Link to top identifiers of that taxon, not *observations* of that taxon

That’s not specified/requested in this feature request (or the above linked previous discussions). I would assume supporting IDs would be included in such a list of identifiers. But I guess that’s up for debate.


linking @tiwane’s comment:
OK, after consulting with Ken-ichi, it’s not a bug but intended behavior.

“The Identifiers tab in Obs Search shows the people who have added identifications to observations in the current search, not people who have added identifications of the taxon filtering the current obs search. I am fairly sure that was intentional, as obs search could have multiple filters applied to it that may or may not have anything to do with taxa
(emphasis mine)
I don’t see how a filter of a taxa could ever not have anything to do with taxa, but if you are going to request this feature, how would you work around this issue?

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That is indeed the intended behaviour of the identifiers tab of the observation search/explore page, which is where the link from the taxon page goes now. That page should be left alone. The proposal is to change the link on the taxon page to instead go to a new page which lists the people who made the most identifications of the relevant taxon, which is a function already available through the API, and already (partially) displayed in the top 10 identifiers list in the lower right part of each observation page.

In other words, change the link to go to a new page which actually does what’s expected, instead of linking to an existing page which does something subtly unexpected and can’t be changed.

Once we have a page that is searching the right thing, filters for Maverick, Leading, Supporting, or Improving IDs could be added, which would satisfy a couple of other feature requests.


If one does that (and I very much support it), how does one deal with the fact that users will understandably keep on raising the question as to why the top identifier isn’t appearing on the leader board?

I don’t understand. Why would the top identifier not appear on the leader board? Which page are you thinking of: the existing observations-search or the proposed identifications search?

Edit: Ah, I think I understand now. On the taxon page, when the link is changed, obviously the top identifier must also be changed to the one that’s at the top of the linked page, though most of the time the user at the top of the current page will also be at the top of the new page and will almost always be somewhere on the new page.

it doesn’t really address this feature request, but while this is awaiting development, if you just need something to display the results of the API in a more human readable format, you can use this:

so for example, if you want to see the top 100 “leading” identifiers for Amanita (for others’ observations only), you could add some parameters to the above URL like this, just as you would with the API:

the code for the above is here:


The page linked to hasn’t yet been changed - it still goes to the list of people who have added any ID to an observation with that community taxon (or a more specific taxon), instead of a list of people who have added IDs of that taxon (or a more specific taxon).

On the other hand, it looks as though the top identifier listed on the taxon page, and the number of identifications they made, is now calculated correctly. So it’s often showing a different number than the leader on the linked page, and sometimes a different leader.

This display (whatever it could actually mean) is counterintuitive and incomprehensible (in short, it is inconsistent, forgive me):


Another related thread:

Yes, this explains what we see.

Functionaly, I don’t need (do you?) to know the people [most] involved in the whole identification process. I need to know how has proposed this taxon (or any other one at a lower rank) as an ID. This is the initial feature request, if I understand correctly.

As an inconsistency with the linked leaderboard, I would consider it also as a bug.

Because all information needed is already available (already computed for the leaderboard page), and because the fix consists “only” in changing an identifier and a count in the Taxon page, I don’t understand why it is not fixed after a year.

Of course it might not be prioritary, but as a bug I suggest that it need no further discussion (or votes).

Maybe it is not fixed yet because this change request is registered as a feature request, instead of a bug.

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It is a real improvement for finding people that are likely able to help identifying/reviewing new observations.

@bouteloua proposed a specification a bit more complete:

With a checkbox for one more identification type: “Maverick”.
With separate checkboxes “For others” and “For self”.

Would an additional checkbox “Lower ranks only” be useful?

2 similar use cases:

When reviewing observations identified at the rank Kingdom Plantae, when I see a Family Crassulaceae observation, I simply identify it at the Family rank (because I have almost no knowledge in this Family). Now, suppose I make numerous such identifications, I would then appear in the leaderboard of the Family. But in general I will not be able to help identifying Crassulaceae observations at a lower rank, so it’s better to forget about me for Crassulaceae, and a checkbox “Lower ranks only” would ensure that.

