We’ve reached 1,000,000 observers!

Last month we passed 1,000,000 total observers of verifiable observations! In fact, last month was record breaking on multiple fronts. We had record breaking visitors to the website, new users, observers, observations, and species observed. It’s interesting to have a look back at my post about reaching 150,000 observers less than 3 years ago and some predictions we made for 2020.

One stat where we didn’t break records was the number of identifiers (people who added an identification to someone else’s observation). How is it that last month under 23,000 identifiers working with over 2.7 million observations from over 177,000 observers were able to add enough identifications to tally over 89,000 distinct species? I thought I’d spend this post exploring this in more detail.

The Long Identifier Tail

To put in perspective what a small fraction of the iNaturalist community of identifiers is, the graph below shows all 2,500,000 iNaturalist users where each circle below represents 1,000 iNaturalist users. 51% of users have posted an observation (blue and yellow), but only 4% have made identifications for other people (yellow and pink). Nonetheless, these 107,000 identifiers have generated 53 million identifications for other people compared with 43 million observations generated by 1,265,000 observers (from now on I’m counting all observers, not just observers of verifiable observations as I prefer to do because the data were easier to fetch, but the patterns are the same).

So how can this be? The answer is that activity on iNaturalist, as is characteristic of most crowdsourcing efforts, follows what we call a ‘long tailed distribution’. This means that there are many people doing relatively few actions and relatively few people doing many actions.

This is true for observers but the activity of identifiers is dramatically more long-tailed. In fact because these tails are so long, we can only really view the graph above with log-transformed axes as shown below. For the Observations line, note that while over 1 million people have posted at least one observation, only around 1,000 people have posted at least 10,000 observations. For the Identifications line, there’s a whole order of magnitude fewer identifiers (around 120,000) but also a longer tail of few people doing large numbers of actions relative to the observations line.

Here's another way to visualize this. The graph below shows all contributors (people who have posted at least one observation or one identification). Again each circle represents 1,000 people. The red color indicates the top 1,000 observers. The pie chart shows that these top 1,000 observers account for 28% of all the observations on iNaturalist. The orange, yellow, and green colors show the next 2,000, 4,000, and 8,000 top observers and their relative contributions. Put another way, the top 3,000 observers have posted more observations than the bottom 1,250,000 observers.

The identifier tail is much longer. The top 1,000 identifiers have generated an amazing 70% of all identifications. This is more than twice as many as all other 106,000 identifiers generated.

@kueda pointed out that this is kind of like income-disparity reporting except that the story here is reversed with a a tiny minority sustaining the majority - an interesting analogy.

Are you an identifier yet?

One vulnerability that this very long identifier tail reveals is that even though iNaturalist has over 2.5 million users, the site is extremely dependent on a much, much smaller group of super-identifers. You can see the top 500 identifiers here and I’ll name just the top 10: @aguilita, @sambiology, @greglasley, @johnascher, @maxallen, @john8, @graysquirrel, @maractwin, @joshuagsmith, and @thebirdnerd. Please join me in thanking the small group of super-identifiers for literally making iNaturalist function.

But there’s also an opportunity to take steps to try to grow this identifier community. Statistically speaking, if you’re reading this there’s a good chance you’re not one of these super-identifiers. We definitely encourage you to give identifying other people’s observations a try. Who knows, you might be our next super-identifier! Here’s a video on how to use the identify tool and here are some tips on how to dive into identifying. There’s also lots of good ideas on how to recruit more identifiers on the iNaturalist forum such as this thread.

Posted by loarie loarie, May 15, 2020 21:54

Comments

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Thank you!

Posted by allycouch 17 days ago (Flag)
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Some really good graphs here. I really admire experienced identifiers who help make things easy for other people and provide real value, but we should also probably note that there are some really dubious identifiers out there on iNat. Thankfully, they are a minority. These identifiers make prolific use of iNat's feature that allows adding multiple identifications to an observation by just hopping on to somebody else's identifications and boost their numbers all day long. It might be the case that they are, in the real sense, no good or at most, sloppy, when it comes to proper identification of species! This is not a criticism, but it would be helpful to look at the holes in the system and see how we can make it better over time. Love iNaturalist!

Posted by po-po-pro 17 days ago (Flag)
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And thanks to @borisb (top identifier #15) for all the beetle IDs!

Posted by zygy 17 days ago (Flag)
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I like iNaturalist. ;)

I am so dang amazed at the folks that are taxon specialists that can ID groups of organisms from all around the world! It's tremendous that these folks share their knowledge with many people they're likely to not meet 'in real life.' It also REALLY makes me want to meet these people. :)

One of the things that I've benefited from greatly is being a 'regional ID'er' -- I tend to focus on the organisms/observations made 'in my neck of the woods' (in my case, Texas, and specifically, Dallas/Fort Worth). Not only do I get a broader idea of ALL of the critters and plants physically around me, but I also get to meet so many of the observers 'in real life' too. This builds on a community of naturalists, and it's a beautiful thing -- not to mention, it's relevancy to policy change and public land management (the key word is 'constituency').

