So I’m not a regular data downloader, but when I do download it’s often for communication & visualizations needs.
I’ll often download the data collected during an event like Snapshot Cal Coast so I can do a timelapse in Corto. So I’m usually downloading id, time_observed_at, latitude, longitude, and sometimes scientific_name and some subset of the taxon extras if I want to visualize by groups of taxa. In this case I do need all the observations as I want to visualize them each as points.
The other main reason I download data is because I’m trying to compare species lists - for example, after this year’s City Nature Challenge, I’m interested to know what new species we recorded here in the SF Bay Area. So usually I go about this by downloading all the observations made before the CNC (usually bare minimum of info: id, quality_grade, scientific_name, and taxon_id), and then all the observations made during the CNC, remove species duplicates from each list, and then compare the two lists.
It’s pretty simple, but it’s a lot of data… when if I could just download a species list, that would be way less. Because there are 1,000,000+ observations made in the Bay Area before this year’s CNC, but those observations represent 11k-ish species. But I currently have to download all 1,000,000 observations to figure out what those 11k species are. So it would be useful in this case to be able to download just a species list in a given timeframe from places.
Hope that’s helpful?