Research grade records on taxon maps

Taxon maps (appear to) display all “verifiable” records.
Is there a way to only show research-grade records ?
Shouldn’t research-grade records be the default records to display instead of all “verifiable” records ?

1 Like

you can filter for that taxon, specifying only research grade records, on the Explore page.

it’s just a judgement call. that might be fine for vertebrates, but it’s harder to get observations to research grade for plants, and even harder for invertebrates and other stuff. observations in iNat are roughly 1/3 vertebrates, 1/3 plants, and 1/3 invertebrates.


I would say, absolutely do NOT use only RG records on the maps on the taxon page. Why not? I use the maps to find out-of-range observations of taxa I’m interested in. I check those odd dots and correct them (or, occasionally, learn the organism doesn’t live where I thought it did).


Thanks for your reply, Pisum !

Filtering on the Explore page works indeed for showing only Research Grade observations on the Explore page map.
I was however asking about taxon page maps.

It would be helpful if two menu options can be added to the Taxon page map Overlays menu to toggle/(de)select Research Grade, as well as “Needs_ID” observations.
This seems relatively easy to add to the iNat code.

I agree that the are less records for some clades, but non-Research-grade observations often include erroneous data that skew the map.
It would be more accurate if Taxon maps show Research-grade observations by default but have the Overlays menu option to also show “Needs_ID” records when desired.

you should fork a version of the system and just run it with your desired map configuration. should be easy to do.

for me, the easy thing is to look up research grade records in the Explore page.

1 Like

Thanks for your reply, Sedgequeen !

I totally agree that being able to view non-Research-grade records on iNat maps is important for tracking errors and making corrections.
The Expore page map shows both Research-grade and non-Tesearch-grade, differentiated by a white dot on the marker for Research-grade observations.

I was however referring to taxon page maps.
It would be more accurate if Taxon maps show Research-grade observations by default but have the Overlays menu option to also show “Needs_ID” records, when desired.

I agree that having the RG-only option for the Taxon maps would be nice, but I don’t agree in general that it would be the more accurate representation by default. There are many taxa with low fractions of RG observations, and more importantly where the likelihood of an observation reaching RG is skewed geographically. See for example the stonefly genus Allocapnia ; looking at verifiable records it is spread throughout eastern North America, but looking only at RG records would give the incorrect impression that it is absent from the southeastern region.

1 Like

I am talking about the taxon page maps. Those are the ones I use to clean up out-of-range observations, both RG and Needs ID.


There is a little wrinkle here that is worth considering. For most common, familiar species, RG records have a higher likelihood of being correct, true. However, for obscure organisms, species that nobody ever offers as an ID unless they’re really familiar with the group, the Needs ID records are almost always correct (in my experience, mostly with grasses). These records are also slow to move to RG because so few people have the skills or interest to ID them. Therefore, omitting Needs ID records from these taxon maps does not improve them and in some cases would remove most of the dots.