As I learn to identify new species on iNaturalist, I have noticed that a helpful method is to browse through observations with long comment threads. These threads often contain valuable identification advice, as users frequently ask for help differentiating between similar species in their observations.
To make this process more efficient, I was wondering if there is a way to sort observations by the number of comments they have received. If this feature does not currently exist, I believe it would be a great addition!
That is a good idea. I don’t know if that’s currently possible, but if you haven’t tried it yet, when you’re browsing observations for a species, go up to the “Filters” button, click and select “Sort by: faves”. It isn’t quite the same, but a lot of the time, observations that show really typical/key/good features of the organism get faved, and many of those observations also have comments with them.
If you are interested in IDing a particular taxon, you will start to recognise the people who know that group, and to see the comments they leave.
You can ask them to explain - why this species, not that one?
I don’t think strings of comments will necessarily help you learn to ID.
The LONG threads are the problem children like this … Warning, LONG, but not crash your browser Gerald long!
Yes, asking people for their knowledge is useful, and I do that frequently too.
In general, however, asking someone every time I don’t understand would be inefficient; a lot of these people have already shared their knowledge in previous comments when people ask them the same questions, so it would be nice if those comments were easier to find.
Another way for you to find those useful comments - is to help with IDing the backlog.
Start local. Follow your notifications. My learning curve is slow and steady.
Today this Viola from a comment about how the leaves overlap. Then I sorted thru Cape Town obs, adding IDs and clicking Cultivated.
Hi @willphill3, to answer the question posed in the topic, it’s not possible to sort observations with the most comments on the website or app.
There is an existing feature request to search for observations with comments and several previous discussions about ideas on finding or highlighting comments with useful identification tips. If you have a new feature request for something not already here on the forum you can submit it to #feature-requests following the template for new posts there and the guidelines listed here.
I remember that one before it got long. I enjoyed reading the current version – so exciting! And it has a common name before it has a scientific name, which makes me happy. Too bad iNat can’t create a taxon with just a common name for cases like this.
Madagascan silk angel - and such a mysterious beauty!