Bump Observations Back to "Needs ID" if Photos are Added

On the off chance that someone may stack photos of different organisms in the same observation or even better photos are added, I think observations that are RG should be bumped back.

As an example, if an observation has 2 ids and is RG but the observer adds three more, it should need one more id for confirmation since the previous ids where placed on the photos present and they do not know what’s on the new photos.

That would be welcome. After a stealth update I’ve seen some now-“erroneous” identifiers seeming to feel embarrassed and have to say later, “I swear that wasn’t there when I looked at it before!”


new photos with more info effectively makes it a fresh obs.


That would create more problems with groups without many experts. There’s already a notification not to add photos of many organisms in one obs. As someone who often adds photos from the camera to observations from the app and overall sees that adding photos may be crucial that sounds not very pleasant.
Why not stick to the idea of notifications about new photos?


There is?

How about instead of going back to needs ID, everyone following the obs gets a notification that new photos have been added. I know some people hate notifications, but hopefully with the new system, whenever it finally comes out, people will be able to turn off specific types.


Yes, in the app, probably it shoud be added to the website too.

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There’s a request for a similar addition. https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/have-system-add-a-comment-when-photos-change/14985


Yes, this didn’t seem to be mentioned as part of the revamped notifications system, but would seem logical to include. And I would like to get notification of any change to the evidence in the observation – addition, deletion, etc.

Changing back to “Needs ID” could be problematic, since that status is calculated from existing identifications, Data Quality Assessment parameters, etc. How would the system temporarily ignore those factors, and decide when to stop ignoring them again? About the only way I can imagine would be to automatically withdraw all but the first ID on the observation – and that could come with its own problems.


Yep, though as @Marina_Gorbunova points out, it’s in the app.


Adding photos could set “ID as good as it can get = no” flag, effectively putting it back into Needs ID. But only sometimes will that work… If there are “= yes” flags then it might not change it over. Also, it wouldn’t generate alerts for those that have already IDd so I’m not suggesting this is a workable option for this… Just putting it on the table as a different approach that might be worth thinking on…

Perhaps a new DQA for “evidence in observation has been altered”, which requires all identifiers so far on the observation to acknowledge in order to clear it.


[Cross-referencing similar Feature Request here]

Oh, that’s an interesting alternative. You should make it a feature request.

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That could be a problem if one or more of the identifiers becomes inactive, or isn’t paying attention.

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Glad to know that’s in there. I use the website mostly so I never noticed it in the app.

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The only times (twice, I think) that I have added photos it has been to clarify an unIDed observation with another image of the same individual/group. How would the proposed change affect the trajectory of such an observation to RG?


could be, or currently is…? or do you mean adding to the already problematic inactivity affecting other aspects of the ID system?

I can’t speak for @jdmore, but I think it’s a “could be”.

Currently, DQA turnovers can be by anyone who is active to be able to vote thumbs up/down; they aren’t limited to only those who have already left an ID on the observation “so far”, as you proposed.

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Just had another thought on this, after getting my DSLR back in action.

When I joined iNat in June I was using my phone exclusively, my camera being out of action due to a faulty battery charger. I’ve since got the camera back in action but it has no GPS (2008 vintage Canon). My solution (just implemented) is to take a phone shot to establish location and add the camera images after the fact. I assume that under this proposal the bar would be raised for RG on any observation entered this way. Yes?

EDITED to add:

More or less the same point as


This would be an issue for my obs too, requiring more work of identifiers. The problem would be solved if it were possible to load draft , ie unpublished, observations, but I imagine that would cause lots of unpublished obs from new users. I know the option to create unpublished or draft obs has been a request or suggestion in the past so there may be a reason it has not been implemented? Or does that need a feature request too.?