Announcing the (JANUARY) 2021 ID-a-thon (all welcome)

There’s enough interest here that I’d like to add one or two more categories. Please suggest some. New categories must be something that will be fun for everyone, including beginners!
eg. no ‘‘whoever just adds the most IDs’’, that’s not fun because some people (like, um, me) add thousands of IDs a week and newcomers will give up trying.
Suggestions for categories may be submitted until Dec 25th, at which point I’ll choose ones that are actually good, and make a poll for participants to vote for categories they want.

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Most Maverick IDs
Most IDs on January 1st while nursing a hangover.
Most IDs in a 24-hour period.
Most IDs on “Unknown” records.
Most Kingdom-level IDs.

maybe the last 3 are actually realistic or desirable.


LOL. so long as it’s measurable, and doesn’t incentivize bad behaviour.
I may take some ideas and modify them, if that’s OK.
sillier suggestions may or may not appear as mystery% categories


I like it, but I don’t think there’s a way to count/search for that.


please send “handy link to eligible observations”

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For example, here’s one that can work for ''improve%" – you can modify taxon, location, or several other parameters:

You can customize it yourself or I’ll make one for you if you’re not sure how. Check out How to use iNaturalist’s Search URLs - wiki for tips.

I’ll be giving exact parameters for each category, so that it’s transparent what will be counted and what is not, closer to the event.

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Subcategory for " Most IDs of Muskrat"?


This inspired me to look up iNat’s oldest obs… they’re mistakes, obviously, since no one was photographing birds in year 2 CE!


“Most observations from 1477 identified.”


I just learned about the 1477 Thai date glitch! And earlier this week I learned that in android programing, day zero was Dec 31 1969 and a bunch of observations with blank dates got assigned to that date… So many weird things in programing.

Anyway I am getting off topic here.


This is wonderful! I’m in! What time-zone will be used to start? Will those of us in NZ and a couple of Pacific Islands get an advantage as we are first over the international dateline?


The time zone / cutoff used will probably be approximate and based on what time of day I happen to update the rankings P:
Although, any searches/filters will be using whatever iNat uses, which does not appear to be EST.

I’m not kidding when I say completely informal lol


This is getting a lot more attention than I expected. I offered on the Hackathon thread to do workshops so I guess I will.
Workshops will be held for groups between 3-10 people at a time

Sign up here

sign me up for
  • Let me see poll results first
  • Unknowns for Beginners
  • Somewhat More Advanced Unknowns and Life
  • Plants for Beginners
  • Somewhat More Advanced Plants
  • Moderately Advanced Euphorbia ID
  • Other (I will comment)

0 voters

OK so I can’t actually see who is signing up for each… But that’s OK, once I’ve got a sense of which will actually happen I’ll make separate announcement(s).

Update Dec. 21: There’s enough interest that all of these will happen. Closing poll so I don’t anxiously check it ten times a day any more lol


I want to sing up for South Asian Birds and Butterflies.


Hi, welcome to the Forum!
I’m glad to have you :)
You can ID anything you want, and will make progress in at least the improve% and total% categories ;)

If you mean for workshops, unfortunately I know nothing about either of those topics so I can’t really help you there ):

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I was talking about both, and it’s okay if you’re unable to help…:blush:

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What a great idea! I am absolutely in on this. My personal goal is to get the number of my IDs up to match the number of my observations - that means I need 2,210 more IDs. (Eek!) Even better, I’d like to have more IDs than observations by the end of this ID-a-thon, since this will be the slow time of year for making observations in my part of the world (northeastern US). Then I can go wild in spring making tons of observations without feeling as though I should be making IDs concurrently.

I better get started on this right now…


I want the bonus category to be “captive organisms” at least one time :)


I’ll make sure they’re not completely ignored. Either by including verifiable=any in one of the main categories, or making it a category of its own, or at least including casual obs in a mystery% or two.
In general I wish there were an easy way to not count the fourth+ identical ID on something which had already had community consensus, but that would be a lot more work for me right now.


How about adding these categories to the poll?:

  • Lepidoptera for Beginners

  • Somewhat More Advanced Lepidoptera

  • Fungi for Beginners

  • Somewhat More Advanced Fungi

  • Narrowing Down Identifications

I would definitely would like to be included in Lepidoptera for Beginners, Fungi for Beginners, and Narrowing Down Identifications! Thanks in advance.