iNat ID shortcut list

I just submitted a feature request and realize that this cheat sheet may be standing in the way of its adoption. Or at the least will be needed to be worked around. Do people really use these? Being specialized in Fungi and Amoebozoa there don’t seem to be any useful short cuts. Perhaps this is why ants and plants are always suggested before I get 4 letters deep into the name I am looking for? I would like to suggest that it might be easier for all if this list was scrapped and the AI would be able to suggest only similar taxa to what it or the user had already chosen from the first letter typed. Discuss.

Hi, welcome to the Forum!

I think there may be a misunderstanding. I’m compiling data on an existing iNat feature that allows partial matches to auto-complete when entering the name (scientific or common) of a taxon. It’s not a definitive list, and certainly isn’t affecting the existing functionality in any way, it is just an attempt to explore and understand whatever mysterious algorithm is currently in place.

I use these a lot. I do hundreds of IDs a day, so NOT using shortcuts would be awful. It is in my best interest to cut down on time, and I wanted to share knowledge.

Having the suggestions be tailored to the taxa you use is a valid Feature Request but maybe not super realistic? Curious to hear what you’d want to suggest.

Also, if you have taxa you frequently use for IDs I’d be happy to find the shortest possible shortcuts for you :)
I am going to add more for fungi, of course, but I was focusing first on popular taxa, and taxa I identify (vascular plants, esp. Euphorbia). Having feedback from a fungi identifier would be invaluable :)


Thanks for the quick reply! What I would suggest is that all the shortcut options shouldn’t be available to the identifier if the identifier is identifying something already identified to a kingdom/class/genus already. That the work that has been done already by the AI or by the poster, or any other person who already invested time in the identification be given some weight in eliminating vast swaths of shortcuts that would presumably not be useful for that particular observation.

For example with something super common already identified to Agaricomycotina which would encompass it and all lookalikes:

I have to type four letters to get near where I would like to be (past the shortcuts?) It seems like it is a lot of unnecessary work for the identifier.

@fungee Please do this! It’s the second tab on the spreadsheet. (Preferably only taxa with at least 1000 observations)

Also, anyone who IDs stuff that isn’t vascular plants, I’d love feedback on which taxa on the “to do list” are redundant since I haven’t a clue. Fungi and inverts in particular…

I dunno, I feel like I’d be contributing to a broken system! :wink:

All North American birds have a four letter banding code that can be used as a shortcut.

1 Like

You may have misunderstood how the system works, perhaps due to the somewhat misleading term “shortcut”. A much more accurate term is “auto-complete” - that is, typing in part of a scientific/common name starts a search for possible completions, which are then shown as a list of taxa. There are no pre-defined shortcuts, as such.

I think the confusion with shortcuts happens because auto-completions are based on literally all of the names associated with a taxon, no matter what the language. This means some taxa can be found with some surprising letter combinations (depending on which languages you speak). For example, entering “Łza” will bring Dacrymycetes to the top of the list, because “Łzawniaki” is currently listed as a Polish name for that taxon.

Your idea of taking previous identifications into account could be used to refine this system. That is, there could be an option to only search for completions amongst the descendant taxa of the current community taxon, rather than searching amongst all possible taxa. This might make it easier to find certain taxa, since the list of possible completions is normally sorted by the popularity of the taxa.


I get it, I guess I don’t feel like it would be very helpful to me since I’m identifying a lot of different taxa, and think change I suggested would be a very valuable thing. I am not sure that it has never been requested before. I obviously didn’t see it before requesting it. I figured I would get a notification either way, but it has been a couple days now so I’m thinking I might try to figure out what the next steps are somehow.

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