No option to show GBIF locations in taxa maps

I’m using Chrome to work with the iNat

In the web interface, the map shown on each taxon page and within dialogs such as “Compare” and “Suggestions” has a button to choose the “Overlays”, and within that, there’s typically a checkbox to include pink squares to mark GBIF occurrences. Today, that went away. I assume this was disabled by a recent software change.

Before the change (with GBIF option)

After the change (without GBIF option)

Update: I am seeing the GBIF option on at least one newly opened taxon page. Maybe a caching issue?

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Also occasionally have this issue. Some sp. never have the GBIF option

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Please share specific URLs if you see this happening.

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I’m seeing no GBIF Overlay option on this taxon:

https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/1028771-Echeandia-eccremorrhiza

Same behavior on this observation:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/80473160

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Thanks, I’m sorry I didn’t see the scientific name in your screenshots! I’m told it happens when our taxonomy and GBIF’s taxonomy isn’t mapped correctly (“mapped” meaning that we know the relationship of the taxa between the two databases). We’re not sure why that’s happening in some cases, but this particular example has been fixed. If you find another example, please let me know so we can investigate more throroughly.

I noticed over the last few months some taxa pages don’t have the GBIF map filter and/or the GBIF link in the About section. A few others have noticed this too (we were finding it insect groups), and I think there’s another forum topic or two about this which someone made at that time. A similar problem is that some species pages only show GBIF data that’s actually for the entire genus the species is in. I’d estimate overall one of these issues affects 5% of all insect observations.

Thanks @tiwane. That explanation makes sense. BTW, I just came across another taxon without GBIF data: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/862797-Trihesperus-glaucus

Here’s the matching GBIF data: https://www.gbif.org/occurrence/map?taxon_key=2769690

Is there a way we as curators can fix these issues ourselves, e.g. through the links on the taxon page?

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Let me ask our devs to take a look at this one and see where the error is occuring.

(Also, I generally don’t mark something as Solved until its root cause has been fixed)

Hi again @tiwane. Here’s another taxon without GBIF mapping: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/1196784-Dipterostemon-capitatus . This should map to https://www.gbif.org/species/2772254 . I know I moved this taxon to a new genus about a year ago, so maybe that broke the GBIF link for this one?

This may be part of a larger issue of numerous species lacking GBIF filters or only showing data for their genus. This was also brought up elsewhere like this since-locked topic. Although some imply it can’t or would be difficult to fix, is there anything that can be done? Users have tried individually manually fixing or flagging species pages, but it took too long and can’t address this given the number of species affected.

This issue is important for a few reasons. A working GBIF filter for all species can significantly help ID, including compensating for CV causes of misidentifications. In particular, GBIF or related databases are important when species are IDed for the first time on iNat, and for using species distributions to assist ID in general. But having many filters incorrectly show genus instead of species data actively misleads ID. And since the GBIF filter is accessible from Identify and species pages, many users must use it. Lastly, since this was an existing and planned site feature there seems more priority to fix it, if possible.

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Hi @brian_d. I read that thread on a similar GBIF issue. The fix that @bouteloua described is very helpful.

I don’t know if what I experienced had the same cause as you’re seeing with arthropods. However, I would suggest it would be best to ask for that thread to be reopened as the context there will be more helpful than the context in this thread.

Okay. I’m unsure if I’ll request re opening that topic, but would ask the same question there if anyone does. I understand that the manual correction method can work, but I and some of the others in the other thread found it too time consuming, and many species won’t be corrected via that method just because it’s impossible to get to them. It also sounded like even species which currently are connected to GBIF or corrected now may lose their connection later. So, I’m just wondering if any more effective and less manual method is possible, although I don’t know if one is.

The issue you raise about this being a haphazard and labor-intensive manual process is very valid. Unfortunately I don’t know the answer. I do think you should file a bug report yourself. My issue was essentially fixed by using @bouteloua’s manual process and I don’t currently forsee that this is going to be a big task for me.