Are there redundant observation fields, and if so, should they be merged?

Question: are there redundant annotations, and if so, should they be merged?

I often annotate trees as “Tree” because, well, I like trees. And when I go to fill in that observation field, I see the following dropdown:

Now, “Kereru food tree” is clearly a specific use case; someone is concerned with New Zealand pigeons, and is monitoring their food trees. “Tree Use” also has a clear use case, in that one could record something that humans are doing with the tree (perhaps using it as a living fence post, as is standard cultural practice with Gliricidia sepium in the Dominican Republic).

But then, “Tree species”? If the observation is being identified to species, isn’t annotating as a “Tree” then exactly the same as annotating as a “Tree species”? And then the same would apply to “Tree ID,” would it not?

I’m not sure what DRPD stands for in “Tree Health–DRPD,” but together with “Tree Condition” and “Health of Tree,” these seem like they all encompass the same general use case.

I’m just not sure it is really necessary to have as many synonymous annotations as there appear to be.

Looks like you’re adding Obseration Fields, which are different than Annotations. See


They’re on the Annotations tab.

(Moved posts from the topic about adding new Annotations.)

Are you addressing the ‘‘standardize-and-clean-up-observation-fields’’-issue? I know there has been discussions about before…

Seeing as that thread is closed, looks like we’re gonna have to discuss it here.

Can this be moved to an old topic instead?

Are you referring to the closed feature request or a different topic? We won’t be reopening the feature request topic since

Then what’s the point of keeping this topic opened? If it says the same things basically and answer will be no to merging. Could the old one be moved from feature requests to general or there’s no such option?

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For one thing, it was closed after nine votes. If I had seen it in time, it would have ten.

And when did it become possible for someone other than the OP to mark a thread as solved?

From my memory it was always possible for anyone to choose a message as a solution, it is kinda weird.

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I thought it was just moderators. I’ve never been able to mark another post as a solution unless it was my thread.

Okay, I’ll go ahead and re-mark @bouteloua 's reply as the solution, since there doesn’t seem to be another one. But at the same time, let me propose a mitigation: people should be encouraged, before creating new observation fields, to check and use the search window in the top right to see if there are existing ones which they can use for their purposes. Why reinvent the wheel every time?

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