Add geographic filtering level to Compare / Suggestions larger than country

When trying to compare species either through “Compare” button in Explore mode or through Suggestions tab in Identify mode there are different levels of geometric filtering. The last level is “country”. Unfortunately that is not very good as the coverage of current data is insufficient for uncommon species or less known groups. It is possible to remove the Country filter, but that brings up results for whole world, which is not reasonable in most cases.

Therefore, I would propose adding another filtering level below Country. It could be either “Continent” or some geometric radius from the current coordinates. It may be that the latter is technically difficult, but if it is not, some 1000 … 2000 km radius would likely suffice in most cases. It might even make sense to add both with the radius set at the lower value.

You should be able to enter any place, including continents:

I see. Yet writing seems an unnecessary step - just selecting one would be faster. It should also help against wrong continent IDs.

Come to think of it, in many cases it might be good if you could not go wider than continent (= clear defaults to continent) except writing World or such in the search box.

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@kueda — any reason not to include the continent on Compare/Suggestions? Most helpful for observations located in smaller/less observose countries than, say, the US.


We can do that, but if you’re identifying a beetle in Belize, is it really all that helpful to compare it to all beetles in North America? This might be useful in, say, Belgium / Europe, but not really in Belize, Benin, Bhutan…

Less useful for a hyperdiverse group like beetles, but, say, looking for birds or mammals of South America when the observation falls in Guyana, Venezuela, Suriname, or snakes of Africa when looking at observations in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, etc. Flora of Europe when looking at obs in Luxembourg, turtles of Asia when looking at obs in Laos, etc.

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Fair enough. Also, “observose”: wonderful.


I loved observose.

Maybe too query intensive, but what about a 500 km perimeter and include only the species within? Just a thought.

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I am noticing in the area where you type id it comes up with suggestions for example a species from africa it is suggesting some species from america. Is there a way to eliminate the species by continent in this suggestion field?

@JKT, just a heads sup: when you create a topic in Feature Requests, you don’t automatically vote for it; you will have to manually add a vote.

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@tiwane Thanks!

The idea of certain radius works quite well for me. However, my background is in Lepidoptera and there the radius would have to be much larger. For small moths the continent is just about right - the number of observations is that sparse. Naturally it wouldn’t work that well for Russia near Ural. There a radius would be much better … but that radius would have to be quite large due to low observation rate. 1000-2000 km might work.

@snidge This is a very good suggestion. The radius would work there quite well too. It could be quite large, though.

I’m voting for this suggestion. And if we are going to add places to the compare tool, can we include the community curated places? They appear on the obs itself but do not appear under the compare tool. Again, one can type them in, but it would be so much more efficient to be able to select them from the drop down list.

To answer my own question, the community curated places do show up under the compare tool, but only if you middle mouse click the link so it opens the Identitron in a new tab. They don’t appear if you open it in the same tab (i.e: as an overlay. I’m not sure why though. The two routes to the Identitron offer different options: I find the ‘same tab’ Idenitron lets you choose the Source for suggestions which is very useful and it gives one better control over the observations images. The ‘new tab’ Identitron gives you more control options and a full choice of geographic places, plus more images of the suggested taxa. So one needs to switch between the two to get the best of both.
It would be useful to have all the community places show up in the ‘same tab’ Identitron, I don’t see a reason to exclude them there.
(I’ve gone off the original topic, should I make this a new request 'Have all geographic places available in the ‘same tab’ Identitron"?)