Recent publications (PLOS Biology, New York Times) have highlighted the value of helping to make identifications of observations at iNaturalist. Identification of “Unknowns” - observations created without a starter identification- is accessible to all levels of expertise, even novice. Any level of input can help an unlabeled observation reach the view of an expert who may recognize it.
Additional wikis that outline easy entry points to help are here and here. Discussion of the topic of Unknown identification occurs regularly on this forum (newer example 1, newer example 2, older example).
- Turn the above storyboard/sketch into a real, novice-usable tree/framework/key, through whatever consensus format develops within this wiki.
- It should be useful at a general whole-world level, for identifiers from anywhere who are focusing on anywhere they choose.
- It should stay coarse in its presentation of any taxon, to about Order/Family perhaps, with pointers to relevant and/or finer tutorials/keys added in as links to elsewhere. e.g., link to the ones at https://sites.google.com/view/flyguide/bonus-material/life-notes?authuser=0 , and see also https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/trying-my-hand-at-making-a-key/38923
- It should not require the use of the AI at any step. Our native intelligence should be enough.
Scope of tree: If we’re drafting an accessible tree, that means focusing mostly on land-based, macroscopic life forms. A lot of water-based and microscopic id’ing would be out of reach for novices.
(keying stuff goes here) An iNat version of “Animal, vegetable or mineral?” include keyboard shortcuts and other id workshop stuff where applicable
…Nothing above matched? Add ELSE advice from comments below, here; an/or advise to mark DQA: Evidence? No
As more new people use this tree, it will probably need a supplementary FAQ/wiki where we gather the knowledgebase of tips/current consensus for issues typically encountered by Unknown/coarse id’ers. Right now that is all spread around the forum in various threads (examples above pic)