Identification Etiquette on iNaturalist - Wiki

I can’t help thinking of Linnaeus and his “Inquisition of the Pastures”… walking around a meadow with a bunch of enthusiasts and picking stuff up and discussing it!

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wow… our first “topic” to get to 100 posts… is not even a topic but a tutorial! And it was only just barely over a week ago that it got started (on the 27th)

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This is when I do Edit > Delete on the identification. If it is there by silly mistake on my part instead of actual misidentification then I feel there is no good reason to leave it on the page. YMMV

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what does YMMV mean?

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YMMV = “Your mileage may vary” (meaning, basically, “I understand that different people might have different opinions”)

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I Googled this and couldn’t find a reference but would like to read about it - can you point me to something?

https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/carl-linnaeus/

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Linnaeus’s theories and methods were always rooted in the real world. At a time when taxonomists were largely an indoor species, inhabiting lecture halls and libraries and scrutinising pressed flowers, pinned insects and pickled vertebrates, Linnaeus was a dirt-under-the-fingernails scientist. For more than 20 years he conducted public excursions in the countryside around Uppsala—possibly the world’s first guided nature walks. He did so partly to supplement the income from his impecunious postings as curator of the Uppsala botanic garden and then as professor of medicine at Uppsala University. Participants (as many as 300 per excursion) paid him in whatever currency they could afford: coins, hats, socks, books, buttons.

“Win fame through deeds” was Linnaeus’s heraldic motto and the energetic Swede lived up to that dictum. As a professor at Uppsala he inaugurated weekly botanical rambles for his students, but was forced to desist because the events were judged too pleasurable by the university’s censorious rector. Linnaeus was a much admired teacher and mentor, but late in life he was ignored and ostracised by many of his favourite students.

“Win fame through deeds” was Linnaeus’s heraldic motto and the energetic Swede lived up to that dictum. As a professor at Uppsala he inaugurated weekly botanical rambles for his students, but was forced to desist because the events were judged too pleasurable by the university’s censorious rector. Linnaeus was a much admired teacher and mentor, but late in life he was ignored and ostracised by many of his favourite students.

19TH CENTURY LITHOGRAPH

What forays they must have been! Botanising with Linnaeus would have been the equivalent of studying geometry with Euclid, or taking a writing class with Shakespeare. In keeping with Linnaeus’s orderly disposition, expeditions were organised with the precision of a military campaign, with designated note takers, specimen collectors and bird shooters. A bugle would sound when a rare species was found. Trophy flowers and butterflies were pinned with pride to the wide-brimmed hats worn by the budding botanisers.

At the end of one of these rambles—which could last up to 12 hours during the Baltic summer months—the party would troop back to town, waving banners, blowing horns and beating kettledrums. Linnaeus led the procession, stopping periodically for last-minute specimen hunting on the sod roofs of the town houses. At the botanic garden a shout would go up: “Vivat Linnaeus!”

In later years these “inquisitions of the pastures,” as Linnaeus called them, had to be curtailed after the rector of Uppsala University protested at the enthusiasm of the participants. “We Swedes are a serious and slow-witted people,” he explained. “We cannot, like others, unite the pleasurable and fun with the serious and useful.”

Linnaeus had no difficulty reconciling the two. For him knowledge and rapture were two sides of the one coin. “The contemplation of nature gives a foretaste of heavenly bliss,” he declared.

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I think maybe there should be something here to address experts who ignore the (recently active) observer in their comments and tag and talk to each other instead, correcting the observation and thanking each other for correcting it, as if the observer doesn’t need to be included in the discussion at all.

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absolutely! The problem is usually the other way around (unresponsive observer) so to ignore a responsive observer is very arrogant (IMHO)

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maybe arrogant is too strong a word… inconsiderate?

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Yes, I think it’s more like people are in their own bubble, sort of feeling like they can talk to each other and no one else will be able to see their conversation. Sort of like the new people who don’t think anyone will see their observations.

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I’ve been guilty of that myself if it’s unresponsive observer etc, but I was thinking more about the times when the observer is actually trying to be a part of the conversation, but being ignored. It got me to thinking about the convos I’ve had, and could they be interpreted that way!

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Hi all,
Great topic and discussion, thank you.

This may be a tad off topic, but since we are talking ID’s, I think it might be useful to use different font and or text color during the initial algorithm ID phase when an observation is being input. That is, when the algorithm states “we’re pretty sure” then maybe that could be in bold. Similarly, if it states “we’re not confident”, maybe that could be in red or with a stop sign or something. Keeping along these lines, is there a way to prevent the algorithm from offering a species suggestion that doesn’t occur on the same continent or within some large number of miles?

Just a few thoughts on initial ID’s. Feel free to move this to another thread if I’m too far off topic here.
And, I again offer my many thanks for all the fun and learning I’ve had at the hands of iNaturalist!!

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I think this would be a great feature request if one of the moderators could move it to that section of the forum!

That could add a huge processing burden and slow down the list being displayed. I am not saying it needs to be fast, but there is potentially some adverse effects to consider with these suggestions.

See these affiliated feature requests and topics:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/computer-vision-should-tell-us-how-sure-it-is-of-its-suggestions/1230
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/add-a-flag-for-frequent-computer-vision-identification-errors/1905
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/better-use-of-location-in-computer-vision-suggestions/915
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/species-suggestions-for-the-wrong-continent/789/

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I think it is a good idea to utilize any field guides you have as well.

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I have been at fault here, listening to someone who I thought knew what they were talking about with regards to an ID, which was blatantly wrong. The repliers her on iNat kept at it, and I am thankful they were so persistent. I ended up researching it myself and learning that my well meaning but very wrong friend was incorrect. I usually just accept an ID which is different from what I have listed because I figure there are many people out there more versed in the sciences than I. *My advise for stubborn peeps, be patient try and steer them towards validating resources and keep at it, try not to take anything personally.

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This comes up over and over and over in the State of matter Life observations. I have been taking this literally, but as others point out (and I agree) it appears that great numbers of app-users are just choosing something from the drop-down list of the Computer Vision suggestions and not really even looking at it or thinking about it. Lots of everyone’s time is involved when some people want to go with the observer’s intention (such as figure out the plant if any plant ID was entered and there is a plant in the photo) and others want to identify something that they believe was really the intended subject. Should these app Computer Vision IDs be treated differently than as stated in paragraph 11? If yes, should the observer still be asked first? There doesn’t seem to be any consensus in how to treat this particular group of observations, so I’m just hoping we can get one here so we’re not working at cross purposes.

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