The Identifier’s Alphabet: A keystroke-based identification approach
Beyond clicking from the CV’s top suggestions, effective IDing at iNat comes down to getting the correct choice to come up into an easily clickable position in the pulldown. List tips below by first letter. Case matters.
If you know the binomial the first 3 letters of both words works (helpful if you are unsure of the exact spelling). LEUcospermum CONocarpodendron. Type leu con . For popular words one, perhaps 2 letters, work.
- a to Agree (but I am very wary of WHICH ID iNat agrees to)
- a Animalia
- a Angiosperms
- c to Comment
- l Lepidoptera
- r Reviewed
- x Not Wild
Version 3 is above, starting 8/14/23
6/26/23 Revision Title: iNat Identification Onboarding: 20 Questions Game or something DRAFT
Hey kids, want to get your observations id’ed by experts faster than n? Go as far as you can in the question sequence to get a higher chance! or something
If you said Animal:
2) Do you recognize it as Vertebrata (v) and/or chordate? If No, continue. If you don’t know how to tell, Animalia (a) may be your best selection. If yes, (typical categories go here like bird snake turtle salamander fish mammal and chordate or whatever for sharks and such)
3) (invert starts here- use iconic taxa as basis)
n-20 Animalia build out along the easy chunks from Kingdom to wherever
If you said Plantae:
2) Can you recognize a vascular plant Tracheophyta (t) vs a nonvascular plants? If Yes, continue. If you don’t know what that means, Plantae (p) may be your best selection.
3) Do you recognize the plant as nonvascular? If Yes, do your best to put it in a broader category such as (examples). (expertise needed for: how far is reasonable to catch expert eye? what best examples of types like mosses liverworts etc?) If no, continue.
4) A vascular plant may be (coarse category examples next)
n-20 Plantae same idea
Typical broad leaves and flowers = dicots
Grass and flowering bulbs = monocots
(ALL unhelpfully dumped in Just call it Plants by iNat)
Imagine if we took bird buffalo and beetle and dumped them all in Animal?!
If you said Fungi:
2-20 Fungi same idea
Lichen - if you recognise it - Lecanoromycetes
If you said Other/Not sure:
2-20 Other/Not sure perhaps keyed to representative traditional projects re slime mold, beach stuff, Life, microscopy etc), maybe show representative projects’ view in modal as illustrations
ELSE part would be illustrated by JP’s DQA projects
-what are those letters
-why common and latin names mixed together in the tree- it’s about remembering the letters
-how to use those letters on mobile and ignore the CVs if you have to
Pre-6/26/23 and/or scratchpad-mode material is below:
Working title: Wiki: An Unknown Identifiers’ Tree of Life DRAFT https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/wiki-an-unknown-identifiers-tree-of-life-draft/38591
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).
When ready, general observers should also be able to use this scheme to select a best-bet broad category for their “unknown” observations, if they are not confident with the offered Computer Vision suggestions.
- 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
How about with gamification and keystrokes-oriented? Primary links to identify modal? Like, “20 Questions” ID Game: Can you find your best ID in 20 questions or less? Create separate Q2-20 for each of the 4 items in Q1?
2-20 Animal build out along the easy chunks from Kingdom to wherever
2-20 Plant same idea
2-20 Fungi same idea
2-20 Other/Not sure (examples go where/how re slime mold, beach stuff, Life, microscopy etc)
…Nothing above matched? Add ELSE advice from comments below, here; and/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)