Should an iconic taxa selection be required as a part of uploading?

Continuing the discussion from Automatic iNat suggestion for "unknown" observations that reach a certain age:

I do not know the history of this feature, but perhaps on observation upload an iconic taxa declaration should be required as a way to reduce observations uploading as unknown.

I realize there are going to be issues involving confusion as to which taxa to select when one is unsure of the correct iconic taxa. Perhaps too this feature would be a barrier to participation for users who lack enough background in biology to pick the correct iconic taxa.

That said, this might reduce the number of plants and animals being posted as unknowns. This would also help specify the target organism when one has an image with two different iconic taxa (e.g. butterfly on a plant).

This approach might obviate the need for AI to automatically attempt to ID old unknown observations.

In the app and desktop view a set of buttons akin to the iconic taxa grid seen in filters might work? File uploads would require an iconic taxa column?


Similar to my thoughts:
More somewhat related discussion:

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Yeah this is already being addressed in those other threads and probably not worth making another one. I’d merge this one but I don’t know if I can on my phone.

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The Korean citizen science website 네이처링 (Naturing) uses iconic taxa (and biome) selection as part of their upload process, which I think I’ve shared elsewhere in the iNat forum:

I agree that it might generate confusion for some users but one additional feature of 네이처링’s system is that once you choose a particular iconic taxa at upload only names within that taxa become available for selection – which would help in those (rare?) cases when a plant and animal both share the same taxonomic name.

(This is not to say that I’m pushing for this to be implemented, merely sharing how another site employs such a system.)


I think if it were implemented in an optional manner: “If you can, add an ID or pick from one of the following groups. Otherwise just continue without an ID for now.” This could catch a lot of avoidable unknowns, while still encouraging unknowns to be posted anyway when unavoidable.


My apologies for not doing due diligence, I am on the road and working from mobile as well. Merge to the appropriate topic!


Alas I don’t know how from my phone and am with a sick 3 year old now. Will later if I can.

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I think it’s important to keep the process simple. And I don’t see “unknowns” as that big a problem. But I could be wrong.


I never did make a feature request after my discussion thread, because I got the impression no one would vote for it. If @danaleeling or another feels strongly enough to make it a feature request, they still could.

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Another related topic you may have seen:

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