I also made many identifications at the rank Subfamily Faboideae, in most cases because most people ID at the rank Family Fabaceae instead, and also because in many cases I can’t be sure of the Tribe (in general I also add a comment to propose one or a few possible Tribes, which may help other people to further investigate). These many identifications at the rank Subfamily may be useful, but a checkbox “Lower ranks only” would preferably ignore them.

(Someone in South Africa complained about these many identifications at the rank Subfamily Faboideae, saying it’s pointless. I answered that Caesalpinioideae and Mimosoideae observations would be much easier to find if so many observations of Faboideae were not left at the Family rank. Of course, if you care only about Faboideae, you don’t mind if they are all identified at the Family rank by default).

The current taxon filter definition is “this exact taxon (at the rank of this taxon), or any other lower rank taxon (still matching this taxon)”.

A “Lower ranks only” option would switch the definition to “not this exact taxon (at the rank of this taxon), but any lower rank taxon (still matching this taxon)”. It is not included in the current definition, because without this extra option there is presently no way to obtain the same leaderboard results in the iNaturalist web application.

The idea is to find people with knowlege within, say, a Family, not people that are only able to say if a specimen belongs or not to the Family. The former is the common use case, for improving an identification. The later is rare, I mean having identified a Family, without being sure of it at all, and thus not yet caring about improving the identification at a rank lower than the Family.

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Provided that “Maverick” is automatically included when selecting “Leading”, as you explained above.

i’m just a regular user of the system, not staff. so i don’t really have insight into what staff would be willing to change. personally, i think changing the Taxon screen as you’re proposing makes that screen too complicated.

and before you even think about changes to the Taxon screen, you really need to address the fundamental difference between identifiers of observations and identifiers (of taxa). there are different reasons you might want to get each of these. so i would leave the Identifiers tab on the Observations screen alone.

in my opinion, the right way to address this feature request is to create a new Identifications screen that is similar to the Observations screen. instead of allowing you to query for observations and related statistics, an Identifications screen would allow you to query for identifications and related statistics.

once an Identifications screen exists, then you could link the top identifier in the Taxon screen to the top Identifiers tab in the Identifications screen.

doing things the way i’ve suggested above is not a small thing, which is probably why no action has been taken down this path. still, ultimately, i think going down that path is needed as part of raising the importance of Identifying to a level more equal to that of Observing.


Let’s be interested in the taxon page of Family Apiaceae and let’s consider an observation of a Wild Carrot. Someone that first identified this observation as “Plantae” is one of the “identifiers of observations”. Someone that later identified this observation as “Apiaceae” or as “Wild Carrot” is one of the “identifiers of observations” and is one of the “identifiers (of taxa)”. Did I understand correctly?

Could you elaborate? What are the possible reasons to get the “identifiers of observations”?

(I don’t question the existence of the need, I would like to get the use cases and user stories that the solution depends on).

In the case the observer did not add his own ID on an observation, the person who identifies this observation as “Plantae” do this in order to put the observation into a category so that it may be found by identifiers interested in “Plantae”. In this case, getting the “identifiers of observations” would mean getting these people who identify as “Plantae” in order to direct observations to other identifiers. Is that the subject?


there are times when you’re not specifying a particular taxon or rank but you still want to know who’s helped to identify. for example, if you’re running a bioblitz and are interested in seeing not just who’s observing but who’s helping to identify (any taxon), then you’d be more interested in seeing identifiers at an observation level rather than identifiers at the level of a particular taxon.

this applies even if you, say, had a taxon-specific Daucus carota project. you might still want to see everyone who helped to identify observations in that project, even if some of those people could only identify to Apiaceae or Plantae.

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Hello there,

I came through the discrepancy and opened a bug report. Some users came by, and told me about the post and feature request. I suggested a solution in my bug report and was told to publish it as a comment here. @bouteloua please if it needs a new post tell me or feel free to move this comment.

Basically, what I have thought is that when one come by a taxon page under TOP IDENTIFIER
the website should be able to show what the icon and number means when you hover your mouse over them.

We already have this function in iNat, like when you put your mouse over Improving

What are your opinions? Is it difficult to implement in taxon pages?


Yes, I was thinking a popup (?) can appear over the Top Identifier username or their # of ID. Your explanation is more understandable and having also a message appear when you hover over Leaderbord will be helpful as well.

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