Speed up Identify module by adding a 'Mark all as viewed AND view more'

Hi all,

Within a certain page in the Identify Module of INaturalist,
scrolling between observations and identifying species is very, smooth, fast and pleasant because you can use keyboard shortcuts (https://www.inaturalist.org/posts/30011-keyboard-shortcuts).

But once you arrive at the last observation of the current page the smoothness stops:
You will have to click the ‘Mark all as viewed’ button, wait multiple seconds before the ‘View more’ button becomes clickable and next you’ll have to click this button and wait till the next page of observations is loaded.

My question: is it possible to add a ‘Mark all as viewed AND view more’ button below the pages within the identify module next to the allready existing ‘Mark all as viewed’ and ‘view more’ buttons. This button then would immediately load the next page of observations while in the background all previous observations are marked as read.

Thanks
Thomas

I don’t really think this is necessary, taking two extra seconds isn’t that long. We’re all kind of spoiled these days with fast internet and vehicles, and some speeds that used to be thought of as insane, are now the minimum.

I think it’s a reasonable question. I’ve also been curious about this lag. It’s closer to five seconds for me. So if I select a taxon that I can work through quickly, the time it takes to move through pages adds up (16 minutes after 200 pages).

I’m not so much worried about trying to fix the lag, but I’d be interested to know what’s going on behind the scenes on the website. And maybe I learn some way to change my behavior to make the site work more smoothly.

1 Like

When you choose to mark all as reviewed, your computer sends a message to iNat for each unreviewed observation remaining on the page, telling it to mark that observation as reviewed. This takes some amount of time, depending on how many observations need to be marked, the speed of your connection, the current load on iNat’s servers, etc.

Choosing to view more (or view more unreviewed) makes a fresh call to iNat asking for your search results, i.e. a refreshed version of page 1 of the results.
Choosing to skip to next page asks iNat for page 2 of your results, but these are not the “original page 2 results”, they’re the second page of a fresh call for your results. So if you are searching unreviewed observations (the default), and you marked 5 as reviewed on your first page of 30, asking for the next page doesn’t bring 31-60, it brings 36-65 (assuming no obs were added in the meantime). Observations 31-35 are on the new page 1.

The topic title says “go to next page”, but I assume the desired behavior is actually the view more function mentioned in the second paragraph of the original post.

Certainly there are ways to solve this problem, but simply making the call to view more before finishing the calls to mark as reviewed won’t work here – the “view more” page will still include the observations that haven’t yet been marked as reviewed.

Other topics about the flow and pagination of Identify:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/improve-flow-of-identify-mode/299
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/identify-mode-page-break/11219

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I wonder, if that lag, is slow internet at our end? It feels as if each obs is, called up, marked as reviewed, next … slowly.

My workaround to the slow reviewing is to mark all as reviewed before I’ve looked at any on the page. Then by the time I get to the end they’re usually all reviewed and I can unreview any I want to keep.

2 Likes

That’s a great idea!

1 Like

There’s no need to click “Mark all as viewed” at all.

If you add an ID it will automatically be marked as reviewed. If you don’t, just press r (or click the “Reviewed” check-box at the bottom of the dialog) before moving to the next observation. At the end, they will all be marked as reviewed already, so you can click “View more unreviewed” to get the next batch.

If you’re going through a lot of RG observations where adding an ID just takes time, then it is often very helpful to be able to mark all as reviewed without reviewing each one individually.

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Indeed, in the English version of INaturalis the button is named ‘view more’ and not ‘next page’. I corrected this in the title/original post.

Thus in this example:

one would have to click 200 pages * 30 observarions/page = 6000x on R as a surplus on the validations he/she makes.

I think clicking instead 200x on a ‘mark all as viewed AND view more’ which immediately show the next page from the original page result & on the background (so while the validator is already going through the next page of observations) marks all observations from the previous page as ‘reviewed’ , is way more smooth.

Thomas

One can also use the url addon per_page=## and replace ## with a number up to 200. This will show up to 200 observations per page, making you have to go to the next page less often.

2 Likes

Only if you’re not actually identifying anything. Identifications are automatically marked as reviewed, so there’s nothing extra to do for any of those. For me, that usually means only 1 or 2 per batch for the taxa that I know reasonably well - which equates to about half a second per batch, which I reckon I can afford to spare.

But even that half-second is easily eliminated by pressing r almost simultaneously to advance to next page. So, really, there’s no extra time or effort involved at all in marking them as I go along and the payoff is that it completely avoids any tedious delay before I start on the next batch.

A dedicated shortcut would make this even nicer. So, say, v would be “mark reviewed and go next”.

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This is already a Nice a work-around, thanks!

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System takes time to register those, so if I pass some leafminers from regions I can’t id them in and mark them as reviewed separately and then at the end of the page just hit f5 big chances I’ll see around 5 observations I’ve already seen, hitting “all reviewed” adds more time to the process and chances of see old ones are less (and it became kinda better in last months).

As a partly related comment, I noticed it sometimes takes slightly long to scroll between the top and bottom of Identify pages. e.g. when starting at or returning to the top after reviewing obs., but then going to the bottom to click the numbered boxes to get to the next page of obs. So, possibly it could help to have (some) faster way to skip to the next page of obs. Or if using a button (or adding a “next arrow”) to do so, to add a way to click those also at the top or side of the page.