I think an important point to make is the positive feedback loop that an ID gives to the observer. It validates their observation and their discovery. I'm not a huge fan of the verbiage of "research grade" (implications of the ones not meeting this standard aren't 'research worthy'), but I do recognize that folks want their discoveries to be noticed. Sometimes the discovery is a mallard, and other times the discovery is a blurry brown moth that's impossible to ID. Both are relevant, both are important, both can encourage the observer to engage with more nature. :)

I really like iNaturalist. :)

Posted by sambiology 17 days ago (Flag)
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I agree with the others--it is great to do regional work, but also see and learn from around the world, and resources, with the links to Wikipedia and GBIF and WoRMS (for marine). Web projects can become isolated ghettos, but not here! As well, the fairness of the community is amazingly encouraging with corrections in identifications. Kudos to all involved!

Posted by clauden 17 days ago (Flag)
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An excellent study that demonstrates how iNat has grown over the years, both by observations, species, observers, and identifiers. I believe that this is truly developing into a fantastic data base for present and future biological research with a huge majority of the contributions provided by citizen scientists with a mix of professional biologists. I am very happy to have been recruited by loarie in a Las Vegas meeting in 2014. Thank you.

Posted by lonnyholmes 17 days ago (Flag)
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I would like to thank @ck2az's creosote bush observations for allowing me to become a top 500 super-identifier.

Posted by rynaturalist 17 days ago (Flag)
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This is wonderful news. I am an iNatter for life. I love it a lot and it is a great way to explore my interests. For me it is the wonderful world of insect and birds mostly but I love my insects. Knowing that I can take a photo of an insect and study them and get feed back is a great way to connect with the world around me and some of the top minds in the natural science field. It just amazes me how effective this tool and I love to use it. I may not use it every day but I use it every time I get a chance to it is the best app I have on my phone and the best site I have on my favorites bar. I never leave home without this or my camera. It has made me a better explorer and a better naturalist now that I have been using it. I love the community that backs this and love the wonderful feedback I get. I also love making connections with the other like-minded people on this site and really enjoy hanging out with them on the events I got and what not. I absolutely love and appreciate all that we accomplish with this site. For some it is fun but it is far more than just fun it is hard work and very important to. Yeah it is fun to share photos but these are used for scientific tender and what not and are used in actual study which is a great thing. I love it and love this community.

Posted by galactic_bug_man 17 days ago (Flag)
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So cool to see how the community has grown over the years, well done all involved, and great job to all those super identifiers! I love these data breakdowns, so cool!

Posted by zabbey 17 days ago (Flag)
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I started in on iNat some years ago in order to ID mollusks, which I love to do, and still love to do. Although I totally enjoy actually making observations, because I flat-out love field work, I can say that I have probably learned as much or more from ID-ing other people's observations compared with what I have learned from making and ID-ing my own observations.

So I would strongly recommend ID-ing to other people. Don't be intimidated, just give it a whirl. The more you do, the better you get.

Posted by susanhewitt 17 days ago (Flag)
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Well done to all ID’ers! I am grateful for all of the shared knowledge.

Posted by ryancooke 17 days ago (Flag)
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Great post! Love the stats. I’m glad to be able to contribute to iNat through being both a super-observer and a super-IDer

Posted by mws 17 days ago (Flag)
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Welp, looks like I'm in the top 500...
When I joined iNat 11 months ago, I didn't know anything about taxonomy or identifying. But I gave it a shot, starting by sorting Unknown observations and following them to find out what they were, and learning the names of species I had observed. Over the course of a year identifying, I "graduated" from mostly identifying Unknowns to having the expertise to know a decent ratio of plants in my local area. I still have a ton to learn, but it's been fun to slowly master my identification skills. The community is what makes iNat work, and the feedback I get from my fellow identifiers is most appreciated!
I encourage others to try identifying... it takes patience, but the reward of helping others is immensely satisfying.

I want to second @sambiology's comment about how important it is for new observers to get a response -- the fairly quick IDs I got in the beginning (mostly from @ronf -- thank you!) were a big part of what drew me in.

Posted by trh_blue 17 days ago (Flag)
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I'd like just to tag @convallaria1128 , @phlomis_2019 and @julia_shner to thank them for their job in sorting and naming of everything!!! I can't imagine iNaturalist without you ))) Cheers

Posted by apseregin 17 days ago (Flag)
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For City Nature Challenge, it took a good deal of effort, but I organized a coordinated ID effort among my fellow environmental nonprofit iNaturalist nerds. I set up a chat room through our work channels and it felt like a win to see the ID's people did. We had some fun swapping notes and complaining about difficult ID's. I wish I had started that sooner and I'm trying to keep it going. It's been hard to get others to buy into ID'ing, so thanks for this excellent perspective about the importance of this aspect of iNat. +1 on @sambiologist 's suggestions and big thanks to all iNat superstar identifiers. We are big bee nerds in my household and it makes our day when @johnascher helps us out with ID's and thanks to @graysquirrel for all the NorCal love!

