More filters on Identify Tool

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paloma

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Nov 30, 2018, 11:32:56 PM11/30/18
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This has been raised more than once before, but perhaps not in its own thread, and as far as I know hasn't really been answered. Why can't there be more filters on the Identify tool? The Collection Projects have filters to exclude users, projects, and taxa. It is possible to make a Collections project with these exclusions and access the Identify tool through the project to accomplish this, but it would be less cumbersome and time-consuming if the exclusions could be made directly on the Identify tool.

Tait Sougstad

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Dec 1, 2018, 11:42:42 AM12/1/18
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Yes, it would be nice to have a more intuitive interface for filters and data extraction. Seems like people who know the occult magic can wrangle the URLs to get stuff the rest of us wish we could have.

Tait

paloma

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Dec 2, 2018, 1:16:45 PM12/2/18
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As a person who is not an expert or researcher, I have no personal interest  in definitions of captive, cultivated, casual, or research grade. But I would like to be able to go onto the Identify tool to help identify organisms that I can help with, without having to look through so many observations of organisms I'm not at all interested in. To me, the issue is the ability to filter for what one wants to look at, which, in my case, does not include plants in schoolyards, gardens, or universities, zoo animals, human faces, etc. Right now, the only way to exclude those is by relying on people to categorize their observations properly, which many fail to do.

I think the issue of being able to use the filters one wants in the Identify tool is related to, but different from, all the issues about what postings should be allowed on iNat, how to get people to mark their observations properly, and whether people should or should not be frustrated by the way it works now. If it's feasible, just let the individual identifier decide. In addition to the exclusions I requested above, I think being able to filter out observations from people who have just started using iNat would go a long way. Again, others would be free to leave those in.

tony rebelo

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Dec 2, 2018, 4:00:43 PM12/2/18
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@paloma Do I understand you:  you want a filter to 
* exclude "not wild" observations, even though they are not marked "not wild"   The existing filters of "casual" and "captive" dont work because they are often not marked, but you still want to exclude them.  How?

You also want a filter to exclude people who have just started.  But what about those who want an ID that you could help with? Must they wait until they have not "just started"?  How long is that?  2 weeks?  2 observations?
Also do you really mean "just started": because when they hit the magical release number - x-, all their observations will just all appear on your page.  
Or do you mean the first x observations by any user should be excluded? 

One thing I have a problem getting my head around, is why you would be happy to identify - say -  a Douglas Fir in Yosemite, but not one growing in a schoolyard or garden?  Is the tree less a tree, or the observer's desire to have it identified less if it is in a garden, versus the wild?  I respect that you might not wish to be involved with such observations, but I am wondering: why?

One way to help you, would be to add a compulsory "Habitat" field, that we all can filter on.   But that will almost certainly go down like a  lead balloon.  (although lots of users do use such a field in southern Africa: https://www.inaturalist.org/observation_fields/7498 )

paloma

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Dec 2, 2018, 4:40:23 PM12/2/18
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Tony, I personally don't want to impose any restrictions on what anyone else sees. I would just like filters on the Identify tool for what I want to see. I do not feel competent to identify any tree that is planted, because I don't know all the possible plants that can be planted in a given area. I agree with you that a "not wild" filter would not work. My ideas to get around that problem are either to be able to (temporarily, and only for myself) filter out person(s) and projects(s) that seem to be focusing on such observations at that time, or (again, temporarily, and only for myself) filter out users new to iNaturalist. The latter would, as you indicate, also exclude new users that might be posting wild plants. But my goal is not to exclude anyone that I think I could really help--that would just be collateral damage from an imperfect method to reduce the not-wild plants that I simply don't feel competent to identify. I thought that trying to help with identifications for the City Nature Challenge last spring was not fun, because there was such an overwhelming number of not-wild organisms. Now let me ask you a question--why are you against an individual choice on a filter that would affect no one else in any way?

paloma

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Dec 2, 2018, 7:30:45 PM12/2/18
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Also, sometimes I would like to exclude even some wild plants (for example, almost everything in Asteraceae) from my plant searches in Identify, because I don't feel competent to identify most of those. Again, without affecting anyone else. This is just an example. I think it would be more efficient to be able to filter in this way. Everyone knows there's a backlog of "Needs ID." Why not a way to go through more observations I have a better chance of being able to identify?

