Option to remove leaderboards from projects

It’s not a competition this year, right? And yet I see cities and participants tweeting that they’re winning. If we don’t like leaderboards because the encourage bad identification, etc., we surely shouldn’t like them when they may encourage unsafe activity.

This is unlikely to happen during the CNC as we’re not making changes to the site at this time. But I’m open to letting project creators remove leaderboards from their projects, which is an option that a few people have requested in the past via email.


Consider it like a school sports day, yes it’s still a competition but it;s not the winning that counts but the taking part.


This kind of mixed messaging is exactly what concerns me about the way the event is happening this year, @lewismitchell.

The organizers say explicitly, and for good public health reasons: it’s not a competition. And yet of course it is, both historically and as it continues to be presented. I can still look up which cities and participants are “winning” in the 2019 sense. Perhaps this winning no longer counts, officially–so why are we still counting at all?

CNC says it’s not responsible for the way projects display on iNat. iNat folks say well, it’s not us, it’s the CNC, talk to them. These are all good people, and I’ve obviously expressed concerns too late in the day. I nevertheless worry that the failure to more thoroughly reimagine the challenge may in fact be dangerous. And from a place where staying in is the responsible thing to do at this point, it feels more demoralizing than anything else this year.


Say it to all people who can’t take part how they lost in that competition.


Lewismitchell, you’ve just described the CNC in a normal year.
By the way, welcome to the forums.

1 Like

The official results are actually on the City Nature Challenge website, since not all cities use iNaturalist. You can see there that we are displaying the collective results, and the city numbers as a list alphabetically.

I didn’t know that leaderboards could be removed from individual projects - even as a very regular iNat user - and I definitely would’ve let the organizers know that they could have requested them removed off their projects had I known. @tiwane Can you clarify if leaderboards can be removed from umbrella projects? Not that I’m asking the iNat staff to do it this year - you all are doing an amazing job keeping everything running smoothly this weekend! - but I’m guessing that’s where the main confusion lies for this year, the CNC 2020 umbrella project.

We’re all doing the best we can, I promise, and I will celebrate the fact that we were able to entirely pivot the CNC from bioblitzes and in-person events in parks & open spaces to individuals & families exploring their backyard and neighborhoods, in the span of 5 weeks. It was a TON of work, above and beyond the incredible amount of work the CNC takes to put on every year. And the fact that 16,000 people, so far, have chosen to connect to nature in whatever ways they can right now… amazing.


Since Tony mentioned this won’t be occurring during the 2020 CNC, I’ve updated the feature request title to the broader option to remove leaderboards from projects generally, not just ones affiliated with the iNaturalist piece of the City Nature Challenge. There are a few ways it would be cool to have the projects pages be a bit more modular, for example on one of the projects I manage, it excludes Needs ID and Casual observations, so the little wheel showing the breakdown of the 3 quality grades is kind of extraneous, and I’d like to highlight the journal posts a bit more instead.

@kestrel from what I can see there isn’t an existing option to remove leaderboards from Umbrella projects either.


Sorry if I was unclear, it’s not an option at the moment. Removal of the leaderboard (or other modular options) has been brought up few times over the years, via email, and I think it would be a good option to eventually implement if technically possible. I think the CNC team has done an amazing job messaging around this year’s CNC, having to scramble with very little time.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

I’ll continue to hassle people who seem to be promoting CNC competition per se: tweets urging city A to beat city B, or noting their position on a leaderboard. I worry, belatedly and no doubt pathetically, about the vestiges of competitiveness in the whole thing: you really want to rob me of my fear and anxiety right now? Show me a cool creature and I’ll share your joy.


Those leaderboards are already mentioned in projects’ posts about this CNC in a way of comparing, so it does actually sound as encouraging of unsafe activity. If not removing leaderboards, can something be made with such parts of messages?

1 Like

I’ve noticed significant variation in local projects’ messaging, @melodi_96. I live in NYC but iNat a lot in Philly, where my partner is. The NYC pages seem as on point and vigilant as you could hope for, given ongoing participation. Philly’s tweets today just straight-up mock the turn to non-competitive observing. I suppose this makes sense: 50 deaths in NYC now for every 1 in Philly, and their mindsets may be at where New York’s were in the early days: no worries, open for business! But I’ve given up complaining: if people want their tattoos and their hair done and to rush en masse to already crowded parks, it’s up to them.

I like @bouteloua’s thoughts about about experimenting with project pages. In ordinary times I think leaderboards are fun, but other elements would be fun there too, like journals or maybe graphs or calendar elements depending on the kind of project. I add to one “place” project (Randall’s Island in NYC)…maybe a critter of them month there or something.