Offer similar observations to help confirm older identifications

Recent observations have a good chance of being seen and reviewed. Once a certain time has passed, though, chances are they will remain unnoticed unless someone goes looking for them specifically. This happens, but not very often.

So, I was wondering if it wouldn’t be possible to automatically offer similar identifications for review.
Say I add an observation of Rosa canina in the south of Spain. When someone confirms my ID, they would then see an older observation from the same general area and a message like “Thanks! How about this one? Is this also Rosa canina?”.

It’s just a thought. I think it might help to deal with all the older, unconfirmed observations. This would be especially true for observations from parts of the world with only a few iNat-users.

one thing you can do is sort by ‘random’ when doing IDs, or oldest first. Not exactly the same thing. it would be neat if there were some sort of algorithm to guide people’s IDing based on what is needed and what they are able to ID.

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Not sure if this will quite help what you want, but if when you are on the observation page (this only works if you open the observation page itself, not from the thumbnails), next to the species name in the identifications is a drop down with an option to identify observations of this taxon, which will generate a list of all needs ID records that are pending with that ID.

If your hope is that it will scan all the needs ID records to find ones that might be that species, but do not have that ID, that would likely be exceptionally computationally intensive for the computer code to run through the 4 million or whatever it else needs ID records and run the vision ID algorithm on all of them to try and find possible matches.

I think a popup as mentioned would get very frustrating for high volume identifiers.


I’d like that feature. It probably should be an opt-in opt-out choice, as some people like to approach IDs systematically and wouldn’t want the distraction.


What you describe would help to find similar observations. I’m looking for something to encourage people to look at older observations that already have an ID but remain casual because nobody confirms the ID.

I agree the popup would be annoying, but it could be on an opt-in basis as @janetwright suggests.

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Im not sure if it is a terminology thing, but casual observations are often already identified sometimes with multiple supporting identifications. But they are blocked from getting to research grade due to falling one of the research grade criteria.

The first point i suggested finds the needs id records which with the entry of additional identifications may then be eligible to get to research grade

Closing this request as we won’t be moving forward with it.