Submitting Observations & Other Instructions

Submitting ObservationsEditing ObservationsSystem MessagesForgot Account Settings

Submitting Observations

  1. Create a Spider WebWatch account (register). Why? Because you can then edit or delete any of your observations at any time AND you can participate in any discussion on others' observations.
  2. Activate your account by clicking the link in the activation email you will receive. If you forget your password, not to worry, you can always get a new, temporary password then change it later.
  3. Log in to your account & visit any of the nine species pages from the Spider WebWatch homepage

    • How can you tell if you're logged in?

      Logged In: Not Logged In:
      Logged In Not Logged In
      Logged In Not Logged In

  4. Click the link entitled, Submit in the tabbed navigation panel
  5. Zoom in and click a precise spot on the GoogleTM map to get coordinates (or manually enter them in the blue latitude & longitude boxes)
  6. Pick your observation date
  7. Enter the number of males Males, females Females and/or the number of immatures or spiders of unknown sex Immatures or Unknown Sex (see FAQ page to tell the difference)
  8. Type your observation in the text box (see below for explanation of icons, some suggested content, & browser compatibility issues)
  9. If you took a picture of the spider you observed, browse for a jpg image. Your picture will be resized to a maximum of 250 pixels on the widest side so you are encouraged to resize prior to submitting your observation.
  10. Click the Submit button to submit your observation or the Preview button to examine the anticipated output


Screenshot of Submission Page

Buttons Above the Observation Text Box

Cut text icon Cut text (Ctrl+X).
Copy text icon Copy text (Ctrl+C).
Paste text icon. Paste text (Ctrl+V).
Paste from text editor. Paste and remove unwanted & bulky coding if the source text resides in a text file. Ensure that your cursor is in the text editor before clicking this button.
Paste from MS Word. Paste and remove unwanted & bulky coding if the source text resides in MS Word. Ensure that your cursor is in the text editor before clicking this button.
Undo the last operation. Undo the last operation (Ctrl+Z).
Redo the last operation icon. Redo the last operation (Ctrl+Y).
Insert a new link icon. Insert a new link.
Unlinks the current selection icon. Unlinks the current selection/removes all selected links.
Remove formatting icon. Removes formatting from the selection.
Edit source code icon. Edit HTML source code. Useful if, upon review of the description, odd formatting appears in place of what was apparently submitted. Knowledge of HTML is required. Click HERE for sites about HTML coding.
Spell check icon Begins the spell check. Only works with IE6.0+ and requires a one-time modest download and install.
Bold text icon Bold text style (Ctrl+B).
Italic text icon Italic text style (Ctrl+I).
Underline text icon. Underline text style (Ctrl+U).
Subscript icon. Makes the selection subscripted.
Superscript icon. Makes the selection superscripted.
Character map icon. Insert special character.

WARNING! Browser Compatibility Issues

Unfortunately, the observation text box has a few browser compatibility issues. It uses Open Source scripting designed by Moxicode Systems and is called TinyMCE. The following table shows what browsers are supported. However, you are strongly advised to use FireFox for greatest compatibility and ease of use.

Windows XPMacOS X 10.4
MSIE 5.0--
Firefox 1.5.xOKOK
Firefox 2.0OKOK
Opera 9OK(1)OK(1)

(1) - Partially working
(2) - Works "OK", but you may need to examine the HTML source, especially for external links

Suggested Observation Content

What you write as an observation is entirely up to you; the observation submission page was constructed to be as wide open and simple as possible. However, here is a previously submitted observation in case you would like something from which to work:

Sighting Report - first egg sac of season found in garden: -- Location: City of Ottawa (formerly Osgoode Township), Carleton County, Ontario, Canada., Coordinates: Osgoode 45.14651, -75.60883., Date & Time: August 7, 2006; 18:00 hours., Habitat: Oldfield meadow -- Intentionally created Spider Habitat. Predominant vegetation: goldenrod, Wild cucumber, common milkweed, yarrow, Aster., Details: Large egg sac found attached to foliage in vicinity known as the "Spider Garden". General vicinity of UTM 18T 0453821, 5003433 (WGS84)., Reference Photographs: none.

Editing Observations

If you submitted an observation and later want to edit it or delete it, log in to your account and on the WebWatch homepage in the :: YOUR ACCOUNT :: panel, click the link entitled, Observations & Discussions to obtain a list of all your submitted observations and to browse through comments received on these observations. From that page, you may find an observation to edit or delete.

System Messages

Oops! Someone else submitted an observation
very close to yours with a similar observation date.

If you receive the above message upon submission of your observation, the Spider WebWatch system did not add it because the observation date was within 4 days (or 7 days in the case of more sedentary orbweavers) and also within 0.25o of someone else's submission for that same species. You might also have mistakenly submitted your observation a second time! Even though you probably had something very valuable to post, it is equally important to limit the chance that the same spider has been receiving many observations or to swamp the system with many observations in a tight geographical area. Remember, the long term goal of this initiative is to say something about how a few native spider species are influenced by human activities across broad geographic regions. If you see the same species of spider again in 4 days (7 for the large orbweavers), by all means return to Spider WebWatch and submit your observation. At that time, you could also include a note in your observation about having seen an individual of the same species 4-7 days ago.

Sorry, the coordinates or the observation date you attempted to submit were invalid!

It's not likely you'll ever see the above message because there are checks in place to prevent the submission of a future observation date or invalid coordinates. In the Western Hemisphere above the equator, decimal degree latitude values are all positive and decimal degree longitude values are all negative. As a further check, longitude values must also be less than -40 but greater than -180 (e.g. -110) and latitude values must be greater than 0 but less than 84.

Your WebWatch observation was successfully received.

Your observation was successfully received and is now live on the species page in Spider WebWatch.

Forgot Account Settings

If you forgot your username and/or your password, visit the Log in page and click the link entitled Forgot your Username or Password?. Type in the email address you used when you registered, click the Send New Password button and a new, temporary password will be generated and sent to you. Once you receive that automated email message, click the link it contains or copy and paste it into your browser's address bar to activate the new password. Don't delete that email message just yet! Then, you may login using the username and temporary password as shown in that same automated email message. Once logged in, you may change the password by visiting the Password & Autobiography page accessible as a link from the Spider WebWatch homepage in the top right-hand panel entitled :: YOUR ACCOUNT :: (only visible when logged in).