Add a Suggestion ID Field in the Explore Grid View

I have only been using iNat since June of 2020. I have noticed that there are a lot of unidentified observations. I have also noticed that there are a lot of people who try to ID entries because are bothered that there are so many “unknown” entries. I admit that I have caught that bug a little bit.

One thing that slows down this process of entering suggestions is that there isn’t a good way to go through the list of unknowns and quickly enter an suggestion. If the grid view page for observations would have a suggestion field, it would allow one to easily go through large amounts of entries. Right now, the fastest way to do it is to use the grid view page, right click and open a single observation in a separate browser tab, and then enter a suggested ID.

I am not sure if adding that suggested ID field would slow down the grid page too much. I would like to know if there was a quicker way to go through large amounts of observations for entering an ID.

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Have you tried using the Identify tab instead of the Explore tab? You can sort by unknowns and easily suggest an ID without opening another tab.

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Yes. But, the Suggestions given are…uh…kind of crazy. The suggestions I get from the right-click method I described in the original post give me very good suggestions.


When I click on an observation on that page from the Identify page, a new window pops up with that individual observation. Then, if I try to get suggestions, the little green spinning arrow appears and spins and spins and spins…and spins…and…well…it takes a lot longer than the process I described above in the original post message.

Then, the suggestions are way off. I have tried two caterpillars with very good photos. The suggestions from the Identify page gave me “white-tailed deer” for one. (Huh??? Did I mention that the photo was very good for the caterpillar?). The other observation I tried gave me dragonflies for the obvious caterpillar.

When I used the process I described in my original post’s message, I got specific moth species for both caterpillars.

Here is the other page described in the original post message. See the specific moth species?

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I think you need to change your settings. When you use Identify on the iNaturalist website and go into the suggestions tab, there’s a filter called “Source” near the top and you have to change that from “observation” (which gives you all the organisms seen in that area) to “visually similar” (which uses the AI computer vision).

For me it would make more sense for visually similar to be the default setting on that filter, but that’s the way it is for now I guess.


Yep that was brought up here. Not sure if there’s a corresponding feature request.


Thanks. Using “Visually Similar” did help. But, it is still significantly slower than the original method I described. I should add that I am using a public library computer that has relatively fast Internet. And, not a lot of people are in the library right now using the computers.

I do appreciate your help. I have explored different parts of the iNat website because of your suggestions.


Ah, I’m glad changing the settings worked :)

I’ve found that the Computer Vision on Identity is a little slow, but it’s about the same as using Computer Vision on the mobile app for me so not much different there. It takes a while to load up all the observations on one page - from there opening up the observations are a lot faster than having to open them each up seperately though. And once you know all the keyboard shortcuts for Identify, it really speeds things up (“i” key to enter an identification, “r” key to review observations, arrow keys to switch to the next observation, etc).

I also do some of my identifying using the Explore function on the mobile app, but I just find that so slow and tedious that I can only do it for a short while.


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