Ranking list of observers is incorrect when they are tied for number observations or species

There are ranking lists of the observers of certain species, starting with the name of the observer with the most observations, of course. And going down to the end-or at least to the person at rank 500. Usualy the smallest amount of observations ist just “1”, as you might have suspected.

If there are at least two observers, the names stand in alphabetical order. This is totally O.K.! Not O.K. is, that these 2plus persons are not at the same rank in the row. So " Abraham" always has a higher ranked position in the list than “Zwirszinak” although both have seen the same number of individuals. It would be more correct and logical, if Abraham and Zwirszinak are shown on the same place.

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I understand that there are technically ties here, though I think it is also confusing when multiple people at one rank are shown and then the next rank skips down a certain number.
For instance, if five people are tied at rank “4”, then the next person (with the fifth highest total) is at rank “8”. This has always seemed strange to me when scanning leaderboards in other places.

Personally I don’t think this is a big deal since the leaderboards aren’t a strict competition with a prize or anything. Their utility is in getting a general sense of who IDs or observes what. This is also generally only an issue for rare species (with very few observations), when looking at leaderboards for specific places (when totals are low), or at the “lower end” of the leaderboards. There, if there are lots of observers with 1 or 2 observations, you could end up with a 200-way tie for 293rd place or whatever - showing 293 "200"s for a rank is also confusing to me.

So to me, I don’t see a huge benefit to changing the ranking to allow for tie ranks (instead of consecutive alphabetically) as I think the alternative also has some potential for confusion as well.


I always thought the person with the most RG observations is ranked higher in the case of a tie… not that it actually means anything anyway (the fact that the leader is determined by alphabetical order shows the lists orders actual insignificance), if you want to be first then its as simple as going out and looking for more observations (the list will never be fair to anyone who is looking at it as a competition, because some ppl spend more time out observing than others, some species are more common in certain areas than others, the list is endless) … that is my opinion on this matter anyway

I agree completely with the thesis, that the question of ranking list here in iNaturalist is of no great significance and importance. But for me it is just a matter of logic thinking, and should be easily been resoved technically. By the way, I have always seen ranking lists with the “ex aequo”-status. Just look at sporting events.

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