Create a tool to mark observations as "not wild" without the need to open them (like Identify)

Platform(s): website

Description of need:
In certain cases, especially after the CNC and bioblitzes are finished, there is the possibility that thousands observations of non-wild organisms need to be marked. It can happen that the projects administrators “disappears” and leave the “mess” as it is, that means unmarked. So, it may happen that all the workload falls on the shoulders of few willing users. Them, it would be useful to have a tool, like Identify for identifications, that allows users to mark as captive/cultivated observations without the need to open them. In many cases it is obvious that an organism is not wild without the need to see the position since it is visible that it is a potted plant or it is cultivated in a garden or it is an animal in a zoo.

Feature request details:
Create a tool, like Identify, for marking observations as not wild without the need to open them, just by checking a box on the observation thumbnail.

You can access the DQA from Identify so isn’t this already possible?


Plus there’s the “Captive / Cultivated” box right next to the “Reviewed” box at the bottom of the identify page.


On Identify use the keyboard shortcut
X which is captive /cultivated


@thomaseverest @raymie @dianastuder I think you misunderstood the request–it’s a request for that feature to be present in the thumbnail view. For instance,in this view, it would be super convenient to have a “captive/cultivated” button right next to the “agree” button so that you could quickly go through and mark obviously cultivated individuals as cultivated.

While this would be super convenient, it opens the possibility of abuse and accidental misclicks to an extent that it will likely never be implemented.


I think @sessilefielder could implement this feature in his extention.

When the dust has settled from CNC
mentor someone to do that grunt work for you.
We have an IdentiFriday thread for identifiers who are looking to help.


Yes, but as alredy written elsewhere, mistakes may happen and are usually made in good faith or because there are no strong evidences the organism is really wild.

This feature would be intended to face those situations in which a huge quantity of observations of non-wild organisms are usually posted, especially if many users photograph the same organism.
For the “every day” management it is usually ok to open observations.

Compared to a mouse or trackpad, I’ve found it far faster and more ergonomic to use a keyboard, e.g. + a to agree with an ID or + x mark observations as captive/cultivated.


One issue I run into is that my internet cannot keep up with loading the images in the + a or + x approach. I get why @blue_celery would want to be able to mark something as cultivated from the tab view. But, @blue_celery, the magnitude of mistakes would be considerably larger than it currently is. I’ve had users get extremely upset when I mark commonly cultivated plants as “cultivated” because it was in fact a wild plant–photos don’t show the full context. And, I guarantee that users would abuse this, I would have abused it a few years ago and simply marked every Zinnia and Pentas in North America as “cultivated” without opening each observation and doing due diligence.


One possibility is instead of having it right next to the Agree button, have it on the right side next to the number of IDs. That might cut down on accidental clicks if the feature is implemented.


One issue I have with this is that there already are folks who are quick to mark all observations of certain species in a region as “captive/cultivated”. Often for my own observations of wild organisms I know are commonly considered to be captive/cultivated I add a note to the observation about why this is not captive/cultivated, but by having that easy button on the identify view for folks to click they would be able to bypass the notes, denoting observations to casual without reading the extra information. Of course they already could do this but I wouldn’t want to make it easier for folks to do that. It’s incredibly frustrating to have non-native species, especially plants, marked by others as “captive/cultivated” when found escaped into natural areas because the person didn’t take the time to really look at the observation to make that distinction.

Additionally, I don’t receive notifications when someone marks the observation as “captive/cultivated”, so I might not catch that happened for a while which makes it hard to have a conversation with the person about it. I have tried looking in the settings but I can’t seem to find a way to turn on the ability to get notifications when someone marks my entries as “captive/cultivated”.


There is no option for notifications about DQA fields currently (maybe in the future). This lack of notifications, along with the concerns that you and @natev raise about users of the proposed feature not examining an observation closely before making a determination, are reasons why I wouldn’t want this feature. I think it’s fair to require an IDer to at least see the details of an observation, including thumbnails of all images and notes, before making a determination on wild/not wild. The existing Identify modal works well for this and is a good compromise between speed and accuracy imo.


3 reasons why I won’t vote for this

  1. Placeholder text? At least look for it, and read it first.
  2. Multiple photos? Multiple sp has an effective new DQA which is automagically Casual.
  3. Notes from observer - volunteer NOT planted.

I include casual observations on my Identify queries and I do attempt to identify them. One of my biggest pet peeves is encountering observations without any IDs or comments but bearing a captive/cultivated vote from someone other than the observer. (Yes, that irritates me more than the fact that the observer did not suggest an ID or mark the observation in the first place.)

I get why this happens, we’re all just trying to contribute to the data in our own way with the limited time we have, but I feel like it prioritizes the data over the people. I suspect many of the observations this would be used for would be those from newer users. Rather than make it easier for experienced users to give these newer users even less attention, we should make it easier for the experienced users to engage with these newer ones in a helpful way.

EDIT: Having expressed, but now putting aside, my own philosophical opinions, as others have pointed out, I also don’t think anyone can adequately determine whether something is captive or cultivated from just a thumbnail. There could be additional photos. There could be an observation note (e.g. “not the big plant in the center but the weed next to it / the bee on it / etc.”; “I’m not really sure if this is wild or not. Can someone help?”; “this was a volunteer, I did not plant it”, etc.). And so on.


You should not feel irritated. This is something that must be done and still too many users do not care/do not read/do not understand/are not explained how to use that box. Then, other users must do it for others.

It is unavaoidable that many new users will still “forget” to mark the observations. Of course, we should be comprehensive as a certain time is needed to fully master iNat.
On the other hand there are: a) “experienced” users who post thousands of observations of non-wild organisms, clearly do not care of how to properly manage them or even talk back to those who make them notice or are unresponsive towards recommendations; b) users/not users who do not know what iNat really is and push many other people to use iNat without explaining them how to properly use it.

In the end, I am sure that a compromise is possible in order to keep iNat user-friendly for the newbies and to try to keep data quality high.


iNat needs a better way to handle this