Observation Field Standardization - wiki

That’s a good idea to maintain a Wiki page. We’ve been doing something similar on iNaturalist NZ for a few years now. See https://inaturalist.nz/pages/extra_fields_nz

I’d be happy to incorporate some of that here but I also expect that some of the fields we’ve standardised onto are not the same as others have adopted elsewhere. That’s both the power and the frustration of iNat’s observation fields.

What’s perhaps as useful as a Wiki guide to the “best” fields to use is a Wiki mapping field synonymy to help researchers to navigate the happy mess we’ve all made.

3 Likes

A synonomy would be awesome, though hard to do! feel free to add the fields you use if you want to, as long as they are fairly general ones. I expected my fields are part of one ‘silo’. The other question will be if there are tools to merge fields if necessary…

are all those interaction fields the gloBI ones? We should definitely move that over at least

1 Like

I am trying to find information on how to best note pollinator and plant relationships I am observing. I have done some searching in the forums and wiki, and I am not finding anything specific to that data. I am definitely an amateur at all things botany, but I would like to be able to document in a way that is searchable to other users/researchers. Thanks.

on the pollinator organism, i’ll often use the Eating (taxon) observation field to indicate what it’s eating. sometimes for parasitic relationships, i’ll (also) use the Host (taxon) observation field.

I’ve used interaction: visited flower of. Eating could also imply herbivory so I don’t use that for pollinators.

2 Likes

These can be useful fields for interactions:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observation_fields?utf8=✓&q=interaction->&commit=Search

Name Datatype Description
interaction->mutualism with taxon two organisms who benefit by interacting with each other. Please select the other organism in the partnership.
Interaction->Seed dispersed by taxon This species was seen moving or defecating seeds of the observed plant.
Interaction->Carcass scavenged by taxon The dead carcass of the observed species was seen being eaten by this species.
Interaction->Decomposed by taxon The observed species was dead and being decomposed by this species.
Interaction->Decomposer of taxon The observed species was seen decomposing this species.
Interaction->Chased by taxon The observed species was chased by this species (but not caught or killed)
Interaction->Riding On taxon Life Form is hitching a ride on another life form.
Interaction->Damaged by taxon Your focal species was damaged by this species with a behaviour other than feeding on it or competing with it.
Interaction->Damaged taxon Your focal species damaged this other species with a behaviour other than feeding on it or competing with it.
Interaction->Parasitoid of taxon Your observed species was found in, on, or emerged from this host as a parasitoid.
Interaction->Infected by taxon The observed species was seen being infected by this species.
Interaction->Mixed Flock text Mixed feeding flocks/loosely associated groups of multiple bird species, esp. during migration or on wintering grounds
Interaction->Seed eaten by taxon This species was seen eating seeds of the observed plant (eating the seeds themselves, not the fruit).
Interaction->Scavenged carcass of taxon The observed species was seen feeding on the dead carcass of this species.
Interaction->Visited plant taxon For insects that are on plants but not feeding.
Interaction->Preyed upon by taxon The observed species was killed and seen being eaten by this predator species.
Interaction->Chasing taxon The observed species was seen chasing this species (eg unsuccessful predation, or driving off competition)
Interaction->Used as nest by taxon The observed species was being nested in by this species.
Interaction->Nested in taxon The observed species was seen nesting in this species.
Interaction->Competition with taxon The focal species was observed competing with this other species.
Interaction->Egg(s) laid on/in taxon The species you saw your observed species lay her egg(s) on/in or found eggs laid on.
Interaction->fungivore of taxon The observed fungivore species was seen eating this fungus species.
Interaction->Hemiparasite of taxon Your observed species is a hemiparasite (a partial parasite, e.g., mistletoe) on this species.
Interaction->fungivory by taxon The observed fungus was seen being eaten by this fungivore species.
Interaction->Parasite of taxon The observed species is a parasite found in, on, or emerging from this host species.
Interaction->Pathogen of taxon The observed species was seen infecting and causing damage to this host species.
Interaction->Herbivore of taxon The observed herbivore species was seen eating this plant species.
Interaction->Ate seed of taxon The observed species was seen eating seeds of this plant (eating the seeds themselves, not the fruit).
Interaction->Fruit eaten by taxon This species was seen eating fruit of the observed plant.
Interaction->Flower visited by taxon This species visited flowers on the observed plant (and possibly pollinated the flowers).
Interaction->Ate fruit of taxon The observed species was seen eating fruit of this plant.
Interaction->Herbivory by taxon The observed plant was seen being eaten by this herbivore species.
Interaction->Preyed on taxon The observed species was a predator seen killing or eating this species.
Interaction->Visited flower of taxon The observed species was seen visiting flowers of this plant (and possibly pollinating the flowers).
Interaction->Dispersed seed of taxon The observed species was seen moving or defecating seeds of this plant.
Interaction->Parasitised by taxon The observed species was seen being parasitised by this species.
Interaction->attempted predation by taxon The observed species was chased/attacked by this predator species but escaped.
Interaction->attempted predation of taxon The observed predator species was chasing/attacking this prey species but the prey escaped.
5 Likes

