Having read the 2019 roadmap put out by Tony and seeing Geographic intelligence in the computer vision, I wanted to throw out for discussion this question.
It is not stated (and may not be decided) how the geographic intelligence will determine if a species is found somewhere (other iNat sightings, checklists, atlases, range maps etc are all possibilities), but to me it has never been clear what iNat considers to be a ‘range’ and how they should be tracked.
It may be more an issue for birds than anything else, but as an example here are a series of birds I have personally observed in Ontario. Most have been seen only a handful of times in the province, some only once ever : Calliope Hummingbird, Vermillion Flycatcher, Black-bellied Whistling-duck, Swallow-tailed Kite, Reddish Egret, Common Ringed Plover, Crested Caracara, Slaty-backed Gull
No serious ornithologist or naturalist would say any of these species have a ‘range’ that includes Ontario. Then you have very uncommon species but that are not mega rarities like for instance Black-throated Grey Warbler in Ontario.
The distribution map of sightings, and the Ontario checklist will show all these species. But what about the range map or an atlas?
Is the range of a species:
- where it is regular and expected
- where it is at least not a mega rarity
- any place it has ever been seen
- its natural range or its human impacted range for invasive species
- something else
How this is defined and tracked can have serious implications for how any geography validation takes place in the proposed changes to the computer vision