Inaturalist bingo/checklists?

Hi everyone,

I am looking to ask for a little bit of advice on how to set up a project either linked to or using inaturaliast. I’ll explain what I have in mind first so its clear what I’m trying to achieve.

I am aiming to have a location checklist of sorts. A page which people can open and then see or mark off what they’ve seen in this area, sort of like bingo. The idea is to use it in a national park so people can mark off the species which they’ve seen against the species which occur there.

Initially I thought using inaturalists lists would be best but it seems pretty buggy and doesn’t allow the location specificity I’m after. If anyone has some suggestions which are easily accessible that would be best as I’m aiming for this project to be accessed by the general public who may get lost with overly complicated instructions.

Ideally i’d like to stick with inaturalist as it make it easier for people to identify and keep track of their observations and is fairly accessible.

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You could have a look at iNaturalist bingo. The tricky part might be working out the correct location to use, but if the national park is already defined as a location in iNaturalist, you should be OK.

Here’s the forum thread about it:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/inaturalist-bingo-a-monthly-observation-quest/29046

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iNaturalist Bingo is a lot of fun!

You can also find checklists by going through places to search for the place page for your location. There is a “view check list page” link on the bottom of the left-hand side on place pages.

Not all places have check lists (it’s something that can be turned off when places are created), but some of them may have even several check lists, e.g. a species lists and a few user-created ones for particular taxa. You can find those on the check list page by opening the “other check lists” link on the bottom of the right-hand side of the page. E.g. my state has additional checklists for liverworts and sphinx moths. You can even create your own, although I understand that this is not a feature that is supported any longer and may be replaced by other ways to create check lists.

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That’s interesting! I didn’t know that existed.

are you trying to let people see what they individually have observed, or are you trying to provide a way to see what a collective group of people have observed?

if you’re trying to let folks see what they have individually observed, you might be able to use the dynamic life lists for this. you won’t be able to define the target list of taxa, but a comparison can be made against all the taxa observed recorded in iNat for a particular place.

for example, here are the species you’ve observed at the Adelaide Botanic Garden:

and here are the species others have observed there which you have not observed:

it’s possible to use the “experimental compare tool” to do something similar in a more tabular format, but it won’t work well when you have more than 500 taxa.

if you have your own defined list of taxa, and you want folks to be able to compare their observed taxa against that list, or you want to compare a group’s observations against that list, then i think you’d likely have to create your own thing to do this via the API.

you used to be able to compare the old lists – so you’d be able to compare an old-style life list vs a target list – but i don’t think that functionality works well these days and may not allow for location specificity, as you noted.

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Thanks Vireya,
I was more looking for something similar to the bingo, not exactly that. While it is fun I am looking for something more of a checklist, about 700 species that people can mark off as they observe them rather than a small random sample of them for the bingo - however the bingo is fun and i’ll definitely be using it alongside the list i’m making!

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Hi Pisum,

I am trying to let people see what they individually observed yes. The life list may be the best option I have, thank you for telling me you can search by location within that I would never have known!

Yes!! thats exactly what i’m trying to do, compare individuals observed taxa to a premade list!
What does API stand for in this context?
Do you know of any guides for it that already exist?

Yeah this is something I considered but I did find it didn’t work well at all, even when comparing to accounts which I know had many of the species observed the box was just completely blanked out and bugged. :(

API stands for application programming interface.

the official documentation is here: https://api.inaturalist.org/v1/docs/, and here’s a general guide for developing software in the context of iNat: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/developers.

one final option you have is to filter a person’s observations against an iNat species list. suppose the target list is this one: https://www.inaturalist.org/lists/4373176. if i wanted to see all the species from that list that i’ve observed in a particular place (Texas is place_id=18), then i could filter on the Explore page like so: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?list_id=4373176&place_id=18&subview=table&user_id=pisum&view=species. the nice thing about this approach is that you can define a specific set of taxa. the problem with this approach is that you’re using the old iNat lists.

I can see how its filtered by person and by location but I cant see how you have filtered it by the list/where to link the list. The list which you linked which is titled HW, this one: https://www.inaturalist.org/lists/4373176

If you are able to can you give the step by step of how you do it? I’m a little bit slow with technology sometimes :slightly_frowning_face:

the filter is reflected only in the URL via the URL parameter list_id=4373176. there is no indicator on the webpage otherwise that this filter is applied.

here’s more information on applying parameters in the URL for the Explore page: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/how-to-use-inaturalists-search-urls-wiki-part-1-of-2/63, and this section talks specifically about filtering by lists: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/how-to-use-inaturalists-search-urls-wiki/63#heading--multiple--taxa--list.

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Thank you so much for the advice, i’m sure between all of your recommendations i’ll be able to figure something out that works!

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