Enable hiding observation markers on Identify tab map when community ID is at a high taxonomic rank

Platform(s): website, specifically identification tab.

Description of need:
I frequently spend time identifying plant observations that have only been identified to a very high taxonomic level such as flowering plants or dicots. When doing this, the displayed map is often completely obscured by observation markers, since flowering plants are so ubiquitous:

This makes it very difficult to see even the general area in which an observation was made, requiring zooming in quite a ways:

To see a more detailed view, such as whether the plant is growing in a residential or wild area (or particular concern for plants that are frequent escapees of cultivation), I often to the zoom in to the sub-kilometer scale to see around the observation markers:

Popular/populous areas with high observation densities are particularly annoying:

To be clear, I’m just talking about the map on the “info” tab, which shows all angiosperms/dicots, not the individual species maps on the “suggestions” tab which are much less cluttered and more useful:

Feature request details:
The idea I have is to add a “settings” or “display settings” button to the identify home page. In this the could be an toggle for “Hide observation markers when community ID is at XXX taxonomic rank or higher”, or something similar.

i think it would be better to allow hiding the observation layer on any map in the system. or better yet, allow control over the transparency / opacity of the observation layer on any map.


I would rather see whether it is residential or wild there
A map covered in dicot red doesn’t serve a useful purpose?

I also think that a simpler and more broadly useful option would just be a “sticky” option to turn the observation layer on or off. It would probably help in most use cases for this and be among the easier implementations.


By “sticky” do you mean an option that would carry across to other maps a user might view? That would solve the overcrowding problem when looking at high-level taxa maps, but I wouldn’t want to be constantly toggling that option when I switch between high-level and low-level taxa maps.

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Yes. I think this is preferable to having to remember what specific taxonomic level a setting is on. Also, many users do not target their site behaviors to specific taxonomic levels, so I think having this be a broader option will make it easier to understand and more usable by more users. And having it be sticky does not preclude its user for specific taxonomic levels, just makes it a little more work for some workflows. It would be similar to how you can currently toggle between google maps basemap and satellite imagery on maps which I do when IDIng certain taxa.

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Perhaps I don’t understand your question, but I think you can already do what you are asking. In the “Filters” button, set the Low rank dropdown to Class. Then it will only show observations identified to the Class of Dicots and above and not anything where the ID is more refined. You can do the same thing with the Explore pages.

This won’t limit the map on the Info tab when identifying, which I think is the main item of your concern.

The overcrowding of the maps is what I’m concerned about. Changing the lower rank limit on the dropdown menu will filter which observations are presented, but it doesn’t affect what observation markers are shown on the map when viewing an individual observation.

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