Suggestions for Your Efforts (and Info on Filters)

Tomorrow! We start tomorrow night! I hope you get all dug out from this storm and can make it to the store to lay in supplies of snacks and your choice of refreshing beverages to keep your strength up for our marathon/sprint of identifying.

In this post, I want to point out three areas where focused effort can really make a dent in the pile of Needs ID observations. Along the way, I'll explain how I use filters to make identifying easier and faster. (And I apologize for the length of this post; I am trying to make things as clear as I can.)

Observations at Species Level
First, as we did last year, a major group of observations to focus on can be the observations that are already identified at the species level and just need one Agree click to push them into Research Grade. That's assuming you can, in fact, agree with the existing identification. Remember, if it's obviously a cultivated plant, mark the observation as not wild in the Data Quality Assessment; that will push the observation to Casual, out of the Needs ID pile. If you disagree with the current ID, add your ID (perhaps with an explanation of why you disagree). That will keep the observation as Needs ID, but you can then either add it to this project, so other members can easily find it, or tag someone else in a comment (by using @harperlynn, for example) to help out.

Here's the link to this set of observations: If you click on the Filters box towards the upper right of the page, you can see I chose these filters: Verifiable; Needs ID; Plants; Any for date; and New England for location. Importantly, I also set the Rank filter to Species for both high and low ranks; that discards everything except the observations already at species level.

If you choose to work on this set of observations, you might want to choose a particular species by using the Species Search box near the top center of the page. Or you can set the view to Species, like this: Either way makes it easy to pare down to a relatively manageable group of observations.

Observations at Genus Level
For a second set of observations to focus on, you can set the Rank filter to show only observations stuck at the Genus level, like this: This URL shows you the observations in the Genera view (which iNat calls Species View; it's really Taxon View). Here, you can go through your favorite genus and move observations to the species level; again, if you then add the observation to this project or tag someone, the observation has a good chance of getting to Research Grade this weekend.

On the other hand, you may find there isn't enough evidence to move a Genus-level observation to Species level. For example, you might be able to tell the plants in the photos are Solidago, but there aren't the kind of photos that would allow you to ID them to species confidently. Then, what you can do is agree with Solidago AND, down at the bottom of the Data Quality Assessment, mark the observation as "No, it's as good as it can be" in the question that reads "Based on the evidence, can the Community Taxon still be confirmed or improved?" Doing so will move a Needs ID observation to Research Grade (but only when the Community Taxon is at the sub-family level or below; above that, the observation will go to Casual). Now, this option needs to be used judiciously. Only use it when you are really very sure the ID cannot be improved. Also, pay attention to your notifications; if the observer asks you to remove the "as good as it can be" vote, please do so politely. The observer may have very good reasons or preferences for wanting the observation to stay at the Genus level in Needs ID.

I hear you saying, "What???" Well, in iNaturalist-speak, a Maverick is when three identifiers disagree with, for example, the observer's initial ID. Here's an example (with apologies to the observer!): You can check to see if any of your own observations are deemed Mavericks at this URL; just substitute your user name for mine: If you're an expert, you might well disagree with the three other identifiers. In that case, leave your ID; you have what is called a Proud Maverick. (You can also leave a comment explaining why you think it's Species A, not Species B; that may sway the other identifiers.)

A Pre-Maverick is when two identifiers disagree with an existing ID, and the observation needs one or more identifiers to come along and weigh in on the evidence. User @jeanphilippeb has worked some wonderful magic with the iNaturalist database and come up with a set of Pre-Mavericks for identifiers to use; you can read about all this in his project here:

I've filtered out New England plants from his set of all Pre-Maverick observations in this URL: Note that I filtered for a particular project in this case. I added a few of these observations to our project just to give you a flavor of what they look like. Focusing on these can probably make a noticeable dent in the giant heap of Needs ID New England plant observations.

So, there are three areas where we can focus our efforts this weekend. Tomorrow, just before 7 PM, I'll re-post the relevant URLs and note the starting number of observations in each group. As always, please feel free to ask questions or make comments.

Julkaistu helmikuu 23, 2023 03:29 IP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper


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