Ideas for a revamped Explore/Observations Search Page

It looks like this is the place to suggest a change for the Search filters on the Explore page?

Over the next 10 days there will be a lot of people searching for observations that need IDs for the City Nature Challenge, since only research-grade IDs count towards the project. However, there are a fair number of users who post observations that are opted-out of the community taxon, so their IDs will never reach research grade. Since adding an ID will not contribute towards making these observations research grade, I would appreciate a filter on the search to include only observations that accept the community ID. (Or maybe for next year :) )


Hi @fluffyinca,

I also have some search preferences that I would like to be preserved by default, but I did find a work-around: Because the search settings are preserved in the URL, you can bookmark your search results for quick future reference. For example I created a bookmark to show only observations that “Need ID” for the City Nature Challenge project in my area, sorted by oldest first (since most people are looking at the newest).

The benefit of using bookmarks is that you can have a bunch of different searches at the ready, too! (So at least for me, having the search parameters in the URL is actually more helpful than having the last search saved by default.)

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve heard people mention bookmarking before, but the problem is I don’t actually know how to do it. Do you think you could give me a short description?

This is not the case. Rather, they will not achieve research grade if the community ID is different from their ID. Frequently, these users will change their IDs based on what the community suggests, so adding IDs is definitely helpful. You may also be interested in this feature request:

This is also not true. Needs ID also counts.
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(Not sure why there’s casual observations though.)

The San Diego County project excludes casual obs - regional organizers are given the option to choose whether or not to include them:

Not sure why the Join project page for the main CNC project excludes casual, but it’s had other inaccurate/missing information before too (prob vestigial/unupdated from when Collection and Umbrella projects were added to the site).

@miramatt I think this filter would be way more useful on Identify than on Explore actually!

Similar to these other remarks above:

Similar remark:

I would appreciate it a lot.

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Proposal : include widely appreciated and commonly used parameters in the identifiers leaderboard. This proposal is expanded from a proposal initially put forward by @bouteloua in this post

Current appearance of the Observations page :
An example of page for a taxon (Odonata) is shown here with the identifiers “tab” highlighted underneath:

If one clicks on “identifiers” or the arrow on the right of it, a leaderboard appears with only one column, as follows :

The proposal
Add checkboxes for commonly used parameters, which will be shown on the page while hovering over the “identifiers” or the arrow on the right of it :

If one checks any of these, say “for others”, “disagreeing” and “leading”, the resulting leaderboard would be modified by adding one column, as follows :
Hovering over the “?” icon would show the checked parameters. The corresponding results are in the “Filtered identifications” column, whereas the “Total identifications” column would be unchanged. The downward-slanting triangles would sort the leaderboard according to the values in the corresponding column.

This is a sort of “miminum possible combination” of useful parameters. The “disagreeing” parameter is the only one that may still be in an early phase, and I may have missed others worth being included (e.g., annotations see alternative checkbox proposal below).

Currently, it is possible to obtain this kind of results using URLs of at least two types, with different outputs formats. For the “comments+” checkbox, no URL is available as far as I know. Overall the exact URLs to be implemented here need to be discussed.

This proposal is a partial answer to concerns from outside this thread (including the one mentioned above, as well as here, here and here, and other threads referenced therein) and from this thread above as follows :

Alternative possibility, further expanded :

The user would enter text in the four additional larger boxes. The first is equivalent to “hrank” (e.g. restricting the observations to those at the species level or finer, by entering “species”). The second is for annotations, perhaps with the possibility to enter them sequentially, separated by commas (*). The third would be the region of choice according to iNaturalist specifications. And 4th, a date to restrict the search to more recent observations.

Again, other possibilities are conceivable, yet only the most obviously relevant and more widely used should appear. Note that some of these parameters may also be part of the standard filter, which they should modify.

(*) Edit. Annotations are currently coded from 1 to 28 as indicated here. Thus in the proposed annotation box, entering “1” would restrict the counts to “IDs where Sex was annotated”, “10” to “IDs annotated as Females”, “22” to “IDs where Evidence of Presence was annotated”, etc., or a combination thereof separated by commas.

A quite useful variant to any combination of parameters like those discussed above would be an additional checkbox to produce a user-defined leaderboard either as ID counts or as % of the total ID counts (total= standard leaderboard). Indeed, % values will provide very different, complementary information - independent of the standard leaderboard.

In summary I would say that the main tenets of this proposal are to:

  1. make user-defined leaderboards more user-friendly : for example, one enters “1,9,17,22” in the annotation box, plus any other (predefined) option in each of the corresponding boxes, rather than manipulating increasingly long and complex URLs.
  2. show both the standard leaderboard and the user-defined leaderboard together, in two colums next to one another, instead of showing only one leaderboard at a time (standard or user-defined)
  3. include new parameters (as checkboxes) that are currently not available with the class of URLs; they will be produced by other URLs instead, notably those based on IDs rather than observations.
  4. provide the additional option to show the user-defined search as % IDs rather than ID counts.

When a user hovers over an image in grid view or list view, the contrast is lowered or something; the image becomes very washed-out. Clearly, the ostensible purpose of this visual feedback is to let the user know which image he’s hovering over. But it also clearly detracts from the usefulness of the image, especially in grid view, because when the image is all washed-out, it’s hard for the user to see the characteristics of the organism. So you’re basically forcing the user to either click the image or move the cursor away from it if he wants to see a clear image. If you really have to give the user some visual feedback (which I’m really not sure is necessary anyway), can you please make it something that doesn’t interfere with the image in any way?

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Grid view is not done to iding imo, so you need to click on image anyway.

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Do you mean you can’t give an ID in grid mode? I realize that. But I still want to be able to see the image clearly.

I quite like the Explore and Observation pages. However, I would like to see a search option for Unknown. Currently, “Unknown” and “Life” are regarded as equivalents by iNat, so by searching Unknown, the site will return every observation submitted in your specified geographical range.

I would prefer to be able to identify or at least narrow down any observations currently listed as Unknown (no ID yet submitted), as oftentimes new users or novice naturalists don’t realize it helps to be as specific as they are able.

Welcome to the forum! Is this what you’re looking for?


Yes, that’s exactly what I was looking for! Thanks! Maybe I should have done a bit more digging…

I would appreciate an option to display the Species tab - and I suppose this could also be extended to the Identifiers and Observers tabs - in reverse order. Currently I find the Life Lists quite confusing, so I prefer to use the Explore page, but it only displays species in order of most to least observed. I would prefer to be able to see them from least to most observed. It could also be useful to see users with only a few identifications or observations, although I realize this information can be found in other ways. An option to display species by Recently Added (aka new lifers; for individuals, places, or the site itself, depending on your search parameters), in both orders, would be perfect for me, but I’m not sure how many others use the Explore page this way.

Please add a filter for observations “Included in a traditional project”

This would be the same set of observations for which we currently get a notification saying “curators added some of your observations”

Projects tell me that a particular observation I’ve taken is useful to someone, which encourages me to make more. This is especially true for curated projects where someone had to specifically add my observation. Its also just really validating to see people get value out of my observations and I would love a quick summary of that.

I understand that this feature request resembles " Filter observations by project" however in that request they discussed “collection projects which automatically add all records which meet their criteria” whereas my request is specific to curated projects

You can filter observations for any project they’re in using a field in filters.

Yes but as far as I can tell you can’t use that to filter all curated projects meaning you have to remember what the specific projects are called to see which of your observations have been added to projects

Ah, so you need to find out all of the projects/observations at once, right? Maybe api can do that now.

Pagination instead of infinite scloring