'Needs ID' pile, and identifications

I am reverting to - if I can’t family at least, I mark plants as reviewed and move on. Thousands still waiting in my filtered URLs!

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I think we ought to organize occasional Identification Blitzes. Where we choose a location and try to get as many people as possible to ID plants in that area.

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We do. We have. Come and join us …

https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/identifriday-is-the-happiest-day-of-the-week/26908

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I did that for plants in New England this past winter. It was fun and very successful. It didn’t take much effort, really - just set up a project, invite the people who make lots of observations and IDs for plants (or whatever) in the area, write a journal post or two, and have fun!

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I think they meant those organised by @trh_blue, but she’s absent, at least I miss those even if only new iders could win there.)

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there have been a couple of general identification blitzes organized by @trh_blue, @arboretum_amy, and others:

if you’re going to organize one for a particular area, i think it’s best to try to attach that to a local bioblitz so that you get local expertise.

i know some folks who gathered local plant experts together at a local nature center one evening of a past City Nature Challenge, with food, etc., for a session of mass identification. however, my understanding is that they experienced technical difficulties, which could have been general CNC-related slowness or too much congestion on their network. however, i sort of suspect they may have been getting throttled since they were probably all working off of the same wifi, and iNat may have interpreted that as a single connection trying to make too many requests.

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Once we have better management of notifications, identifiers can bioblitz work from home. With visible discussions in comments - and that helps all those who are interested in that taxon to learn for next time.

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I agree! It’s been an amazing tool for me to meet people in my area, and most of my real-life friends these days are people I met on iNat.

And I grew up in an area very similar to the one you describe (in Northern California - if you’re unfamiliar, Murder Mountain on Netflix is a surprisingly accurate documentary of the local culture of my home range!) It’s really important to be able to contact people familiar with the area and ask about access / safety.

The area I’m in now is much safer, but if I’m going to an unfamiliar spot, I still like to check who’s been there first and message a few people to ask about the location before I go.

I think that’s a great goal - if every active user did that, we’d wipe out the backlog pretty quickly.

I like to remind myself that everything I ID reduces the “competition” from other observations and makes it more likely someone will ID one of my observations I need some help with, hah.

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Yes, but I know those people who can id that, but can’t really ask them, because they id all the records from country, but I monitor the biggest contributers’ pages and their number of needs id never drops, even if I check “uploaded before”, sadly I can’t id plants, so can’t really help them and need help myself, but I saw multiple post through winter of how it’s time to upload because they’re ready to id, and I know I got close to none of those ids, I know worldwide plants aren’t really ided, but we had a great situation until 2020-2021 winter, since then we all live by tells of how things are ided in winter, but they are not, take in mind local % of plant observations is higher than worldwide, so those ids are one of the most valuable, and sadly people from other contries can’t really help with most of them.

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I started trying to make an “Identifiers’ Tree of Life” but I’ll need some better way to write it out. If there’s an app or online tool to make such trees (or flowcharts which are basically the same idea) neatly, let me know!

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For Dicots, Asteraceae is the easiest family - lots of yellow, composite flowers. Most people can recognize Rosaceae too, like fruit trees.

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‘easy families’ would be ‘your’ local ones that you can recognise. It will vary depending on geography.

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Yeah, but to get beyond family it’s one of the hardest – lots of yellow, composite flowers.

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From one big pile to many smaller piles … hopefully we have some fun along the way

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and our yellow composite may also be something in the protea family.

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Or Aizoaceae, for that matter.

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Question: how do you guys deal with unskilled yet very prolific identifiers? Is it worth trying to message them and talk to them about it, or better to just re-ID and hope they get the idea eventually?

I’m finding my blood pressure rising every time I see another bad identification by a particular user, who seems to mostly ID casual / cultivated things so probably rarely gets corrected. I’m talking several hundred thousand identifications, and seemingly cannot distinguish between a rose and a tulip, or a daisy and a petunia.

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Comment/dm them, but if they don’t respond, then it is worth contacting iNat help.

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Juicy story there! Maybe there should be a test for plant identifiers (ha ha)

My preferred method is throwing darts at common families when I’m not sure

I often go for observations that are not the oldest (left with mostly hard to ID stuff) and not the newest but somewhere in between. I find a lot of observations I can easily ID that slipped through the cracks when they were new. I used to go to like page 50 or 100 (after setting filter to ascending), but more recently I’ve instead been setting the filter for observations added during a certain time period such as 2018-2020 and then setting the order to random.

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