Let's Talk Annotations

Where I live (Northeast Ohio, U.S.A.) there aren’t any hares or moose. If you have photos of their feeding marks on trees, it would be cool to see.

Did you mean unique in terms of identification or in how annotation would apply? Cause I answered the second, beavers are easy to id, you’re right, unless it’s in a place where Canadian ones were introduced and still didn’t die out.

I searched the thread for cones and didn’t happen on a reason this wasn’t adopted. I would love to be able to search for seed cones or pollen cones of particular species to help learn them.

1 Like

It would be great if ‘state of matter life’ observations could be annotated with ‘evidence of presence: gall’. It makes me a bit sad to counter a Uromycladium (fungus) ID with an insect ID, or vice versa and see it lose the annotation ‘gall’. Plus there are just gall types where it’s really hard to say what induced the gall, I’m thinking of some witches brooms, galls on trunks etc.
I really like the gall annotation as I’m learning about Australian galls, it’s really helpful to have the galls all gathered together.

8 Likes

When talking about plant sex systemt, it will have more than just male and female, even more than simply bisexual, like gynomonoecy, andromonoecy and trimonoecy.
For example, in this observation https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112879070 , the sex of this flower is monoecious, and now I could not annotate it with male or female. Even the third option Cannot Be Determined is not right, it is obvious that this flower contains stamens and gynoecium, not uncertain.

Welcome to the forum!
I moved your post to this existing topic concerning annotations.

Thanks!

As a botanist, I’m more bothered by the use of “male” and “female” to refer to flowers.

2 Likes

I’m generally in favor of expanding our structured annotations. But in my opinion it has to be done carefully, so that it can be applied correctly to the large majority of taxa in a group as well as be understood and not misunderstood when translated to many languages. And the annotations have to apply to the whole organism. For example, I don’t think it would work to annotate a flower as opposed to the plant. If you wanted to do that you would have to use the Notes section. To keep it simple, perhaps “male,” “female,” “both,” would work? Whether a plant is monoecious or dioecious is usually part of the species description and would apply to all the plants of that species so you wouldn’t be annotating that, as would whether it has perfect or imperfect flowers. But for something dioecious like Atriplex canescens, a plant that can change from female to male and back, and is sometimes observed in transition, it would certainly be useful to be able to annotate it as “both.”

1 Like

I think at least “Uncertain” should remain, “both” is quite a different situation.

The question of plant/flower sex comes up with certain regularity. There are just so many options in plants. I was just telling my students again how some ferns have male and hermaphroditic gametophytes and they change sex during development. I think one easy approach would be to add a catch-all “other” category for all the other versions - e.g. male, female, other, and can’t be determined. For what it’s worth, for some plants the question of male vs. female provides some interesting research opportunities (example), but only very few can be neatly sorted into those categories.

3 Likes

Why is there no flowering/fruiting/growth annotation for Podocarpus (or Gymnosperms)?
Surely these options should be available to gymnosperms as well - or at least the fruiting option should be. But it is perfectly acceptable to conflate “flowering” with pollen production even though technically they are “pre-flowers”.
Specifically, some of our Podocarps can be told apart by fruit, but one cannot filter observations by fruit as the annotation is not available. .

2 Likes

Has this gotten any attention from the moderators? It is very frustrating that there is an easy phenology choices to be made for vasculars and nothing for bryophytes.

You can scroll thru the comments, and read the feedback from iNat staff (in fact the thread was started by tiwane asking us for feedback)

1 Like

I have not read this entire text but has “fragment” been requested? This would go under “evidence of presence” so when given the option of “organism” “scat” or “track” it would also say “fragment”. I mostly ID seashells and quite often fragments are IDable but it doesn’t feel right to mark them as any of the others. There’s a good number of fragments out there – surely in other taxons too – so I feel it would get clicked a decent number of times. I know i would use it quite often

3 Likes

Fragment would be helpful for things like dropped antlers (though I suppose you could use bone for those), fur shed when spring/summer arrives, etc.

1 Like

For fur and scales there should be a separate category, as was proposed somewhere at the start of the topic. Fragment is kinda too wide.

1 Like

Yep. I just really wish more of the categories from “Animal Sign and Song” had been included in annotations.

Though I consider it a win that organism was added; probably the closet we get to the direct observation of organism vs indirect evidence of organism that I was pushing for in the posts I made in 2019 in this and other threads.

2 Likes

I liked “fragment” specifically because it was so wide. There could be several types of fragments per organism type and most observations are not fragments which means if the taxon was given multiple fragment options they wouldn’t be clicked as often (although this is not necessarily a problem.) By using “fragment”, there would be a reasonable number of observations in the category per species. My idea was that this would scoop up all the leftovers that didn’t fit anywhere else but did fit into a “fragment”. If you were looking for a specific type of fragment, you would have to dig through all the other types (but that would be way better than having no filter at all). Forgive me, I haven’t read if or where this is discussed.
In order to find out what moon snail eggs look like (genus Neverita) you have to dig through mostly egg cases.https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/59357-Neverita/browse_photos?quality_grade=any&term_id=1&term_value_id=7 Egg cases are not eggs, but they are marked as them because it is more efficient (I assume). If they were not marked as “egg”, you wouldn’t find the cases at all.
I will admit, it made it significantly harder to find actual eggs. I don’t know if that messes up my point but I would much rather have “fragment” (at least temporarily) on all taxons than have to wait until specific names for each type of fragment and across different kinds of organisms had been debated and implemented.
It seems to me that if we were going to introduce more annotations for the different types of fragments, it would be beneficial to start by adding “fragment” to all taxons under “evidence of presence”, and then revise it to have more types and different names where needed. That way the many taxons where just “fragment” would suffice, would already be done.

1 Like

I’m just wondering what you your thoughts are (again forgive me I still haven’t read everything). Why do you think that skin needs to be separated form other vertebrate fragments (or are you simply suggesting that vertebrate fragments should be called “skin” or something). The only other fragments I can think of that aren’t bone are severed limbs. I’m not sure there’s enough observations of severed limbs to warrant making a separate category for them.
Again, to me “fragment” is self-explanatory and not taxon exclusive. The names could be adjusted accordingly after it has been implemented. I would at least like to have it for mollusks.