Why do some serious "power users" add so many unknown observations?


A coarse ID at least should be included, especially in my case because so many of my “observations” are of taxons yet unknown to science. (I put observations in quotes because I don’t as a rule do repeat observations of the same species. That would consume way too much of my time. There are just too many new species flooding in over the transom that I want to add for the record.) One of my frustrations, however, is in having to add a coarse ID when a finer ID is known but is unrecognized by iNat, often because the taxon is newly described. I have used the bulk upload function to bring images over from my Flickr account but iNat does a poor job of mining and applying the data, which can result in faulty or void ID transfer. Often when iNat does mine the data it mines the WRONG data, especially if I mention microhabitat or host plant/fungus associations (99+% of my “observations” are of beetles) so I get something with six very evident legs lumped into the plant kingdom. Another vexing problem with the bulk Flickr upload function is that it fails to keep adjacent Flickr images together when they are brought over to iNat, resulting in widely scattered shots of the same organism as if they were separate observations, each requiring an ID and with no evident way of bringing them back together. This could be fixed but I have seen no interest in fixing it from iNat. Another thing that would reduced the ID workload is to add a Combine feature in the observations edit mode for images already posted as Flickr uploads. One thing that does not help, for me at least, is iNat’s auto-ID function because its “We’re pretty sure this is a” suggestions are so far off base as to be ludicrous.



I’ve stopped IDing most unknowns as a result of this



Hmmm, when I use the Flickr import, it seems to initially display thumbnails to select in photostream order. So if that is what you mean by “adjacent Flickr images,” my images seem to stay adjacent.

Once brought over to iNat, the only way I know to combine photos into a single observation during the Flickr import process (prior to final save) is to add more Flickr photos on the photos tab of each draft observation. (So I only select the primary photo of each group for the initial import, then add to those.)

If the related photos aren’t displaying together, you can try the Search box to narrow down the thumbnails being displayed for selection.

Hope some of this helps…