Recent evidence of organism interval

According to the help page, observations will revert to “Casual” if the community agrees the observation doesn’t present recent (~100 years) evidence of the organism (among other requirements). I’ve come across conflicting interpretations of when this hundred-year interval begins or ends and so I’m seeking clarity here.

Some possible interpretations include the following (and there are certainly more):

  1. Time between the organism being alive and the creation of the observation evidence (e.g., the original photo).
  2. Time between the creation of the observation evidence and when the observation was uploaded.
  3. Time between the creation of the observation evidence and present day.
  4. Time between the organism likely being alive and when the observation was uploaded.
  5. Time between the organism likely being alive and present day.

I have up until today applied interpretation #5, however I know that interpretation #1 is definitely used as well. I could also get behind interpretation #4 or other interpretations using the most recent timestamp as the date of iNaturalist inception. These varying interpretations can lead to very different applications of the DQA vote.

Example: An observation that is more than 100 years old (before present day) and uses a photo of a live organism taken at the time of the observation but was uploaded less than 100 years after the observation took place. Strictly applying interpretation #5 (or #3), this observation would not contain recent evidence. However, using interpretation #1, #2 or #4, it would.

I am aware that the hundred-year mark is a soft limit and this DQA is partly aimed at marking fossils. However, it would still be great to get some clarity on what the “~100 years” interval refers to specifically, to resolve disputes on observations similar to the example mentioned above.

I think one additional consideration here is whether the observer actually took the picture or not. I think that part of the rationale for the 100 year fuzzy limit is that it essentially allows use of the field to DQA historical photos of organisms that were not taken by the observer (which is discouraged anyways).

On the other hand, it isn’t unreasonable to think that an older observer might upload a photo they took when they were a child that is now 80-90 years old. This would be fine.

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Somewhere tiwane said - 100 years was a ‘random’ number to allow for expecting the observer / photographer to have been Alive Then.

The new help, with my bolding, says

  • the community agrees the observation doesn’t present recent (~100 years) evidence of the organism (e.g. fossils, but tracks, scat, and dead leaves are ok)

An obs is meant to be - My photo - taken by me - I was there - then. So, a hundred years is optimistic.

https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/what-is-your-oldest-observation/27766

https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/oldest-observation-date/19063/2

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