Categories of picture thumbnails at the bottom of an observation - how useful are they?

Hey, I am thinking about writing a Feature Request for the observation previews displayed at the bottom of an observation, but before I do this, I wanted to get feedback from other users: how do you use the different categories and do you consider them useful?

Right now there are three different categories:

  • more from (Username)
  • nearby observations
  • observations of relatives

I never used the latter two, and especially the observations of relatives I don’t consider of much value (e.g. no geographic context). I would much prefer to swap this category to observations of the same taxon. I am aware that this information is already displayed on the map, but one has to click on each dot to see the photo and zoom in or out.

What I do use quite often, however, is to look at other obs from the same user, either to help them out on further IDs or mark as ‘not wild’ in the DQA. Therefore I am missing a display on the thumbnails, whether the obs is RG or casual, to help decide on which observation to click.

What are your thoughts?


I use the later 2 when I suspect I am looking at a student’s observations, because their classmates tend to observe the same things in the same places at the same times, and that way I can clear them from unknown or wrong IDs, ask them to fill out DQA fields, etc.

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I pretty much only use the date link.

The “more from” sometimes shows dups or other “unknowns”.

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I’ll just add a caution here that responses to this question from forum users are going be a pretty small and non-representative sample of the larger iNaturalist community. Even though I don’t personally use these features, it’s because over time I have developed other workflows more customized to my interests. I can imagine that for the large subset of newer or less active users, who are still deciding what their interests are, these features may be more helpful with “on boarding” and developing those interests. Although being at the bottom of the page maybe limits their helpfulness… :thinking:


Usefulness, or at least the degree to which they are noticed (yup, thanks for pointing them out lol)

I’m sure the site admins can track how often different features get clicked on and if no one uses something can adjust accordingly. I like the relatives section just because it shows the interesting diversity of a genus including species I’ve never seen. But I rarely click on them.

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