Ideas for making it easier to find observations with conflicting IDs in Identify

When a taxon is entered in the “species” box in Identify, items with a community ID of “state of matter–life” will never show up.

For example, suppose I am looking at fungi including lichens. An observation that one observer ID’d as slime molds and a second observer ID’d as a fungus will not turn up. Nor will a search under “slime molds” turn up the observation. So if the first identifier does not change or withdraw the “slime molds” ID, there is only a brief window of time before the observation falls into oblivion.

To fix this problem, iNat software should use both the community ID and the most recent ID when selecting needs-ID observations that fit a specific taxon. Or, better yet, an observation should be treated, for Identify purposes, as belonging to any taxon that includes any of its non-withdrawn IDs.


As an example, you can find observations with an ID for Phylum Mycetozoa (Slime Molds) by searching This includes observations that have a disagreeing ID pulling them out of mycetozoa. You might also find the search terms for high and low rank useful. More search tips here.


try this:
place the taxon ID that you are familiar with. This will return observations where any of the IDs is Geum canadense (85325)


Is there a way to search for observations which have multiple taxa in their non-withdrawn IDs, without being very narrow about which taxa are involved? I want a page listing observations of plants about which people disagree (without including plants about which people do agree) but I don’t have any particular type of plant in mind.


Nancy, if you do specifically want to get into the “oblivion” cases where someone suggested slime molds, use this modified url:

The URLs are nice, but I agree that including these in the Identify tool in the first place would get many more eyes on these observations earlier and be far more efficient than having a relatively small group of people willing to tee them up into Identify.


Amy, I take it that you have some reason that looking at all plants that need ID – including plants with only one ID – would not work as well for you.

Many thanks to Jwidness, Lincolndurey, and Lotteryd for your terrific suggestions!

Like the “most agree,” “some agree,” and “most disagree” buttons that we have for searching our own observations?

Curiosity, mostly. It would show me what plants are difficult or confusing to many people. That and the number of wild plants needing ID in my county, while greatly decreased since the spring bump, is still above 15k, so any novel method of sorting them helps keep me motivated/entertained.


I’m not sure how well that search works, because I don’t have any obs people disagree about. I get the same results for “most agree” and “some agree,” and both are just items on which everyone agreed.

I tried on my own observations. Using “some agree” seemed to pull up all of my observations, but “most disagree” pulled up only my “Needs ID” observations where someone had added an ID disagreeing with mine:✓&q=&search_on=&quality_grade=any&reviewed=&geoprivacy=&identifications=most_disagree&captive=&place_id=&swlat=&swlng=&nelat=&nelng=&taxon_name=&taxon_id=&day=&month=&year=&[]=&d1=&d2=&created_on=&site=&tdate=&list_id=&filters_open=true&view=map

If that looks like what you’d like for other people’s observations, maybe it’s possible to manipulate the URL to get all observations (and filter for plants). I have no idea.

My understanding is that those filters were based on a now outdated assessment of community identification, so they should probably be removed from the user interface.

Okay. Thanks.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.