Difference between Explore and Your Observations

Not sure if this is a bug or just something in the system. I’m using Chrome on desktop.

When I search under “Your Observations” for Crocodilians, I get 11 observations on 4 species, all at RG.
When I do a search under “Explore” for Crocodilians, the cut-off point for Observers seems to be 11 observations, the 500th spot is 11 observations for 1 species by zoo*********. Within that cohort of 11 observations the order seems to be alphabetical but I am not there, not under “n” for nyoni-pete.
Any ideas why this should be so?

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Is there any reason for system to recognize your name as different alphabetically?

I can verify that is the order for me as well, and it does look puzzling. I don’t see anything obvious with your observations that would make them not appear as a count of “11” on the observers list. There are two of yours that are obscured, but they should still fall with the world (obviously). Other observers also have obscured observations that count towards their totals on the identifier list.

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I believe it’s because the alphabetical sort is applied after the 500 cutoff, not before. So if you had 12, you would be there, but not all observers with 11 are shown, and which ones are shown vs. left off does not depend on the alphabetical order of the name. The code grabs essentially a random selection of 39 users that have 11 observations (any more would go over the 500 limit), and then sorts them alphabetically. It also means that if you got to 12 and bumped someone off the list, zoo******** wouldn’t necessarily be the one to go, it could be any of the users with 11.

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it does look like the screen is doing the alphabetical sort.

the API response appears to be sorted by observation count (descending) and then user (numerical) id (descending). what’s interesting is that if the secondary (user id) sort occurred prior to the 500 record cutoff, you would expect that nyoni-pete would be included in the result set. but since he’s not included, that cutoff must be occurring between the primary and secondary sorts. (or else maybe there’s some sort of strange indexing problem?)

(EDIT: the API doesn’t return more than 1 page for /observations/observers, but it’s possible to set the per_page parameter equal to a value less than the default 500 to see what happens for, say, observers with 12 observations. it does look like the secondary sort is being applied after the per_page cutoff, which seems really odd/pointless to me, but it is what it is.)

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Thanks for all your comments. It does make sense to have a random selection before the last names are arranged alphabetically - otherwise those towards the end of the alphabet would more often drop off the end. The answer for me is to get more observations :grinning: