Amount of "Unknown" records is decreasing

This is why I think it is a fair thing to ask for a bulk-edit, as long as it is limited to only ‘Unknown’ records, and you are only putting a broad ID on it (nothing lower than Order, for example).

I’ve been harping on about this lately, but I honestly think it would be relatively easy to implement, it would get people a proper ID so much quicker, and it would take a huge load off those few who are diligently trying to help. You can vote for it on this Feature Request thread:


Harris and Harris’s book Plant Identification Terminology isn’t just for students! It’s wonderful All the terms illustrated. I tell students and others that every botanist needs a copy on his/her shelf. I’ve got two on mine. (I loose things.)


Thanks! Hispaniola is my specialty.


Is there a way to set a user’s observations to ignore? I’m trying to categorize African ‘Unknown’ observations and they are dominated by a single power user (with 100K+ observations) who is bizarrely upset and insulting about my IDing his thousands of unknown observations as things like Flowering Plants.

“[your IDs are] self fulfulfilling and meaningless”

“[you posted] a slew of meaningless IDs”

“[You’re making my observations get] lost within the rubbish that cannot be identified to family level”

‘I post lots of observations without any IDs and within minutes most are identified. Then after a few months someone makes a meaningless ID like plants, and I add a family or generic ID as close as I can get, because I know that once in the trashcan of “plants” it is lost.’

So this power user dominates Africa’s unknown observations and I like to be able to filter him out so I can help people who actually want it.


If it is who I think, this was discussed upthread. I’ll find the link [addendum: never mind, bouteloua posted the method]
Basically, yes, you can exclude a user from your searches.

If it helps any, it isn’t personal; that user is rather brusque with everyone. Also, you can sometimes ignore unknowns from users with older accounts and thousands of observations (at least for a few hours or days), as these users often have a process that means those observations won’t remain as unknowns:


Sorry that’s happening to you, those are certainly not very good faith or kind comments you’re receiving.

One thing you can do is increase the “per_page” and mark all as reviewed: You’ll have to wait a few moments (until the blue spinner stops spinning) until they’re actually marked as reviewed, then refresh the page and repeat.

And thanks @star3 for the reminder - you can also use the &not_user_id= feature, which requires a number rather than the username, so this URL for African Unknowns sans that user:


thank you, that’s exactly what I wanted, I did not know you could increase the per_page count.

Edit- even better with the not_user_Id filter!



My general method is to filter them by observations that were added 3 months ago going back to 2000 so I’m only looking at things that have gone a while without the locals IDing them. All the IDs I gave him were from March or earlier.


Can anything be done about this situation, it appears in almost every thread about iding, may iNat stuff have a talk about such behaviour? (I mean humiliating iders, not uploading unknowns).


No, I meant the age of the user account, not the age of the observation.

I don’t think you can filter on that (recent users only goes back a week or so), so you have to look at their profile page to see when the account was created.

So when I’m IDing and see something like this:

I click on their userid and see when their account was created.

But I see what you mean about adding a coarse ID when it has been sitting at unknown for 3 months or more.

Oh interesting, thanks


Also, if there’s anything in the placeholder, like in the screenshot I posted, be sure to copy it and paste it as a comment when you do your coarse ID (so you are still only IDing to where you feel confident, but the placeholder is still visible and not “hidden” in the json).

Unfortunately they are easy to overlook and the feature request to preserve them in the observation comment was denied, so you have to be vigilant.


Thanks, I always do that too, unless I miss it. These happened to all have the placeholder ‘tree’, so I did not.

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It is easy to miss, especially when you are kind of in the zone when doing a bunch of IDs for unknowns.

I’d encourage everyone to flag inappropriate comments when they see them, and especially to reach out to the staff directly at when they see a longtime pattern of inappropriate behavior.


I don’t use the app, and I’ve been wondering . . . when a person makes identifications on the app, is it possible to see the description section of the observation where the observer can state which organism in the photo(s) is the subject? Oh, I just noticed you said “external phone app.” I’m not sure if that means an iNaturalist app or something else.

Could mean on a mobile browser.

Thanks. I thought using thumbnails was the main reason that description sections didn’t seem to be visible, but it just occurred to me that the apps might not have them visible either. Then again, there’s no date on additions to or edits to the description section, so that makes it hard to figure out as well.

Yes the description shows up!


Thank you. That’s good.