iNaturalist Enhancement Suite Chrome extension v0.7.0: identifier stats

I do like stats and numbers, as they motivate me. So I do like to see this kind of stats for my own stuff for sure.

However, I don’t really see the usefullness of those numbers for what you want to determine. We quite recently had a discussion about that in the forums as well, I don’t remember under which topic, though.
It depends so much on what you ID (e.g I would imagine that it is harder for bird IDers to have a high leading score, as there are sooo many identifiers and one needs to be really quick to be the first), how much you ID (someone doing 10.000 IDs a month will have different scores then someone doing 500 a month) and where and when you ID (IDer density).
I think in the other discussion we had, some people mentioned that people mainly doing unknows can have really high leading scores easily, pushing observations from unknowns simply to kingdom, while experts IDing maybe fungi comb through hundreds of observations they might not be able to do much more for then agreeing - simply because distinguishing features are not displayed.
So, I don’t find those numbers very useful for judging IDer competence at all, actually.
It is much more helpful to just “get to know” their work through experience, I don’t think there are easy shortcuts.

That is even worse for determining something, I think. What info does this ratio actually hold? Is someone doing 1.000 improving IDs and 1.000 supporting IDs (1:1) really the “better IDer” then someone doing 1.000 improving IDs and 9.000 supporting in a given timeframe (1:9)?

You have that on your yearly overbview page (just put your name in the url instead of mine)
https://www.inaturalist.org/stats/2023/ajott

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I didn’t mean to reduce the ratio, but to keep it as two whole numbers. That way if somebody has say 2 leading IDs, but 20 supporting IDs, it means that they are more familiar with the taxon than 2 leading IDs and 0 supporting IDs.

Thank for the extention, and for this feature.

BTW, there is a bug with it if user has non-english locale:


The number and “suggested an ID” is added after the whole string, not just username, so it looks like “user suggested an ID (46) suggested an ID”.

PS: May I ask you for some more features of the extention?
I often need to view observations for specie of the observation, my observation of this specie and all observations of the observer for the day of current observation.

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Ha! Pretty dumb American chauvinism on my part. I’ll fix that ASAP; thanks.

Can you elaborate on the feature requests or provide examples? I’d be happy to work on them if feasible.

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Say it is a spider obs. If you are already there = trusted identifier.
But, if you haven’t seen it, and I have a row of unfamiliar names - this is a shortcut showing me who I could try first for a ‘please’ @ mention. For familiar names it puts a numerical value on trusted identifier versus new to me name with only one or two IDs of that. If they are a new taxon specialist … I will see that number racking up as they settle in to using iNat. I remember when your name didn’t click spider in my mind.

Only 257 of us use this app (from Chrome?) I rely on the visual guide to how confident CV is. Then the copy coordinates. Much appreciated. Regular folk are missing out.

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@kildor this should be fixed now; let me know if you notice any other issues.

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I am also not having success with the mouseover.

I would also definitely be interested to have the stats for myself :)

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Hi! Is there perhaps equivalent tool for firefox or no…
No worries if not, just wondering if there is something I missed :)

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From 257 to 291 Chrome users!

@kevinfaccenda @dianastuder @mydadguyfieri this change is now live :beers:

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I did once upon a time say I was going to port it to Firefox, but I haven’t done it yet. Thanks for the reminder!

I think I was online … as … it went live :grin:

That being the case, what is the use case for this extension?

You can use it or not.
I do. If 3 people have IDed something I don’t know.
New name, few IDs - but their profile tells me ‘working on the taxonomy of …’ and they are new to iNat. It is a tool, which we have to evaluate. I collect new taxon specialists.

I find it a bit awkward in a specific situation: let’s say I made an initial ID of family. I get +1 in your count for the family ID.

Then somebody else refines it to species. I look at it carefully and agree to their species ID. As a result I lose the count for the family ID, but I don’t get a count for the species ID (because it’s not leading or improving). So the net result of this is that I lose a count.

It kind of disincentivizes me to follow up on observations I’ve previously identified. Ideally I’d like to keep the count for the higher order ID, but I don’t know how that would be feasible technically. Or maybe I shouldn’t care about these numbers.

Inasmuch as there is a flaw, IMO it lies in the stateless classifications of identifications. In your scenario you are disincentivized regardless of my extension logic; Supporting IDs don’t even get a flair. It would perhaps be more “fair” to preserve your Improving classification so that your own best interests (such as they are, intentionally gamified by the site) are not at odds with the best interests of the observation/the community. I’m sure there are probably multiple forum posts about this low-level tension.

Here’s a related scenario which is familiar to me: You come upon an observation of a beetle with these identifications:

  1. spider
  2. beetle
  3. beetle

You know it’s an insect, but you aren’t sure it’s a beetle. You identify it as an insect, which is inarguably helpful, as it allows the observation taxon to move to Insecta and for insect identifiers to more easily find it, and you are temporarily “rewarded” with an Improving ID. However, when someone else comes along and adds another beetle ID, your ID gets “downgraded” to Supporting. Does that actually matter, in any meaningful way? Not really. However, did your ID (and for that matter, ID #3, which is also Supporting) improve the observation, regardless of what happened after it was made? Yes.

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After using it for a month now, I really like this extension and have recommended it quite a few times. The color coding for the suggestions is really handy in certain situations. Also knowing who has at least SEEN a number of this thing is certainly helpful, including being able to see one’s own numbers. Thanks for coding this.

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All of this is technically right, and can’t really be argued. All the same, iNaturalist doesn’t tally my IDs so neatly, I have to actively go looking for it. So up until now I had no reason to care what fraction of my IDs are merely “supporting.” With this extension the “quality” of my IDs is in my face constantly. It doesn’t matter how well I understand why the numbers behave the way they do, smaller number suggests less expertise, so no, I don’t want that number to go down. All of this probably means I should (1) turn off displaying these numbers and (2) ID less.

The alternative is to just align myself with the AI and always pick the top suggestion. That way my ID may get corrected by others, but my count will never decrease (i.e. I won’t look dumber) just because I learned recognizing things better. But if I just blindly follow the AI then why am I doing this at all… Sure, most people do it that way, but.

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