Annotation performance could be improved

website, browser=chrome

I have done several thousand annotations of life stage in the last week. It occurs to me that the performance of the website could be improved and thus make the task at hand quicker for the user. The issue is after you use a keyboard shortcut to select “adult” for example, the icon often quickly turns to what you selected, but then often immediately turns off with the working cursor spinning. But sometimes the icon doesn’t even show before the working cursor starts spinning. If you make a mistake and select the wrong stage, you have to wait about 4 seconds for the working cursor to finish, then click the “x” to remove that stage and wait for 4 more seconds and then select the correct stage. Also things kind of get locked where it won’t allow you to select a stage for several seconds. It appears to me that there is a lot of unnecessary synchronization with the inaturalist server. It would be an improvement if somehow the process was changed to lesson the amount of synchronization. Annotation is something that you would really like to move through the observations as quickly as possible.


thanks for doing annotations!


It’s mostly because I need them annotated for my own work.


I’m also really frustrated with the annotation process. I can’t be sure if clicking the button has “taken” until it shows up (because sometimes it doesn’t take), and but that takes a while. If I click multiple phenological stages quickly, the later ones may or may not take. I too have the problem with correcting errors – but it’s longer than 4 seconds for me! I’ve pretty much given up annotating other people’s observations.


Please, don’t re-order the categories of response (for example, life stage, sex, alive/dead). I understand the world in a very spacial way. In the last three or four days, the categories have been re-arranged twice. That’s disturbing for me. It slows me down. I can’t just go to the locations I want and click. Put the categories in whatever order you’d like, but please don’t change it.

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I use Firefox and have the same experience. Annotating is very slow, to the point that when IDing I will sometimes not annotate because it takes so long.


Welcome to the forum!

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Thank you! I’m looking forward to being more involved with this community.


This has generally bugged me too, but I’ve noticed that pretty much everything goes through even if it doesn’t display. Reloading the page usually makes them show up. But that shouldn’t really be necessary.

This is also all true for adding observation fields.

I’m pretty sure this isn’t something that is getting changed. I think the order just loads differently or something sometimes, even from one observation to the next. I agree, very annoying.


(this report seems to be the same as )

I’m doing annotations again and would like to remind the powers at be that this issue is still here. Sometimes I have to hit the keyboard shortcut 10 times before it takes and it really doesn’t take. You can hit reload as many times as you like and it’s still not annotated.

I just had one where I had to hit the hot key 44 times before it worked.

When doing annotation at high volume (typically in keystroke mode), I notice that if I go “too fast” (x+n annotations per minute), the “excess” annotations n will not be accepted. If I slow down and stay within range x/min, most will be accepted.

It’s not the number of times you press the keys, I think it has to do with the system catching up to your previous annotations and such, as @lotteryd says. It’s been happening to me too and usually once I wait a few seconds I can add the annotation. Which is definitely slower than it used to be, but I think it’s related to just how big our database has grown and how busy iNat is. Frustrating for sure.


Makes sense, I have felt like the x/min rate is slightly larger during offpeak hours.

I’m finding that not using keyboard shortcuts is the best way to speed up annotations. The menus are mechanically slower, but there seems to be no wait on the server.