Display normalized phenological plots on taxon pages

Platform(s), such as mobile, website, API, other: Website

Description of need:
Allow normalization of phenology plots (on taxon pages).

Feature request details:
I really appreciate the ability to view phenology plots for each taxon. However, I cant help but notice that the curves for the different phenological stages are typically just rescaled versions of each other, to a close approximation.

Additionally, the curve plotted for observations without any phenology annotation tends to dominate the plot, with the curves for annotated observations being mostly quite flat and difficult to glean useful information from. Among the annotated observations, more showy or conspicuous phenological stages tend to dominate other stages which are less noticeable and less frequently observed.

I think it would be much more informative to view a plot of the proportion of phenology-annotated observations (or total observations) in each stage for the given taxon. Another strategy could be to decouple the axes for each curve. Or, we could scale normalize each curve by its own norm. Any of these could make the plots more informative and interpretable, decreasing the apparent effect of observation bias towards more conspicuous phenological stages & the preponderance of unannotated observations.

It would be nice to have a small dropdown menu or pop-up window where the user can configure this. Perhaps the user could choose between normalized & unnormalized plots, set normalization method (by all observations or only by phenology-annotated observations), and maybe even toggle specific profiles on/off (e.g maybe I just want to view the phenology profile of the flowering stage).

You can turn off the non-annotated observations by clicking the gear. This makes the other curves of the annotated observations much more easy to see and addresses part of this request (I think). You can also show “relative proportions” which normalizes to some extent, but the proportions are very low if there are a lot of unannotated observations.

I agree that it would be nice to be able to just select (maybe with tick/check boxes) which specific annotations are shown in the graph, kind of like how we can do with maps already. Some normalization might also be nice (ie, have each displayed annotation with an area under the curve that sums to 1), but I feel like adding this might start to offer a lot of options that could cause confusion.


The other option (which does nothing to diminish the worth of this feature request - which I am voting for) is the obvious. We could do a lot more annotating! It’s really quick when you want to do something not too taxing. I got through the UK Sphaerophoria observations a while back doing sex and life stage, and it makes a big difference to the graphs, which was quite satisfying to watch as I went along! https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/52965-Sphaerophoria (filter for United Kingdom)


I agree. The phenology charts used to bother me, so I tried to annotate all the RG observations of Dicots in Mississippi. I got a significant chunk of it done, with help from other users. Since I’ve paused annotating obviously the proportion of annotated observations goes down every day, but I think it was still useful.


@bheberlein Remember to vote for your own feature request.

You can turn off the non-annotated observations by clicking the gear.

Funny, I didn’t see this! It does cover part of what I was asking for, & definitely makes the plots more interpretable.

With that, I think the key change for this request would be to optionally decouple the axes for each curve, or rescale each to a similar height (e.g. divide by the max height, norm or integral of the curve).

It might also be nice if we could toggle individual curves on/off.

And, while there’s not a huge difference between showing proportion of all observations vs. proportion of annotated observations only, still if I were to pick one I think the latter would make the most sense. (But maybe some users might appreciate the option to choose?)

We could do a lot more annotating!

I agree 100%! Is there a way to filter observations by phenology annotation (or lack thereof) to make this easier?

see below


You can actually link to this directly from the phenology graph. When clicking on the gear symbol to adjust the graph as described above, there will be options for “Add annotations for life stage” and “Add annotations for sex” and similar.

Clicking one will open a link in Identify for observations of that taxon without the given annotation like