Often there are researches looking for certain aspects of an organism, I’ll use ‘Flora’ as an example. If a Botanist is looking for fruit of a Eucalyptus species then currently they will have to browse through hundreds of observations before tiring themselves out, it is very hard to browse for a photo of Eucalyptus fruit. If we can assign metadata to individual photos then finding these key features would be simplified. (Note: metadata data is assigned to individual photos not the observation)
This will also assist in finding observations that has supporting evidence. Some of us may not like a distant photo of a tree identified to species level but instead observations with several photos of additional features such as fruit, form, leaves, bark etc. would be more certain of a correct ID. I would trust an observation that has supporting evidence to that of a distant tree 2km away.
In the concept below I have shown how iNaturalist automatically associates the ‘feature tools’ for that species such as ‘Eucalyptus’ the flora icon tools appears for ‘Flowering Plants’ but it doesn’t display the features for other species, so in other words the ‘feature tools’ wont appear for fungi if identifying plants, its only limited to that class being identified (Magnoliopsida) or lower rank (Eucalyptus) . Although if I was to enter Fungi than the ‘Feature Tools’ icons such as gills would appear because gills are associated with fungi. The images below demonstrates that after I enter the species name ‘Eucalyptus’ a list of flora icons appear (bottom left) so that I can now drop the flowering bud icons onto the single photo of in my observation. By dropping the icon onto that single photo metadata is assigned to that particular image (not the observation). I can now search for these particular features using the appropriate filters.
(Above) the Icon has been dropped onto the observation, it has now been indicated by the flowering bud logo.
(Above) Filters that can be used to search for particular features such as the flowering buds.
Icons that can be dragged & dropped makes for a fast simple workflow, it is very quick much easier than typing.