Tony Iwane

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Dec 3, 2018, 6:58:21 PM12/3/18
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Talking with our dev team, adding some extra filters, like exclusion, to Identify, is possible. Unfortunately Explore (aka Observations Search) is written with some older code and we would want to spend time updating that page before adding new filters.

Tait, did you have examples of what kind of filters that would be helpful to you?

Tony

paloma

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Dec 3, 2018, 7:44:13 PM12/3/18
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Thanks, Tony Iwane, for looking into it.

Gabriela Zuquim

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Dec 4, 2018, 12:53:54 PM12/4/18
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Hi Tony,

One useful option for the search toll would be the "except", meaning search for something that is NOT in the criteria. In my particular case, I want to search for a certain group and place and filter the records that are NOT included in my project. 

Thank you,

Dr. Gabriela Zuquim
Mobile: +358 40 512 1981
Office: +358 29 450 4252

skype: gabrielazuquim

Department of Biology, University of Turku, FI-20014 Turku, Finland.

Programa de Pesquisas em Biodiversidade (PPBio -INPA, Manaus)
http://ppbio.inpa.gov.br/

Curriculum: http://lattes.cnpq.br/4987483096605720


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Tony Iwane

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Dec 4, 2018, 1:06:29 PM12/4/18
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Hi Gabriela,

Yes, by "exclusion" I meant exception filters, sorry about that. Basically the same thing we have on Collection projects now.

Tony

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paloma

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Dec 4, 2018, 3:58:34 PM12/4/18
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If we get to the point where it actually looks like the Identify tool may get exclusion/exception filters, maybe the usefulness of putting a notice prominently on new account sign-ups could be considered--along the lines of "identifiers will soon have the option of excluding certain users' observations from their lists of potential observations to identify, so please be sure that your observations do not include food, flower arrangements, obviously captive/cultivated items that are not properly marked as such, and photos of humans labelled as other animals, since these are known irritants to some people otherwise eager to help with identifications." Just as fair warning, and possibly also to promote a little self-restraint . . .

Ira Gershenhorn

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Dec 4, 2018, 5:44:25 PM12/4/18
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I would not be considered a new user by the time consideration but I am certainly not a professional user so maybe there should be some flag in the profile where I can identify myself as such so you can filter out my identifications if you like.

Charlie Hohn

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Dec 4, 2018, 5:49:19 PM12/4/18
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Unless you are trying to “cheat” and stuff in pictures of silk flowers or high school kids making funny faces I doubt anyone wants to. The problem is the “duress” students not the newness of a user. And it really does say a lot about our education system. I really think student observations or a different student access portal are the only thing that will solve it. That and recruiting more people to help with IDs so no one person is buried 
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Tony Iwane

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Dec 4, 2018, 6:05:34 PM12/4/18
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Hi paloma,

The issue with almost any pop-up warning is that they are not read by many people, especially a long one. Perhaps a walk through for one's first observation would be helpful, but the ideal would be to have a design that doesn't need much explanation. Certainly easier said than done, however.

Charlie, I didn't propose the "new user" filter idea as a solution but more of a way to reduce the number of "duress" observations identifiers might encounter - I think it would help in that respect, and I don't think it would be difficult to implement. And I like the idea of also being able to surface observations from new users, which is something I would use and a few others have expressed interest in that as well. A student portal or new type of student account, if we go down that road, would take significant time and resources to plan and execute, but this would be something that I think can have an impact soon.

Tony Iwane

paloma

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Dec 4, 2018, 6:28:16 PM12/4/18
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Thanks, Tony. I'm really just glad that you think we can try something soon.
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