Generate Flashcards Based on a Search or a Group ID

Background:
New member! I heard about iNaturalist through New York Mycological Society. They have multiple projects (IDs: 17548, 18897) to which members add observations. Prior to starting out with collecting mushrooms, I would want to first study up and learn all the so far reported observations.

Getting to the point:
I thought it would be neat to have a feature for generating a flashcard set based on a selected search. This would be immensely useful for getting familiar and studying flora and fauna of a new area, or if you are just starting out with identification.

I initially thought to make this a stand-alone application which would use the iNaturalist API to retrieve the data and create a flashcard set in something like quizlet (sadly, they no longer support their API :( , so it would have to be some other application).

I could not find anything similar in the already existing request, let me know if the request makes sense and/or would be useful.

Best regards,
~Liza

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Hi Liza,

I moved this to the “General” category because features like this are not something iNat is planning on developing, but it would cool if someone wanted to use our API to do it, so feel free to discuss.

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welcome. here are a couple of other threads that may be relevant:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/how-well-do-you-know-your-local-wildlife-now-you-can-test-yourself/10711
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/quiz-game-development-opportunity/6822

separately, thought about making a thing to generate random bingo sheets. but i haven’t gotten around to that yet. one day maybe…

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I read this, agreed, and then realized I forgot to comment. This is actually one of iNat’s strengths! One of the best ways to do this is to practice IDing things. You use the search criteria to narrow the list of observations you want to ID, guess what it is without looking at the previous guesses, then look at the cv hints, and then be sure to say how confident you are when you post the ID. That way you’re helping people identify things while you’re still learning them!

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Hi Liza,

I have created many flashcard sets with great success, usually before a trip to a new area where I want to acquire some familiarization with what I might be lucky enough to see. Unfortunately, it requires some agility with computers.

If you start with an iNat Observations page, you can set it up with any location and screens you wish. The web address for that page is then slightly modified to look something like this:
url = ‘http://api.inaturalist.org/v1/observations/species_counts?captive=false&quality_grade=research&nelat=51.95442&nelng=1.53568&swlat=51.013754&swlng=-2.57869&view=species&iconic_taxa=Aves

You then take the json data which is produced and parse it. (I have a little ruby program which does this.) Those results can then be uploaded to a database like Numbers. By saving only the columns you are interested in, that can be directly uploaded to the ios App “Flashcards Deluxe” That app will directly upload all of the photos from the database using the address of each picture. It’s a little tricky because the picture urls are something like: https://static.inaturalist.org/photos/2743104/medium.jpg, and you can’t have identical endings like “medium.jpg” so that has to be modified.

But trust me. It CAN be done, and the results will be exactly what you want them to be. It just takes a little work. If your interests are limited to a certain area, like mycology, it is easy to change a few details and produce a new deck. In my case, I like to add a larger category like “family” to genus/species and each type of observation e.g. birds vs. plants, has a slightly different hierarchy. One other caution is the iNat API will not return more than 500 results, so you have to modify the original search url so that it does not exceed this limit. The flashcard app will of course allow you to add decks together, if that is your wish.

Good luck,
Don

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Thanks for responses everyone!
@tiwane: makes sense that this would not be part of core functionality, thanks.
@pisum: Thanks! First link is pretty much exactly what I was looking for! Seems like no need to duplicate effort if that’s the case.

~Liza

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