Use "identified by" as a project parameter

I would like to be able to make a collection project that includes only observations identified by a list of users. Currently you can specify observers, but not identifiers.

I’ve met several people, usually involved with organizations, who want to display a place-based set of observations, but only want to include those identified by their expert of choice. I have heard the current method is to have a collection project and then download only the expert-identified observations out of it, into a separate database.

Personally I want to use this feature for IDblitz/IDathon events, such as the ones @trh_blue and I have hosted before. We have used a project journal as a means of communication with participants, but the projects themselves are not currently able to display any data at all related to the events. EDIT: note that for this to work I also need to be able to specify the time frame an ID was made.

also see related feature request asking for

but mainly asking for tags, observation fields, threatened (status), and description

1 Like

This request seems reasonable, although I’d mention a few things re: “only identified by their expert of choice.” That seems to imply trusting an expert’s IDs, while distrusting others’. I think for the best iNat doesn’t designate anyone as an expert (including curators or real life experts) or give their ID more weight. Some people are called specialists or experts based on their real life title, experience, or by other users. But even there, all actually make some errors, and in cases don’t know how to refine ID as far as is possible; conversely non-experts sometimes correct/refine those very IDs. So, every expert ID should be checked by the more users the better (not trusted uncritically). Lastly, obs. an expert hasn’t yet IDed aren’t necessarily incorrect and would benefit from more users IDing it, including them.

Okay, fair point. Like I said that’s not what I personally would use it for, so I’ll leave any counter-arguments to someone who would use it that way. I brought up that aspect because it seemed a bit more broadly applicable than “I, arboretum_amy, want this for hosting identification events.”


Okay fair enough, we’ll let the rest of the comments assess the main feature request.

i don’t think your proposal would help you in the case of your ID events. the existing ident_user_id operates based on any identifications that have occurred ever. however, for your events, you’re really interested in observations that have been made during a specific period of time. so you really need not just observations identified by specific people, but also identified by these people within a specific time period.

or, really, you almost need a totally different kind of project that’s based on identifications rather than observations.

i think, really, people would be interested not just in observations identified by specific experts, but what those experts identified those observations as (in cases where the expert identification differed from the community identification).

traditional projects do offer a way to export the the latest ID from a project curator, but i don’t think this applies to collection projects, nor does it resolve differing IDs between curators.

you did mention back in the day that you were going to create a feature request for a potential new type of project that i had described. if this is that feature request, then i don’t think it’s really covering the full functionality that i had envisioned – just one part of it, which i’m not sure is that useful by itself.

1 Like

Yes this is it. I guess my understanding of it isn’t as good as yours?

1 Like

That would be ideal, but I question whether that’s possible. From my experience so far I find iNat completely observation-centric and any info you can get out of the API about identifications seems tangental. How would the project know when the ID was made if the current search term doesn’t know? Wouldn’t it need to start with completely different coding? I’m assuming that if staff consider this request at all, they want it to be as easy as possible.

but if the easy path doesn’t get you to your desired destination, isn’t that just wasted effort?

my conception of this is as described below (and would not really address your ID event use case):

I should not have made the statement I made on the other thread in July, since it seems your idea and my idea are not the same after all.

1 Like

On the other hand a flawed tool that really exists is infinitely more useful than a perfect tool that remains hypothetical. You are correct though I would want to specify the time frame the ID was made, and I will edit the initial post to mention that.

IMO this would be a confusing addition to the collection project edit page that - speaking from my experience answering support emails - many people are already confused by, and would probably not be used by many people.