Annoyances when Identifying

I have recently found this while doing large amounts of identifications after coming back into iNat after having a long break, is that if I identify say 10 observations in one page and then go to the bottom and click to the next page number that it actually takes ten observations from this next page to fill up the now reviewed observations from the previous page and so it makes me skip over those ten observations.
The way around it that I currently use is that I have to reload the identification page before I go to the next page so that those next ten observations show up and I can identify as many of them as I like and I have to keep reloading until there are no more observations there that I want to identify on that page before I skip to the next page.
I do not know if there is another way around this but I would love to know how others navigate their way around this slight difficulty.


Yep, it’s annoying. What I do is start at the end. If 35 pages of Species X need IDs, I start on p. 35 and work my way to p. 1.

However, if there are many, many observations that need IDs, iNat will pop up a note that says something like, “We cannot show you more than (some large number) of observations at a time.” If that happens, I filter ever more finely - month by month or state by state or whatever it takes.


This has been discussed a little bit and is what I was getting at here:

I think adding the filter &per_page=200 makes this less frequent.


I do what @lynnharper does, that is, start on the last page and work my way forward.


You can also sort by random.



I start from the end, or the last page i want to identify. Then work my way to the first page.


If you click on the last observation on the page and then click on the “next observation” arrow (not the next page arrow), you will be shown an option to “mark all as reviewed” or “skip to next page”. If you “skip to the next page” the previous page will still be there.


I sort by observation upload date (most of the time the day prior) and work through those backwards. The only things that slip in with this method are recently IDed unknowns or observations brought back from casual. For my geography-based IDing, I’ll work through unknowns first.

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I do this often, especially if I cannot get to the last page because of what Lynn described… it is just pretty unsatisfactory that it does not show how page numbers decline (which is a motivator for me) and one cannot easily find certain observations again (which I do sometimes . “Wasn’t there the same organism 3 pages back…?”)

Edit: just saw the reply did not work … I am replying to the suggestion to use the random filter

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(changed the title to make it clear the topic is about annoyances when identifying, not how to identify things that annoy us)


Going backwards fixes this. Like starting at page 100 and going forward.

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One annoyance I have with Identifying not mentioned is the pain of marking things “as good as can be”. The recently added hotkeys for life stages is incredibly useful, but no hotkey to my knowledge exists for 'as good as can be". A use case for this in my experience is the non biting midge genus Axarus. Females can’t be IDed to species, and males require extremely detailed imagery for species ID. So extreme only 2 out of nearly 1000 obs have been IDed to species. So hundreds of observations should be marked “as good as can be” to make them RG. The lack of a hotkey slows the process of marking them.


My African Unknowns are - set to 8 on a page (fits my screen).
Sort by date observed - so I can retrieve ‘one subject’ split across a few obs and scattering field marks as they go.
Because there are so many waiting patiently I go to the first page (observed now) then alternate to last page (recently uploaded from their archive).
Since I open each obs (placeholder about to be destroyed automagically?) any notes, multiple pictures all of the ONE subject.

Mark as Reviewed if I cannot ID. @mention if the obs looks promising … help ?
Refresh after each page cleared, as they come in as fast I can battle to keep the page count steady, if not actually going down.

And my page counts melts very slowly, till I give up till tomorrow.

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I also tend to start at the last page and work forwards, or sort as random. One thing I dislike about sorting as random is that you don’t get to see you progress (number of pages going down), but that is minor.


I can understand the frustration here when doing detailed IDing of a specific situation where this box is applicable.

That said, given the “power” of ticking “good as can be” and the fact that it is not uncommonly used in situations where it should probably not be, I personally think it is best to keep this option without a keyboard shortcut. This will hopefully make users think about whether or not it is worth it to tick this and discourage some of the more overzealous ticking of the box.

In short, for “as good as can be”, I’d rather err on the side of too few uses than too many.

If someone really wants a keyboard shortcut for that, they can probably rig something with a custom keyboard shortcut maker.


Because the tabs on the observations in Identify are “sticky”, you could do all of your normal identifying and then afterwards do a search for just Axarus, include previously reviewed observations, and quickly click through them with the Data Quality tab up. That might be more efficient than going back and forth between tabs during your initial round of identifying.



Shameless plug for my chrome extension which does exactly that. I use it like crazy when identifying grasses. So many pictures of just leaves that are totally unidentifiable that are no longer in the needs ID pool.


Thank you so much. This is much better than including it as a base feature, because I agree it could get over used and have quite negative effects.

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