Easy way to mark multiple-species observations

No. The observer needs to check the location for each obs. Maybe they were on a long hike and the various obs are in different places. Either way, the observer needs to put in the effort (for the benefit of - and don’t do it again)


That’s fine - though it seems like this could easily be controlled for with some guidance. The sw could suggest a check for location based on metadata, for example. I’d still argue that they’re more likely to do it, and therefore require less mod time, if it’s easy.

There’re huge chances phone gps recorded incorrect location, so it’s not possible to solve without observer.


I’m not thinking of excluding the observer, I’m thinking of assisting the observer. There’s certainly variance in geolocation, and someone might be following an organism over some distance, but one could still choose a threshold at a high level, accepting say 99% of observations. If it was merely a warning, “hey - this image stack seems to have conflicting locations - is it more than one observation?” it might help people avoid mistakes. Also it would catch location errors that people might otherwise miss.

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Well, you can check the topic with used messages for comments like that, people already add those when they meet a problematic observation, you do id the highest level possible, mark it as can’t be improven and leave a comment.

Sometimes also newer users will add an observation with one species, get an ID, and then weeks or months later photograph something else, go back to that observation, and add the new photos there instead of making a new observation. Makes me wish there was a notification when someone edits the photos of an observation you’ve identified, but that’s a request for another thread :)


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Have system add a comment when photos or audio change - Feature Requests - iNaturalist Community Forum


I agree. For now, we have to make do with two fields: Associated observation for the link, and a second field for the identity. Best would be to combine both, which the team is interested in doing, but found is not straightforward to implement.

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This should easily be accommodated by doubling (or some other increase) of the Location Accuracy (strictly, Location Error: higher is “worse” - not accurater) when one separates observations.

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Okay, I just found out where those kinds of observations come from.

I’m used to the website, where I can upload all my pictures together, then combine them in groups by species. But, as I have been informed that the website is not designed to work with mobile uploads, I went ahead and got the Android app. I tried uploading the way I would on the website – all my pictures together. Instead of a way to combine them in groups, I simply giot a warning that only one species should be uploaded at a time and that I should remove the additional species – and unlike the website, with no apparent way to remove unwanted pictures before submitting. I only saw two choices: upload a multispecies observation, or back out without submitting and start over.

So, yeah, I think the real problem is the functionality of the app as compared with that of the website.

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Tap on the picture you want to remove; there should be a trash can symbol at the bottom.
But yes, you can only upload one observation at a time on the app.

Having the option to tag multiple species in a single observation (most especially in photo-supported identifications) would be helpful in a few ways, I think.

First, it would allow for a better user experience, removing the need to duplicate effort of resubmitting the same image. Regarding data quality, and understanding this would take engineering work, supporting multi-species ID might be facilitated with including the ability to tag specific regions of the image a la Facebook to clarify what species is being ID’d. This would assist both human users and machine learning algorithms. For example, I have a photo of an American robin chasing a house sparrow out of a wading puddle, so one ID box would target the robin, and another the sparrow. Both get an ID, and it leads into my next point.

Secondly, and more importantly to me, it would drive home the fact that none of the species we all strive to identify exist in isolation. Habitats consist of a variety of species, from a variety of types of life. Being able to mark the specific type of bee, as well as its clearly identifiable companion flower in an image helps us understand the context of what we might encounter in the wild. What things can you see together? If you see one, can you spot another? Massive data aggregations like the iNaturalist project allow us to trawl observations and confirm, or even uncover, relationships between living things. Being able to tag multiple species in a single image would only improve that effort.

Of course, it’s easy for me to write this as I have very clear instances of when I would leverage a multi-species observation. It wouldn’t be all the time, but in cases like this, where the image contains both Black Tegula (Tegula funebralis) and Giant Green Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica), and each shares “importance” (for lack of a better word at the moment) in the image, I think a single submission identifying them both would be preferred.

Perhaps someone has a rebuttal to the above, and perhaps it would only be available in cases where photos are submitted, as opposed to allowing photo-less observations to mark a bunch of different species. Nevertheless, I’d like to see this become supported.

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