Why placeholder, what has happend?

I have many Weeet jji wat hier gebeurt is https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/15586511 and years ago nothing was wrong with this, a normal observation and without UNKKNOWN and a without PLACEHOLDER
There could be a few thousnad


1 Like

Should this link have a photo?
Is that where the problem lies?

maybe ahospers means that the observations had a species ID - were linked to a species entry before?

maybe something changed with the species? https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/953476-Brachanthemum-kirghisorum

In Belarus i got several (hunderds?) of remarks but it used not to be a problem and last month i only saw it for observations without photos, which is normal for this kind of observations ( https://observation.org/observation)

As far as i know there were normal species in 2018-2021)

1 Like

This was this morning, but it used to have, years ago(2018-2020(2021)), no problem

In Belarus there also should be serveral, but they were harder to find than expected https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/15658167

1 Like

Are you missing a photo, are you refering to the placeholder?

I have something comparable, but that had a second id and the photo was missing, probably disappeared.

This could also be an incompleet upload of the record by an app.

@tiwane: Can iNat staff look at this? From what I can tell there seems to be a data issue where old observations by @ahospers that presumably had photos and existing IDs (plus links to https://observation.org records) have now become Unknown, with no IDs and only placeholder text.

It’s unclear to me that the observations used to have photos. @ahospers can you confirm if part of the issue is that photos which were previously present are now missing or is the issue confined to whether the observations have an actual ID vs an ID in placeholder text.

I agree with @cthawley it’s not clear to me what the exact issue is - did the observations ever have actual IDs and/or actual photos on observation.org?

No they were normal observations without photos and than changed into placeholder, certainly the ones in Kirgizie as i added them by hand and i do not think they ever had additonal IDs or addition photos.

So photos from observation.org have it and also photos i added by hand. for Kirgizie. Most are added automatically. I thought there were also many in Belarus a few month a go. the have the PLACEHOLDEr and UNKNOW status while at least many of them should have had the normal observatoin status, at least tthe ones fro Kirigzie, they are added by hand.

No, it is very unlikly that they had photos but they have changed in to placeholder were some just have normal valid latin names (may by valid latin name → unvalid latin name → again valid latin name)

Looking at our backup from this past Saturday and doing some spot checking, these all have placeholders, so if something did happen it happened before then. Without knowing exactly when this might have happened, we can’t really look through any log files.

Thank you for your effort, i only can tell you it probably happend after 2020 and i only saw it when people from Belarus made a lot of marks in spring 2023 on my observations.

From the Kirgizie observations i am sure they were normal without placeholders from Belarus i was surprised that they were placeholders but not fully certain. I think all observations never had photos (and never had confirming ids)

i suspect these never had IDs to begin with. in this particular case, note that your placeholder shows “subsp.”, whereas i would expect the usual convention in the system to be “ssp.”

here’s another observation showing placeholder for Corydalis saccata, which turns up no results if you search for it, suggesting it never existed in the system: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/15586590.

1 Like

I think if they are added around 17 aug. 2018, you can imagine what happend around that time.

1 Like

No, it think, but i do not know, they were normal observations about that time. 99% of my observations without photos will be about aug 2018 but this one is not https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/6968365

The first three i found did exist in the system.

* Disabled Location Picker, which isn’t working yet in Android

How can if see the old name of https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/15515161 (google.com)

You can also add .json to the end of the URL and look for the field "species_guess"


"species_guess":"**Cepaea nemoralis forma P123(45)**"


I put up an observation and gave it an ID of “Quercus roburt” (deliberate mis-spelling to make it an obvious placeholder)

.json shows the species_guess as “Quercus roburt”

I add an ID of Quercus robur (valid taxa ID) and it shows the binomial and vernacular.

.json now shows species_guess as “Pedunculate oak” (the vernacular for Quercus robur)

I withdraw the Q. robur ID and the placeholder of “Pedunculate oak” is displayed.

.json continues to show species_guess as “Pedunculate oak”

No matter what ID I apply, it has it’s vernacular replace the placeholder, and there appears to be no way to find the original placeholder

No where in the .json is the “Quercus roburt” that I originally entered, so it is gone for good!

his, it’s a fairly common misunderstanding that people don’t realize their placeholders are not actually “for real” with respect to the site’s database. They don’t see it as Unknown in their own observation list; they see the placeholder text.
as I noticed a placeholder before. When I’ve withdrawn the ID, the placeholder returns, so it seems to be somewhere. I then copy and paste into my ID comments when I re-ID it
aceholder text is still available somewhere. I was going through Unknowns and the instant I hit Save on a phylum level identification, I saw there was placeholder text (it’s tiny & light gray and my eyes aren’t so good), which was then gone. I withdrew my identification and the placeholder text came back.

iNaturalist Observations Updates (jumear.github.io)

iNaturalist Community Forum


1 Like

Is there no way to find all my placeholders ? Till now i did not succeed and this one is not giving the results i want https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?iconic_taxa=unknown&user_id=ahospers&place_id=any

Further https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/15586513 does have a valid name “Allium leucosphaerum”
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/6968365 “Kransgras”
Something from Kyrgyzstan - Ysyk-Köl on June 24, 2016 by Andre Hosper · iNaturalist Scutellaria przewalski or do i miss something

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.