I’m going to share my 2 cents here.
As far as I see it, the main priority of CV is for helping and providing appropriate identifications. It has a second role of speeding up IDs, as well (often times waiting for CV to load is far quicker than typing a name and selecting it from the list).
There have been many times personally where CV suggested a species that was not “seen nearby” and it has been correct. So it’s actually been a big help especially when I was in Australia; a lot of the species were Asian and weedy there, but not otherwise reported on iNat yet.
My ideal vision for CV would incorporate all of these outcomes. The difficult question is “how can you control what is an appropriate suggestion that isn’t seen nearby?”, while retaining the remaining functionality. And I think it could work by using a priority list for how it displays results. Not just cutting “not seen nearby” taxa entirely, because that would be foolish and it removes the ability for CV to provide very helpful input on what something looks like without location bias. One of the main problems I see is the whole “it hasn’t been reported here, so therefore it isn’t”, and people have lower expectations about new count record or “rare” options than they should. But at the same time this still needs to meet the most important focus of CV, which is not a replacement for ID skills, but accurate suggestions.
Here’s what I feel could work. CV runs the images, and develops a number of suggestions, that would be displayed in the following order of priority.
1st priority. Genus name for the top suggestion if that species is “seen nearby”, and if that genus is not monotypic (if it is monotypic, move to 2nd priority). I say genus and not species, because often times the genus ID is vastly more accurate (by proxy of it being less specific). Species IDs tend to incur the most incorrect suggestions in my experience, especially in genera with a lot of local options.
2nd priority. Species name for the top suggestions, if that species is “seen nearby”. This provides a support to the 1st entry, but without dismissing species suggestion entirely. Very important in my eyes.
3rd priority. This is what I’ll call the “general” suggestion. This would be the family ID of the most similar taxa. By default this would incorporate “seen nearby” taxa, but if not, then it’ll just choose the next most likely decision without location bias. For instance, it looks like Ericameria and Isocoma, which are both Asteraceae, so Asteraceae will be chosen as on option. This is also helpful because for someone like me who might know the plants, and can see that the top option is wrong but is at least mostly right, it is useful having the family ID quickly available to click on.
4th priority. Other suggestions that are similar, but not “seen nearby”. For instance, I post a mint and it closely resembles a species from Europe, that isn’t known from California.
The 2nd and 4th priority lists are not restricted to one entry, though 1st and 3rd would be. At least in my head this makes the most sense in terms of how CV works best.