New collection project filters

We've just finished another round of updates for collection projects. A little over a month ago we announced some changes to collection and umbrella projects related to joining and displaying these newer projects on observation details pages. The updates being released today allow further customization of collection projects through the use of new types of filters.

Since launch, collection project managers have been able to specify multiple taxon, place, and user filters to limit which observations are shown in the project. Today we are allowing managers to specify the inverse of these filters. For example in the case of taxa, you could always create a taxon filter of Lepidoptera, and now you can "exclusion filter" for the taxon Papilionoidea. That would result in a project that shows observations of all Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) except the Papilionoidea (butterflies) - effectively a project of moths.

It was possible to achieve this same outcome without exclusion filters, but you would have needed to create 42 taxon filters - one for each subfamily of Lepidoptera except Papilionoidea. With exclusion filters you only need to create 2 taxon filters - one for including Lepidoptera and one for excluding Papilionoidea.

These exclusion filters also apply to places (e.g. observations from the United States except California, Oregon, and Washington), and to users (e.g. observations from all users except these users).

Another new filter option for collection projects is annotation terms and values. Project managers can now choose to include observations which have annotations of a particular attribute (e.g. life stage), or a particular attribute and value (e.g life stage = adult). Currently there is a limit of one annotation filter per project, but this could be expanded over time to combine multiple filters, including an exclusion filter for annotations (e.g observations with a life stage = adult annotation, without a sex annotation).

We hope these new filters make it easier and faster to customize collection projects. As always we will continue to work on more improvements based on your feedback and we'll let you know when anything noteworthy is released.

Posted by pleary pleary, October 03, 2018 03:19



@klauswehrlin some of this functionality will come when we become a community, but it does not apply to projects: rather discuss these issues and others like it here:!forum/inaturalist

Posted by tonyrebelo almost 3 years ago (Flag)

Thanks: this is really handy.
What I miss is the old style projects ability to compile a filter using a list. Such lists are needed for projects with the following species:
Typically such lists will be a mix of families (e.g. where all members are bulbs) and genera and species, and will tend to be very long (1000 species of trees, 2200 species of bulbs for southern Africa), so adding them via the filters above takes ages. But the lists are really efficient and useful.
Any chance that the new projects could include such lists?
(I especially like the way the batch tool that appends the lists to projects (or places or guides) checks the names and allows fixing)

I also note that my old projects with lists, cannot be converted to these new projects. That is a pity because I like the new style projects and would love to "modernize" them.

cf with list:
versus a wannabe project that is just too much of a pain to set up:

Posted by tonyrebelo almost 3 years ago (Flag)

Awesome. I hope we are able to do one that filters for fields too (or else make my Natural Community field an annotation :) )

Posted by charlie almost 3 years ago (Flag)

@eraskin will be very happy :)

Posted by bouteloua almost 3 years ago (Flag)

Woohoo! Excited to implement the annotations option. The exclusion filters also seem like a fantastic idea.

Posted by eraskin almost 3 years ago (Flag)

Can I do "must be observed in [place] or [place] or [place] EXCLUDING [bounding box]"? If so, I will be able to replace 60 individual location rules with 4 (or possibly just 2).

Posted by eraskin almost 3 years ago (Flag)

This is definitely a nice move. Customization is definitely useful and allows for a variety of applications to projects. I look forward to seeing this expand, of course, so hopefully this pilot for exclusions and annotation filters proves successful.

Posted by jonathan142 almost 3 years ago (Flag)

@tonyrebelo I agree, a list functionality would be great and it's something that's on the radar.

@eraskin only iNaturalist places can be used for Collection projects.

Posted by tiwane almost 3 years ago (Flag)

Very nice!

Posted by alexanderr almost 3 years ago (Flag)

Great addition!

There's another thing I'd really like to be able to filter for. I like to allow projects to include casual observations, but this results in the species lists making no sense because all zoo animals and house plants will be included. I would love a filter for Research Grade Qualification on projects, so you could f.e. exclude 'Organism is wild = No' , observations.

Posted by stanvrem almost 3 years ago (Flag)

@stanvrem - and I would love the opposite: Taxa in cultivation :: Organism is wild = 'No'

But I dont like that cultivated species are not research grade: they are as good data an any other!

Posted by tonyrebelo almost 3 years ago (Flag)

Thanks for implementing the exclusion feature which will benefits many Moth projects on iNat.

Posted by gancw1 almost 3 years ago (Flag)

Could the exclusion feature be easily programmed into the Compare and Identify pages? I'd love to (for example) be able to exclude all the ants when trying to ID a wasp. I know one can use URL manipulations, but it is a bit laborious.

Posted by vynbos almost 3 years ago (Flag)

Brilliant, thank you!

Posted by karoopixie almost 3 years ago (Flag)

These are some neat changes. I would like to echo the request to be able to upload a list of species from a file. I just set up a Collection for invasive species in Texas, and it would have taken much less time if there was a batch upload option. I do realize that I would still need to confirm each of my species names matches the taxa in iNat, but doing so all at once, without separate cut-pastes from my source files, would have been really handy.

Thank you for all that you iNat folks are doing to make this a program that I wholeheartedly recommend to everyone!

Posted by aenglandbiol over 2 years ago (Flag)

@tonyrebelo - I set up four 'planted in ' projects for cultivated species - mainly to separate them from the wild species that we are looking for in our main collection projects. But I did it using the existing filters (casual + photo), agree it would be superior to be able to filter for 'not wild'.

Posted by lera almost 2 years ago (Flag)

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