Not seen lists bugs/issues

One feature I really like on inaturalist is the ability to list organisms I haven’t seen in a give region. It’s done simply by doing explore for a taxon for a certain region and then editing the URL adding the option “unobserved_by_user_id=” with my user ID. There are however things I consider bugs or issues:

  1. The list excludes species I have seen outside the selected region. For example, I haven’t seen an american wigeon in the greater Houston area, but have seen it in Idaho, so it won’t show up in my haven’t seen in greater Houston area list. I don’t know why anyone would want it to work like this, but if there is a reason, there should be another option that prevents this exclusion.
  2. The list shows lots of genera that I have seen, but that other users have seen but could only ID to genus. For example if I’ve seen Lampropeltis alterna and L. getula and someone else saw a Lampropeltis only identified to genus level, Lampropeltis shows up in my haven’t seen list.
  3. This feature should be very popular. I think it should be built into the user interface, not buried in a difficult to use URL option that has to be typed.

You can eliminate #2 by adding hrank=species and lrank=species to your url string.

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You can also technically do #1 if you are willing to invest the time by creating a subchecklist under the Harris County checklist (I think that is the county Houston is in) called Birds of Harris County, and then create your own personal list of Harris county birds list and use the compare tool.

It should be relatively easy to source the data from the 1st from Ebird, maybe Avibase (I cant remember how discrete their checklists get) and you can bulk import it.

Your first comment: Yes,this is helpful and I’ve done it. Thanks. But even better would be to fix things so this isn’t necessary. Simpler is always better.

On the second comment of creating a subchecklist: This would be ok if all I cared about were birds, but I like to do all sorts of checklists often on the fly, and this method seems just too burdensome.