Additional overlay from more precise place checklists on taxon page maps

Checklists are by far the most efficient way for large scale management of distribution information. They are significantly easier to maintain than either range maps or atlases which are other options.

One issue though is that the geographic inheritance upwards can cause a display that significantly distorts where a species is found.

For example this species : Grey Heron

It is on the Newfoundland and Labrador checklist (while there are no iNat records, the species has been seen here 2 or 3 times). The species is legitimately on the Newfoundland checklist. Likewise it is on the Canada checklist, an accurate accounting of Canada’s avifauna on a checklist would include the species.

However this means all 10 million square kilometers of Canada appear selected on the checklist map colouration.

I would propse

  • splitting the overlays available for map selection into 2 separate categories. One only containing nations (presumably driven by places defined as a country in the geography data) and a second more precise for sub-national and lower places (province/state/commune whatever)

If you zoom into the taxon maps, the whole of Canada is no longer colored in, only Newfoundland and Labrador is.

Visually, is your suggestion like what BONAP does? i.e. one color to show that it’s present/absent in the larger geographic area, and a different shade for its presence in the refined/smaller geographic areas?


In this case, this species has been found generally in the state of California (dark green), and has been documented in several counties in the northern half (light green). It has apparently never been documented in the dark green areas.

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The site map effectively already does that, green colour for checklist places with iNat records, orange for checklist places without.

I dont find the zoom behaviour useful, it’s more confusing if anything. I’d rather have the ability to eitther choose to see the nations, or see the specifics lower level detail, not have it change as I navigate.

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@loarie could taxon pages show exploded places by default instead?