custom made areas for atlases

I am currenly making atlases for Palearctic Noctuoidea. What strikes me is, that some areas, e.g. Luxembourg or Lithuania, have a very detailed 1st and 2nd level structure, whereas others, e.g. Russia, have areas like Krasnoyarsk which spans 3000km North-South, plus an island near North Pole! For Krasnoyarsk, the South is then split into gazillions of 2nd level districts. Unfortunately, these have to be clicked one-by-one to highlight a reasonable size area showing the Southern half of Krasnoyarsk (which I will never find time and energy to do). At the moment, this artifact “suggests” species to go all the way North, which of course they don’t.

Administrative locations are good for “patriotic” motivation of observers to find new species, but for a distribution atlas they sometimes do not make sense.

Feature request:
could a defined set of 2nd level areas be joined and safed, with an identifier, to be used over and over again in atlases? In addition, could a set of 2nd level areas be excluded from a 1st level area and safed as above? Thank you for considering

Some relevant (though slightly outdated) info from loarie here.

I don’t think we’d be able to offer this. It would be helpful to know a bit more about what you’re using atlases for. In my mind, atlases currently do three things. 2 of them aren’t very practical

  1. give some sort of representation of distribution
  2. are a neat way to visualize different listed taxa for a species
    And one is that is very practical
  3. allowing users to indicate which IDs should go to which output taxon during a taxon split

If you’re looking for a more flexible way of representing the distribution, you might want to try drawing uploading taxon ranges. These aren’t constrained by the set of iNat standard places (countries, states, etc.)

If you’re interested in the part of atlases that relies on listed taxa and places, this is a part of the site that’s not super scalable, we’ve really cut down on the size and kinds of places people can create recently because this triggers so many resource intensive indexing. So we wouldn’t be able to offer anything like the way atlases currently work leveraging places and listed taxa with a different set of places than the standard places

Lastly, if you’re interested in a better tool for indicating the destination of IDs after a taxon split, we are considering figuring out a way to offer this that doesn’t make use of Atlases (places/listed taxa) - ie maybe some other way of creating a spatial filter for a subset of observations/IDs that the taxon change can make use of. But this would be more moving away from atlases to a different approach rather than expanding atlases and making them more generalized

Curious to hear your thoiughts

An improvement on the current atlas system would be to make it so you can more easily select multiple areas. Maybe shift-click, or click and drag over a large area. Also, if you could turn on all the level 2 places under a specific level one place with one click and then manually remove some, that would be helpful. I’m imagining a scenario like you want to turn on 90 of Iowa’s 99 counties – that would be way quicker if you could turn on all 99 at once, then turn off 9.

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