Add search feature in "Favorites"

I fav a lot of images for various reasons: I think they’d be good images for Taxon Pages; they are of a weird organism I’d like to help ID later; I might use them in school assignments; they just look nice/funny; etc. However, I now have so many (27 pages worth) that it has become hard to find specific images.

It would nice if there was a search feature on Favorites that would allow me to find specific images more quickly. It doesn’t have to be elaborate: just being able to search by taxon would be appreciated, but I’m curious to know if others may want this feature too.

I like this idea as well, since I also have quite a few pages worth of faves.

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A feature request (or maybe it was just an old Google group thread) was made for adding categories to the favourites, like “id later”, “funny obs”, “check this one”, etc. I imagine it would work similar to how tags work, but would be private to the IDer…


I’d prefer to be able to sort by my own custom categories, but I’d settle for a generic taxon categorisation. We have taxon categorisation on Lists and projects, just copy that format across to the favourites system, no? (Or, reverse, convert system so favourites are saved as a list so it can utilise the taxon sorting)

Some (any!) sort of categorisation is urgently needed though. I can’t even sort/search by date or keyword its absurd.

The idea of it being “tag based” would mean you have complete freedom in how you categorize them, just as the observer does with the current tag system. Have a play with tags on your own observations to see what I mean, and then imagine a similar (but separate) functionality from the identifiers perspective

i think this would take favorites further down a path they probably were never intended to go. i’m guessing that the old style projects are more what the iNat designers wanted to allow you to collect and categorize observations, but they probably provide a little too much functionality in some respects and are probably a little too unwieldy in many cases.

i think to achieve the ability to categorize observations, it’s better to extend the functionality of the observation subscriptions (see #2 in then if you want to build search functionality on top of that, i think that’s probably the best path.

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I dunno. The tag capability is there, you just have to duplicate it for this purpose. It would effectively replace the favourites system, because you could add your own tags to obs, which would be visible on the observation page only to yourself, and you could click those to go to a search result that matches, just like you do for the tags now. Once you “check this one later”, you can delete the tag to have it drop off that category, so to speak… I would imagine that instead of adding tags at the time of uploading the observation, the IDer tags could be added at the time you make the identification (on the identify page) or directly from the observation view, in a similar way that the observer can add them to their own observations.

Just thinking outside the box, because the two tag systems would be near identical in how they operate, maybe there could be the ability to “publish” tags and make them searchable under both systems. They would by default be private to the tag setter, but they could toggle them to be openly searchable. There are many users that include tags for a number of useful things that could benefit others, like flower colour, or being from a particular reserve, etc. It then becomes borderline like the field system, with the ability to have them remain locked and controllable by the setter (eg an identifier).

hmm, you can do that now with fields, and just make up your own field, some people turn off field adding to their observations but I feel like that is rare? And it’s true everyone could see it but you could use numbers or something. I’m sure some existing field could be used


yeah, but fields can be edited and seen by anyone, this would be just like tags, except instead of only editable by observer, they would be only editable (and visible) to the reviewer, ie yourself…

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so it would be:

  • observation tags for observers only
  • review tags for anyone else looking at the observation (and you could use them like favourite categories)
  • and fields viewable and settable by anyone
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Related feature request: ‘Like’ and ‘Bookmark’ buttons

(I use the favorites tool as a “like” and not a bookmark, so I wouldn’t find this particularly useful myself.)


But what the tags idea would do is free up the current favourites feature to be more specifically a “likes” :) It could even be renamed to “Like” for clarity

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Well, I just noticed after trying to find 1 specific obs that may or may not have been in my pile, that I have 17 pages of thumbnails to stare at in that pile. Time for DIY organization.

In the absence of feature-granting, do you think folks would find a tag route as ok for me to use, if I used tags like “pretty”, “cool”, “weird”, “study” (probably my main categories of faves)? I am hesitant to use obs fields because the observer gets a notification that you added one (which could look weird if field value = “weird”.

tags can only be put on by observer though, so you could only do it with your own obs?

Over a year on and I still think tags or notes on others observations that are only visible and searchable by myself, would be the way to go. What that means from a resource and processing perspective I’m not entirely sure, and it might be why they are reluctant to add this.

[edit: the only current way I know of is to go through them and add into bookmark folders on your browser. I did experiment with a word processing file (ok, notepad.exe, I’m old school!) and copy/paste the url with the notes under each one… but it gets cumbersome real fast… although searching and finding stuff is easy, you can’t just simply look at all your “check on these via WSC” entries with a search filter. Oh, maybe a spreadsheet would be the way to go!]

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Darn, all faves in my pile are of other peoples’ obs. OK, if I can cook up some other workable DIY system I’ll post it here…

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I save many observations as favourite observations because they have discussions on how to ID species that are very helpful in doing future identifications. It would be great l to be able to search the favourites for relevant species or taxons when doing ID’s.

I’m currently experimenting with the extension OneTab in Chrome, sorting them into locked/named tab sets. Similar to the bookmark folders idea but possibly more accessible for me since I’m already using OneTab to manage my large number of iNat notifications.

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