Random Possibly Useful Ideas for Identifying

In no particular order . . . .

X. If you identify an observation, it automatically becomes "reviewed," which means you won't see it when identifying, unless you set the filters to search for observations you've reviewed. You can also mark observations as reviewed individually or page by page as you go through. This can be handy, for example if you're checking observations for one person or project or place and you want to see only new ones if you come back later. On the other hand, you may not care.

X. Develop a list of quite you often paste into comments, including explanations for common misidentifications. I'll write a journal post on some quotes I often use.

X. If you work on plants, especially if you use floras, you should get Harris & Harris's book Plant Identification Terminology. It's illustrated and thorough.

X. It is useful to join the iNaturalist projects Found Feathers and Galls of North America. Then you can add observations of feathers or galls to those projects. The people associated with them seem to provide identifications within a day or two.

To join a projects, click on the Community tab at the top of the page, then Projects. Write in the project name, get there, join. To add an observation to a project from "Identify," click on View, which will open the observation. On the right side is "Projects," which can bring up a list of your projects; click on the one you want to add the observation.

X. You know you should provide identifications at lower levels (e.g. genus if the plant is ID'd to family). You know confirming a species ID is good. Should you confirm a higher ID, like a family? I usually don't, because that means more identifications total are needed to get the observation to Research Grade. (RG require more than 2/3 of the observations to vote for the same name.) However, sometimes confirming a name can encourage the observer. Use your own judgement.

X. Sometimes you'll see an observation with half a dozen identifications, all agreeing, but it stays in "Needs ID" instead of going to "Research Grade." Why? The observer has opted out of community identification. There's nothing much you can do.

X. Another way to get observations out of "Needs ID" (without IDing it): Mark cultivated plants, pet animals, farm animals, and creatures in zoos as "Not Wild" or "Captive/cultivated." They become Casual. However, if you do that, they are less likely to get identified and the people who post them want names. So I say, mark them only if they have at least one identification at the species or genus level, or if the observation is old. (iNaturalist would disagree.)

X. Yet another way to get observations out of "Needs ID" (without IDing it): Under Quality Assessment, there's a question, "Based on the evidence, can the Community Taxon still be confirmed or improved?" If you mark it "No, it's as good as it can be" and at least one other person has ID'd it to that taxonomic level, it will go away. If it is ID'd at the genus level, it will become Research Grade. If it's ID'd to a higher level, it will become Casual. I recommend not doing this for recent observations, since somebody else may be able to ID it even if you can't. With older ones, though, you can be ruthless. I use it for cases where I know the necessary trait just isn't visible. Also for Empidonax flycathers or members of the Gray Tree Frog complex, which all look alike. And for the frustrating 10-pixel-wide bird on a wire that is so often posted.

What if you find an observation that has been dismissed like this but you disagree? Then answer the question "Based on the evidence, can the Community Taxon still be confirmed or improved?" as "Yes."

X. What if you have nothing to say about an observation but you want to know what it is? If you're working in "Identify," you can click "Follow" and any future identifications or comments will show up among your notifications.

X. Let's say you see an observation of a large hawk. First identification is Swainson's Hawk. You have reservations, so you type in "Buteo," its genus. A box will appear, giving you alternatives. The upper, green alternative means, "I know it's a Buteo but I can't say whether it's a Swainson's Hawk or not." The lower, orange or yellowish alternative means, "This is NOT a Swainson's Hawk. I know it's a Buteo but can't say which species of Buteo it is."

Publicado por sedgequeen sedgequeen, 23 de mayo de 2021


This answers a number of my questions and stimulates a few more. Thank you.

Publicado por kimcwren hace 7 meses (Marca)

Interesting, thanks. One thing I've learned late in the game is that the internet version of iNat works much better if you enter the location before you start the ID process. Before I figured this out, I'd even wondered more than once how the AI can start cogitating w/o knowing where the observation was made. But the order in which the data entry blocks appear on-screen had me mesmerized, I guess. :)

Publicado por buck_fievre hace 7 meses (Marca)

Thanks @buck_fievre ! I never would have expected that to matter.

Publicado por sedgequeen hace 7 meses (Marca)

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