Add an observation field type that resolves to the community ID of a related observation

As per discussion on https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/allow-more-than-one-species-per-photo-observation/2816 it would be really useful to have a field type like the existing ‘taxon’ type, but that would (preferably dynamically) resolve to the community ID of a related observation (the observation number would be the value initially entered in the field).

This or some similar functionality would really help in linking interactions between species, as at present such interaction fields can easily get out of sync and show an entirerly different species than was determined in the seperate observation for the associated taxon.

Is this covered here? https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/connecting-observations-into-linked-groups/1367

It’s not the same thing as grouping or linking observations, this is about obtaining the taxa of another observation dynamically and having it appear on the observation page. There is a field called “Associated Species with lookup” that allows you to select the taxa that your observation is interacting with, but if you don’t know that taxa, or if it gets an ID correction from someone else (via a different observation), then the taxa in that associated species field doesn’t get corrected. You can group associated observations as per that discussion, but it won’t show the associated taxa dynamically in the observation you are looking at, nor will the associated or interaction taxa be accessible from a data extraction perspective.

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Maybe I’m misunderstanding. How is it different from linking observations together? e.g. these links/interactions:

  • organism 1/observation 1 <-----same location but different date than-----> organism 1/observation 2
  • organism 1 <-----same location and date as-----> organism 2
  • organism 1 -----eating-----> organism 2
  • organism 2 -----being eaten by-----> organism 1
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Yes, the functionality that @kueda describes (https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/add-interactions-to-species-pages/433/2) is what we are talking about, but that feature request subject is not about this particular idea.

So this is an official request for:

Yeah. I just don’t quite understand how it’s different from the existing feature request:

The linking talked about by @notyouraveragecatlady seems to be a more general concept. I see that request as talking about grouping observations, this request is about having a field that dynamically updates depending upon the community ID of another observation - linking/grouping might achieve some of the benefits, but it is a different idea. The ideas expressed by kueda above are also not quite the same thing but certainly get to the heart of what I am proposing, and take it to a more sophisticated level :-)

(What I am suggesting still requires that there be two observations from the same photo, which at present requires action by the observer to duplicate the observation, which is problematic if they are no longer active. A more general implimentation of interactions might bypass the need for duplicated observations, that would make this request redundant.)

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