

    Yes. On the last screen with the "Complete Checklist?" switch at the top, select Cancel, not Save. This will allow you to delete your checklist and return to the home screen.