What is a good average number of observations per day?

I don’t know how people can skip duplictes and such — so easy to fix and so hard to forget that something is wrong.

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For the observer or the identifier?
If the former, it may be that they are unfamiliar with the site or app, or that there was an upload glitch.

If the latter, they may not see the duplicate (especially if it has already been IDed to a different level than the original) or may have decided to focus their energy on another aspect of IDing (like leaving comments re: captive/cultivated) and they just don’t have it in them to address duplicates too at that time.

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Mostly already answered but it depends on activity. If I’m going somewhere just for a walk I might make 30-50 observations (less if I’m not alone). If I’m going somewhere for a day to explore then its typically 100-200 observations. If I’m doing other things for the day, like shopping, I might just photograph a pigeon in the car park. The latter matches matches the majority of casual users who will only photograph something obvious (like a bird) when they stumble across it but typically don’t go anywhere to records everything that is there.


Somehow it didn’t work as an answer, but yes, it was a response to iders. Without someone’s effort all duplicates will be RG in a moment, so you can’t just skip them. Ofc if you don’t wanna see them in a first place and modify id search, it’s another talk.

Yeah, but personally as an IDer, I consider addressing duplicates be a time sink:

First I have to verify that they are actual duplicates (coming from same user instead of 2 people who observed the same thing from the same position, that it is the exact same photo with no tiny difference in angle/lighting/etc, that one observation doesn’t have additional photos, etc)

Then they’re not explicitly forbidden, so at best all I can do is politely request their removal.

And on top of that, I have to hope I don’t get a reply asking how to delete, because I just may not feel up to doing end-user tech support in my off hours when I see their response.

No offense to you or others who feel strongly about duplicates, but for me as a identifier of Unknowns? I have trouble caring about duplicates compared to leaving comments on things like which organism is the focus of the observation, why not to use copyrighted photos, missing date/location/media, marking captive/cultivated, etc.


@Star3 I completely agree with you. I feel like duplicates also cause trouble in the system for the AI. Duplicates are definitely annoying, should be addressed to the observer, not the curators.


I don’t know how I missed the reply, but…I’m not a curator. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m just a user with so little taxonomic knowledge that my primary identification focus is adding coarse IDs to unknowns.

This varies between people. I don’t think it’s fair to say that someone’s observation quality must be lower just because there are more observations. Yeah, people who are bad at taking photos probably shouldn’t be adding a billion photos a day and expecting them to be ID’d. But the number of photos they add is not what causes the photos to be bad.

iNat doesn’t really allow for accurate frequency data because it records presence and not absence. Personally I have no problem with people adding multiple observations for the same thing, especially if they show some other useful data (eg. a tree in full bloom vs. same tree in fall colors is useful, the same animal at the same place 3 days in a row is useful)

If it’s like a herd of deer and someone’s adding every single one then that’s a little more questionable but like, we all use the site in different ways, as long as it’s within the rules that we all agree to then it’s fine with me.

In the future, I would love for iNaturalist to have a sort of “private observations” option so that if I know my observation isn’t interesting to anyone else, or isn’t in accordance with the way other people use the site, then they don’t have to see it and won’t have anything to complain about. Would also be useful for when I add a bunch of observations without locations because I’m gonna batch edit it in later, so I don’t get several “helpful” people telling me I forgot the location, lol

If I want something on my life list, I’ll upload anything I have even if it’s crappy. Because, as I said, we all use the site differently. The end goal is to get people interested in nature, and that goal can be achieved whether or not the stuff people post is “providing the best value to the community”

And I may be alone in this, but the implication that the things I do need to be valuable to other people in order to be worth doing really rubs me the wrong way. We all have different priorities and different things we think are worth our time/energy, and that’s okay. People who do things other than nature have told me that they think iNaturalist in and of itself doesn’t “provide the best value to the community” since I could be using that time doing something “more productive.” (I am a bit sensitive about this, but I’m not trying to yell at you or anything, and I apologize if this comes across that way - I’m bad at tone)


There is a thread for Draft mode you can vote for

PS how odd for other people to judge that you are wasting your time here. We each set our own priorities on how best to use available time.


It might help stave off some of them if you mention in the description that it is intentionally missing a location. I know when I see that I don’t assume an upload error and bother the observer.

Though the draft mode feature request deserves votes, because it is a good suggestion.

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Is the image clear enough that I could have identified it with the right field guide or key? Because the only reason I can’t identify something is that I do not have access to comprehensive identification materials on that taxonomic group. I do not expect other naturalists to be miracle workers; I expect that those who know a taxon that I do not have (or had in their learning stage) access to a key or other materials that I do not.

Well, it depends on my mood. I have chosen to concentrate on the Caribbean region, because that is where I have decided to call home. I have a lot of experience with parts of the Continental US, but I figure that area is so well covered, there are plenty of iNatters there. It always amazes me that new scientific discoveries can still be made in North America, considering how well studied it is compared to many tropical regions,

And, focusing on the Caribbean as I do, I inevitably come across pictures of beautiful tropical flowers cultivated in people’s gardens. How many variegated croton id’s have I supplied? I try to remember that someone just starting out in appreciating nature cannot be expected to ignore the beauty in their garden. As little personal interest as I have in studying cultivars, I come here in a spirit of facilitating others’ love of nature. If that means identifying their garden flowers for them, I’m okay with that.


I used to use that criterion too, but iNatters have IDed some photos I had that were objectively pretty terrible (seriously, look at this monstrosity ) and still managed to ID to species, so just because a photo seems at first glance to not show anything diagnostic, don’t let that stop you.

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