Curators should have control over the displayed taxon photos

Somebody just updated their photo as the default for a species of Turtle and it was completely the wrong species. I always thought it was interesting that anybody could update these as it can easily be abused. Removing other people’s photos, putting your own, and also putting the wrong species.


But. Now we have history.
Put it right. And flag them if they ‘do it again’.


I personally don’t have a problem with the current system (speaking as a curator), the amount of abuse is quite small currently


I thought you can add a photo to displayed taxon photos only if the observation featuring that photo is research grade, hence in this case it would mean that it is confirmed to be a wrong species by multiple people?

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The default was (fairly) recently changed to RG.
But you can - override that and add any picture. I was shocked when I first realised that the previous default was not RG.


there are plenty of reliably IDed species for which the only ob is at Needs ID due to eg lack of a second expert for a corroborating ID. No reason to prevent these being added as thumbnail pics


No - I don’t want to prevent that. I also appreciate being able to use the obs number, instead of endless scrolling (since we can’t sort for ‘fruiting’ for example). But there is a substantial chunk of older pictures from Flickr - where the ID is iffy - default to RG helps to prevent wrong taxon pictures (and the default taxon pictures which are clearly captive / cultivated)


yes agreed this a problem, I find these a bit annoying now. When iNat was in its infancy, I think this link was useful to populate images for some less/unobserved stuff. But now, I don’t see any reason at all to maintain this link, would be great if all the Flickr-only imported images could be purged (that’s just my hot take for the day though…)


I think it is good as it is, because all expert users should make use of this and update photos or change in order to have a default photo showing diagnostic characters. No way that curators could deal with this.
Do not hesitate and remove misidentified photos or blurry ones if there are better ones available and also add photos of immatures, both sexes, flowers, fruits, leaves etc and remove the ones not showing any new angle etc. These photos are often the main sources of users’ identifications, therefore they should be correct, representative and informative.


I agree that abuse of the feature like this is annoying, but I think it is fairly low frequency. Having the history certainly helps to diagnose and fix cases like this (though that still can take a lot of time). I think some users don’t fully understand how the feature works (I’ve seen at least one instance where a user thought that it would just show the photo they selected for themselves, not everyone on the site) and will stop nonoptimal behavior when educated.

In my general experience, I think the flexibility of allowing any user (including non curators) to edit the taxon photos is a net benefit to iNat even given the cost of sometimes having to restore photos after poor editing. Lots of edits happen by expert, non-curators who improve photos selected. These improvements are not very noticeable to most users, but do have a good benefit.

For cases where one user consistently abuses taxon photo editing, one potential solution could be creating a function that staff can remove the ability to edit taxon photos from individual users who have multiple instances of documented abuse of the feature.


You can group photos by “Plant Phenology”


So change it back. If anything, I’ve seen a lot more of something like the opposite: terrible photos being left up as the display image despite many better ones having been uploaded since it was picked. I don’t think curators should have to deal with that.

That said, you should be aware that there are quite a few species here where the whole taxon is identified incorrectly, or it’s a mix of two or more species where the majority of observations are not the one it’s named. It’s an inevitable problem in systems like this.


Yes I can, and I do.
But from there
I have to open the obs for my chosen image
Then take the obs number back to update taxon picture.
It is click click clunkier.

This thread might be of interest @hamsambly

My experience so far has been that the problem isn´t so much with people who abuse it in a big way as people who just add photos which are suboptimal or misleading. They don’t warrant flagging. But they can limit the taxon galleries from achieving their potential.

I could spend ages selecting the most suitable shots for a taxon with a view to helping others discern it from similar taxa, selecting diagnostic features, etc
…but then somebody else could come across and switch it up 10 seconds later with some photos that just look pretty (or more exotic), but would have less value imo in the broader scheme of things. This limits my desire to engage in fixing taxon galleries.

Regardless of this more complex dynamic, the existing system certainly leaves itself open to abuse a bit more than necessary. And whilst I agree limiting to curators is unnecessary… I think it would make sense to limit it to users with a certain number of IDs/obs/history with the site. Or even better, to implement a voting system for taxon images, so it´s harder to switch out images at higher levels or on more commonly observed taxa so we avoid “edit wars” (as mentioned in the feature request which lead to taxon history in the first place).


I’ll post observation links from my Flickr account periodically as I can post higher rez images there. Some of my observations are default taxonomy photos now, and some of those are likely from my Flickr account.

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sure, and there are plenty of high res, well-IDed images from this stream. But there are also many, many dud ones too

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Flickr tied to an active iNatter is not a problem.

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Wait, so are Flickr photos imported to/stored on iNat at a higher resolution than regular observation photos? Or do they just give the links to higher res photos on Flickr?

Links to the higher rez images is how I understand it.


Photos from Flickr are imported to iNat, but go through the same process other photos go through.