Search and filter identifications

When I go to my profile, there is a link to my identifications, which I appreciate. It would be helpful if these identifications were searchable, like my own observations are searchable. Sometimes someone with more expertise in a particular species corrects an identification of mine. I then like to correct other identifications that I’ve made of that same species, but to do so, I have to go page-by-page (currently at 441 pages, with 12,544 identifications) in the list of my identifications. So please make a user’s identifications list searchable.

There are some ways to search identifications through this URL:
https://inaturalist.org/identifications

For example, your IDs of mosses:
https://www.inaturalist.org/identifications?user_id=flower_prof&taxon_id=311249

But yes, some clickable filters and search fields would be much more user friendly.

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That’s great! How did you do it? Is there a tutorial somewhere?

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Right now you have to manually modify the URL. There are some tips you can follow here:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/how-to-use-inaturalists-search-urls-wiki/63

(Not all of the same search query options will work for identifications as are listed for observations though.)

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Thanks, that’s helpful. I still think a search box for identifications would be great, though.

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Besides the search paramters listed on the right-hand side of that Identifications page, there are a bunch more available and listed in the iNaturalist API here (scroll down the page at that link).

But if I can amplify your request, yes, I think what is really needed here is Filter interface that supports a lot of these search parameters, so we don’t have to build our own URLs. For those of us who do a lot of identification, this would be super helpful!

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I just had this come up yesterday, after I realized some of the dandelions I had id’d as common could be an alternate species in my range. To go back through, my lower tech way: I went to the identify page as normal, but specified Taraxacum and then used “Reviewed” flag. Since it sets all the ones you’ve id’ed to reviewed status, they’re typically all in there.

I use “reviewed” relatively sparingly though, so it was efficient that way. For someone who uses the reviewed function more broadly as a way just to get a lot records “out of the way” though, this method may not be so useful.

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Some other things I’d like to be able to do in a redesigned identifications search page:

  • View map of the identifications searched (since the ID may differ from the current observation ID; cc: @arachnojoe)
  • Use current_taxon=false to find IDs that don’t match the observation ID
  • Find IDs that have comments attached
  • See the comments on the search results page (don’t require opening in a new tab)
  • Sort by computer vision selection, result of a taxon change, or manual
  • Export the IDs
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Yes!

Rationale:
I need to be able to search for whatever I put in observations, mine or other people ones.

This would be very useful when reviewing many observations (and still learning), in order to find and update what I put, without wasting time for this search.

When we do extensive reviews, we fix things and we learn more at the same time. Then we need to check again a few observations already reviewed. If we put comments when we change the current ID of an observation, we have a initial traceability, but a more complete search tool is needed to take exploit it.

Features needed:

  1. Provide a full text search for a given string X, in my comments and my ID comments.
  2. Provide a search for observations where I put the taxon X as an ID.

These filtering conditions should be applicable in addition to any search we can already perform now (search for my observations, search for everybody observations, search in a place, …)

Please separate this 2 features. Do not search for X in comments, ID comments and at the same time in IDs. Searching for an ID put on some observations is not at all the same as searching for comments mentioning an ID (e.g. mentioned for the purpose of comparing possible taxons in a comment). A comment is NOT an ID, consequently these 2 features are different and separate.

User story 1:
While reviewing many observations identified as the genus Senna, I found some showing bipinnate leaves and I put on them the ID “Fabaceae”. Later, I was lucky to find another one that someone else identified likely correctly at the species level:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/19498096
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/9129906

A search for observations in which I put a comment containing “bipinnate” would allow me to better help these observers, comparing their observations with those similar already identified. I don’t want to manage manually N follow-ups for N such user stories, if a search tool can fulfill the need.

User story 2:
While reviewing many observations identified as Senna lindheimeriana, I found a few ones showing Sennas with too few leaflets pairs to be Senna lindheimeriana (4-8 pairs). Based on the few Senna species I know a bit about, I put a Senna corymbosa (2-5 pairs) ID on these observations, because in addition the leaflet shape matched fine. Later, I fall on some Senna roemeriana (2 pairs) and wanted to check the ones I fixed as Senna corymbosa. Indeed, 2 out of 3 fixes where wrong, as there was only 2 pairs.

Without a search tool, I had to browse about 50 or more identifications made recently to find them again.

User story 3:
I fall on a Psidium guajava misidentified as Psidium cattleyanum. I remember that another day I put a detailed comment in a similar case. I want to be able to search for observations in which I put the ID Psidium guajava AND a comment containing the text “cattleyanum”, so that I find it instantly and can copy/paste the comment:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/10947368

I could find many more such user stories. The rationale is always the same.

Moreover, I believe that such a tool would encourage us to write more useful comments. Just as the existence of iNaturalist encouraged me much do make more and more complete observations.

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Jean is doing a great job identifying many species (particularly in Senna) and offering a good discussion of his rationale. Anything that helps him, helps Inaturalist in general. All his comments on improving searches for comments would also be helpful. I made several long explanations (often incorrect) in the past and would like to make corrections and follow ups, but I have no idea which species I commented on.

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Thank you Eric for your support!

Features needed:

  1. Provide a search for observations where I put a comment (any comment).

This of course would be combined with other conditions, e.g. search for all observations where I put the taxon X as an ID AND any comment.

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I just realized that this search feature would also fix this other request for creating a list with other people observations.

Indeed, it would be enough to put a keyword in a comment in an observation. Then, searching for this keyword in all my comments creates de facto a list of observations (under my exclusive control, which might be a limitation).

Some iNaturalist users prevent others from adding their observations to a Traditional Project to which they have not subscribed. But they can’t prevent others from writing a comment in their observations. At least, all observations are open to comments. We got it!

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Hi @jeanphillipeb. I think there is already an ability to search for some of the comments text and identification info that you’re looking for.

Here are searches for…

Are these helpful?

[Edited to add: However, comments and observations are separately searchable entities at present, and I’m not aware of any functionality that is able to combine comment and observation data into a single query. That would allow a search for “all observations IDed as this taxon that have comments by user X” or “all observations IDed as this taxon that have this specific text in a comment”.]

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Yes, for sure it will help! Thank you.

Is there an help page that discloses all URL tricks?

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Most of them should be here: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/how-to-use-inaturalists-search-urls-wiki/63

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That forum post deals with URL tricks for exploring or identifying observations, not comments. We don’t really have one specific to comments, but there are not many URL parameters for comments, and @rupertclayton listed them all above.

They are actually all available at https://www.inaturalist.org/comments, though you only get the text search box (&q= parameter) if you first click on the “Comments by me” or “Comments on my observations” tabs. Not sure why the search box is not offered on the “All comments” tab – maybe because searching the entire comments database is server-intensive. But in any case, one can construct the URL on one of the other tabs first with text to search, then just remove the &mine= or &for_me= parameters in the URL and press enter to search the text of all comments.

Unfortunately, however, comments included as part of identifications are not yet included in comment searches – this is currently an active feature request. There are also URL tricks for searching identifications as mentioned farther above, but they do not yet include searching ID comment text. So this doesn’t completely address the original request of this topic.

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Thanks!

I’d like to be able to download my identifications (or, ideally, other people’s identifications, too, but my own would be enough) as a csv file or spreadsheet.

OK. Now how to I find the taxon number (as opposed to name) and observer number (not username) for the people? Probably easy, but I don’t know.

If you look up a taxon by name, then the resulting URL contains the taxon ID.
image

On a user’s profile, the link to follow them contains their user ID:
image

Maybe somebody knows something less fiddly though.

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