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

Yes, as has been mentioned in other threads, turning off and leaving off Auto-sync in the app settings is highly recommended. This gives you the control over when observations get uploaded. No need to go back and change the setting – there is always a button on the screen to manually start syncing accumulated observations.

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I feel the same way, although I prefer my ‘unknowns’ narrowed down to Noctuid moths. I will identify unknowns, but also look at named ID’s and make sure that the name is the correct one. Most times it is, but if I’m confirming the ID, I want to know that it is the correct ID. It’s time consuming, but hopefully the data are correct.

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Another thing I forgot to mention is if you are not on network (common out of civilization) then you have to type the entire taxon name to get iNat to recognize it back home. That takes way too much time for most species.

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For this reason, when I’m adding “frogs and toads” or “flowering plant” to an observation by a relatively new user, I explain, “I’m adding a general identification of flowering plant to your photo because I hope that will attract someone who works on that group and will be able to identify your observation.”

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I recently met a power user who does this. He used an iPhone to make thousands of observations during a week-long bioblitz and they were all added as unknown observations. Then after the bioblitz was over, he went back and cropped the photos and added identifications. I would have never thought to do it that way, but it works for him!

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This isn’t a power user, but apparently I’m annoying them by adding an ID that they don’t like. I also like how this us their observation. If you feel like that about it, opt out of community ID? Or leave a note? I’m not trying to piss people off, I’m trying to help categorize unknown observations so that they can be seen by others. I am finding the “skip and review” feature of the app will often show me observation that I’ve already skipped and reviewed. So I was going from descending to ascending or vice versa. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/31822086#activity_comment_3380550

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Not sure why someone would get that annoyed at someone else providing a higher taxon ID for a record that has no ID at all. It doesn’t complicate things unless the ID provider picks the wrong higher taxon. I suspect the annoyed submitters are those who don’t know that their Unknowns are being reviewed and there is an effort to clear them, in case the submitter is not serious about providing an ID themselves in the short term.

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You could also do your thing starting with the oldest observations first. That way you can give observers a little breathing room who otherwise may feel like they’re being put on a treadmill they didn’t know they’ve signed up for. Their comment is much more “please don’t be so impatient with me” than “this is my observation, get out.”

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I agree, they were just asking for more time and expressing frustration. I originally started that way, but anytime I left the app and came back it would still be showing me observations that I already clicked “skip and review” on …like, a lot of them, so I tried going in the other direction…then I skipped some of the very new ones, but I guess even 24 hours is not enough. We have resolved the issue and seems like we understand each other a little more now. :grin::+1:t4:

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When you say “the app,” what are you referring to? I can’t make sense of what you say when I’m looking at the iNaturalist app, but I have only experience with the android version. I don’t know what clicking “skip and review” means within the inaturalist app.

i just looked around because I also had no idea, @schoenitz. I think it is @jtklein’s test app maybe? iNat Toolkit is NOT the regular app if I understand correctly.

Some people here will be glad to hear that in recent months I have been taking photos in the field, then adding rough IDs on the way home, and then uploading every ob after they have rough IDs, then refining the IDs a bit later on.

But sometimes a number of observations do get uploaded without IDs by accident, because I have “butt-dialed” one of the upload buttons when putting the phone back in my carrying bag.

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When I upload unknowns this is this is usually the reason.

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Sorry, thought I’d already mentioned it: iNat Toolkit, yes it is @jtklein’s test app.

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That was clever of you to reference the forum conversation about this topic. The user read it, understood what you were up to, and all was forgiven. Good job.

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Thank you Janet. I am pleased with the way it worked out. Hopefully I didn’t alienate anyone.

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I just uploaded many hundreds of unknowns that I wish I could keep from CID (need space on my phone but want to have the first ID challenge!) but I can’t figure out a way to batch edit them to opt out…

Suggestions?

Also, I guess if you’re someone who IDs for me a lot, please hold off on unknowns for a hot minute :grimacing:

Ahhh, as the original poster, I guess I’ve come full circle. I’ll call that a forum success story!

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The only way I can think of is to temporarily change your account setting to opt out of CID for your entire account. Then change it back once you have a chance to ID. (Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m not seeing where just an individual observation can be opted out of CID, only the whole account.)

Not sure this would address your need though, since people can still add IDs to observations of opted-out users. I think what you may be getting at is the “draft mode” that has been requested and discussed in another thread?

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To the right, above the Community Taxon box when you are looking at your observation view, there will be a pair of “links” labelled “Reject? * What’s this?”. Clicking “Reject?” brings up a confirmation and description for the opt out.

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Ah, thanks, it wasn’t there because I was looking at an observation where my ID is the same as the community ID. The reject option is only available when the CID differs from my current ID, sensibly enough. This being the case, I don’t think it would help @mira_l_b’s situation, because nothing would be there yet to reject.

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