Identify page: Add an ID vs. Suggestions

Hello -
My question is, when visiting the “Identify” page to help ID organisms in someone else’s post, what is the difference between the “Add ID” option and the “Suggestions” one? I have watched the tutorial video for using “Identify”, and searched around the forum posts for my specific question, but I cannot find anything to explain when to use one vs. the other. I’m sure it’s out there, and I missed it. I did find some other useful stuff to read though!

I should add: I see many posts on the Identify page, for which I know what they are. Thus I’m wondering how to proceed, correctly. Also, I work exclusively on a laptop, and the iNat website.

Thanks for any guidance - John


Hi @jagerwin, welcome to the iNat forum! The “Add ID” option - on the main/Info tab of the Identify pop-up, is for when you already have a good idea of what the organism is. You just click Add ID (or, pro-tip, tap the i key) and start typing out what the name of it is. Press enter twice and move to the next! That’s the quick way.

The Suggestions tab, also known elsewhere on the site as “Compare”, is for when you want to use some filters or tools to help narrow down a potential ID you have in mind. For example, you might know it’s in a particular family, but want to see what all the species are that have been recorded from the general area of that observation, just to check to see if it could be something closely related. I use the Suggestions tool more when I’m branching out beyond my primary areas of expertise.

You would type in name under Taxon, or sometimes it’s already filled in based on the observation’s IDs. This automatically shows observations of those taxa in the approximate area of the observation in question:

Then you can show whether you want to restrict the search results to only research grade observations, include captive observations, compare to a checklist for that place, etc. This is also where you can use the computer vision tool to show taxa that are visually similar to the first photo on the observation.


You can also broaden the place filter, to show all of Florida instead of the particular county:



Heh, I don’t think there’s any central resource that goes over the Suggestions tab, but if someone wants to make one for the Tutorials category, that’d be awesome.

I made the Identify tutorial video, but it’s in need of a redo. However, I want to keep it simple and short, which is why I didn’t include a section for Suggestions. I think most people don’t clicking on videos that run more than a few minutes, but maybe I’m wrong there. Might be a good subject for a supplemental video…


Hello, @jagerwin! Welcome to the forum. It looks like @tiwane and @bouteloua already explained what I was going to post. I did not even realize that there were tutorial videos! Now I need to watch them, too.

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