Put "Visually Similar" as the default in the suggestions tab of the identify panel for unidentified observations

Platform(s), such as mobile, website, API, other: Website

URLs (aka web addresses) of any pages, if relevant: https://inaturalist.org/observations/identify

Description of need: Change the default on the identification tab “Suggestions” for unidentified observations from Source: Observations to Source: Visually Similar

Feature request details: Every time an identifier ventures into the vast wilderness no pun intended of the Unknown category, the “Suggestions” tab defaults to selecting Source: Observations, which brings up 500 random taxa that was recorded in or near the location of the observation. In unidentified observations, this is pointless and can waste time. I wonder if it is possible to change the default to Source: Visually Similar on the suggestions tab, making it so that identifiers that use the CV for unidentified observations can use it quicker and easier.


I approved this, but my personal preference would be to make those options “sticky” for the user, so that they stay the same on the Identify page for that user until the user changes it - similar to how satellite/map views are sticky.

Visually similar is helpful if you’re identifying unknowns, but Observations filtered by area and parent taxon are helpful if you’re working on more specific taxa or areas, IMO. So it would allow people who identify different things to keep their preferred settings.


I was going to say in response to @plantman4’s post, “Yes, please!”. But now that you’re talking about sticky settings, “Yes, please, even more!”.


Now that you mention it, I do think “sticky” settings would be better than the option I’m proposing here.

Should I edit the feature request? Or should I not, since modifying this feature request to that degree would pretty much turn it into a different feature request.


I’d suggest that if this is implemented “visually similar” suggestions still need to be ranked by geographic proximity.

I say this because I often find mistaken IDs given to species based on visual similarity, but the the two species are in completely different parts of the world.

There is a lot of convergent evolution and a lot of things that look similar, but that can be ruled out based on location.

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My preference would be for Visually Similar.
I click that every time.
500 most observed sp has no value at all to me.

As a second choice the checklist option can be helpful.
But then I would rather go to the checklist and scroll thru there.

I would be happy with
Suggest Visually Similar
as my default Personal Setting.

Then different workflows can choose their preferred setting.

For me - Visually Similar - Seen Nearby - then consider the suggestions. No, no, yes, maybe, then go up a taxon level and if the obs is ‘good’ enough find an @mention to take the ID finer, or at least confirm, or disagree and push back.

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YES! Totally agree with this.

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