note that the field Charlie mentioned is a different one to the “visited flower of” in this set. One of the problems with fields is the extreme flexibility of them! We often end up with duplication. Because of the comprehensiveness of what Jon Sullivan set up, I prefer to use these ones, but there are so many observations that utilise all forms, that anyone using the data would be wise to investigate what duplicates are in play and factor them into their searches. So there is no need to be concerned about “using the right one”, it can be just a matter of what format or wording you prefer to use :)

@charlie (and other moderators)… please be careful when you move posts around, as it can make things very disjointed and hard to follow. Looking at the start of this “wiki” is a post by Charlie that is then followed by a reply by Charlie about Darwincore?

1 Like

I meant to refer to the main interaction form, but just misspelled since I was on my phone. I think.

I didn’t move this post,but yeah. We are still calibrating on how to best balance the confusing of moving posts with the confusion of excess duplication like what plagued the google groups

I meant to refer to the main interaction form, but just misspelled since I was on my phone. I think.

I didn’t move this post,but yeah. We are still calibrating on how to best balance the confusing of moving posts with the confusion of excess duplication like what plagued the google groups

1 Like

A user deleted their comment, which is what Charlie was responding to.

1 Like

ah, my apologies!

All these fields assume that the ID on the interaction is correct or is known!!
I prefer fields which link to the relevant observation without making any assumptions about the ID. e.g.
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/interactions-s-afr

2 Likes

What I do at present is to add two fields to the observation (example). One as others have said, “Interaction->Visited Flower of” and another, “Associated observation”. The second field has a link to the observation.

However, to search for these observations is not yet straightforward, so the project approach that Tony suggested might be a better short-term solution. There is also a feature request to add interactions to species pages with some existing functionality, but not based internally on iNat observations - please vote for it if you would like to see this happen!

The Similar Observation Set field is useful when creating multiple observations of the same organism. I’ve used it for multiple observations of toads & tadpoles in the same pond during the year. It could also be used when multiple people observe the same organism. Here is a link:

Using the field “Similar Observation Set” for linking observations of lepidoptera when raising on

I have used the roadkill field but maybe the newer field of Likely cause of death? = Vehicle would be better as that has been used on more observations.

I’ve used Bone(s) & Bone type. Neither of the sign fields have an option for bones.

1 Like

Oh good, thank you for finding this wiki. I’d also be ok with adding bones to that animal sign and song field but it does already have ‘remains’ and maybe for bones you’d want the added detail of that other field anyway

Are these fields translated into other languages? Or is this only for English users?

I know that some fields populate the Annotations, e.g. Insect Life Stage, but does it do that only in English? Are there equivalent fields in other languages? Do all fields have to be duplicated for each language, or are they translated so the field will only appear once in whatever language the user is using?

There is no translation

Thanks, Chris.

Perhaps the title should be changed then to Observation Field Standardization (English).

1 Like