Posted by ten_salamanders 17 days ago (Flag)
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Fantastic information! Great that there are these very clever and dedicated Super Identifiers. I would like to add @tiggrx to that list of incredibly knowledgeable people; always helpful in identifying my observations when I don't have a clue! This really is an important example of citizen science.

Posted by jrockhill 17 days ago (Flag)
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wow, that's incredible! I joined iNat 2 years ago, and I'd like to thank everyone who's contributed IDs to my almost 30,000 observations since then, I wouldn't be here without you.

Posted by alexis_orion 17 days ago (Flag)
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Is this where I confess I'd like to hit 100,000 observations in my lifetime? And now this article has prodded me to add the goal of hitting 100,000 identifications as well? (Which means I better get busy, because I am not young!)

It also makes me think: It looks like about half of people who join iNat never make even one observation? How do we, the iNat community, help those people get over the hump of posting their first observation? Or their first identification, for that matter? Is it a matter of lots and lots of in-person, hands-on workshops? Do many people think they might be interested, sign up, and just never get around to the next step? How do we encourage people who have posted lots of observations to match each observation with an identification? Is there a way to reach out to observers individually and ask them to contribute IDs? So many questions....

I also want to thank everyone who has contributed an ID to my observations (and to masswildlife's observations, where I post during my work hours). I have learned so much!

Posted by lynnharper 17 days ago (Flag)
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Wow, congratulations in creating a global digital community! I have to thank my friend @genlog2 for introducing me first to the @pollinators-and-pests-of-trinidad-and-tobago and @iNaturalist . Since then I've rediscovered my passion of exploring and being amazed with the micro/macro-cosm of my area. Thanks go out to @matthewcock, @mikegrutherford , @borisb , @susanhewitt for various identifications.
This is one habit I want to sustain.

Posted by magichin 17 days ago (Flag)
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At times, I get down on myself for not spending more time doing bulk IDs, but with the present stats compiled by @loarie, I don't feel quite so bad (presently at #194 with about 47K identifications). I take consolation in the fact that I spend more time focused on some of the tougher ID challenges like @sambiology's "blurry brown moths that are impossible to ID"! It's a dirty job but somebody's gotta do it!

Posted by gcwarbler 17 days ago (Flag)
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As always I love the infographics posted on this iNat blog - thank you!

I am guessing that in several cases the hours spent by some specialists and focused enthusiasts of some of the more obscure taxa (adding IDs and comments, and curating taxa) could equal or exceed that of super-identifiers. And the value is vast. It always amazes me when I post some little nondescript hemiteran/coleopteran from the middle of nowhere and I get a species level ID, sometimes within hours. These sort of identifiers must keep many participants active.

Posted by robert_taylor 17 days ago (Flag)
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Yes, kudos to all the identifiers out there. Observations are coming in at a staggering and continuous pace. I know it's a daunting task to stay ahead of it. Impressive (and sobering) statistics.

I’d also be interested in other stats; is there a way to do a list of the people with the top “leading” IDs and “improving” IDs. I think people like @gcwarbler and @sambiology (graphs for each https://www.inaturalist.org/identifications?user_id=gcwarbler, https://www.inaturalist.org/identifications?user_id=sambiology) should get some extra credit because it often takes longer to determine the first ID, or even more time to improve on one. So, that cumulative contribution shouldn't be overlooked.

Posted by norm_shea 17 days ago (Flag)
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@norm_shea there isn't a dedicated iNat page for it, but you can find the info via the API. @pisum made a nice little table that displays it in a more digestible format:

https://jumear.github.io/stirfry/iNatAPIv1_identifications_identifiers.html?category=improving&own_observation=false

Top 10 "improving" IDers = borisb, johnascher, wongun, graysquirrel, sambiology, maractwin, tiggrx, nlblock, d_kluza, susanna_h

Posted by bouteloua 16 days ago (Flag)
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@bouteloua Thanks for that!

Posted by allycouch 16 days ago (Flag)
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FWIW, the native Android app (which is fantastic, I'm not complaining) does not even show 'Identify' as a tab. You only learn about the ability to identify observations after you've got into explore, picked an observation, tapped the comment tab, and then tapped Suggest ID. That's at least 4 clicks before you can start to actively participate in identifications. I'm not criticizing, just pointing out that data may not be wholly an innate property of the people using iNat services, it might in part be a result of how the different activities are surfaced to users.

I wonder if iNat should focus on making the Identify options better for the few power users (e..g feed the beast), or if they should focus on making Identify simpler and easier for beginners? Or both - segment the Identify offering into a simple and an advanced mode, and try to both encourage/educate new identifiers and get out of the way of the power users?

PS - I'm constantly impressed by the iNaturalist technical team - you folks do an amazing job absorbing huge data input, dealing with taxonomy complications, creating reasonable auto-identification models, building for multiple platforms, and somehow still finding time to add features. If you happen to read this, insanely good job

Posted by hamiltonturner 16 days ago (Flag)
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@alexis_orion Congratulations with being a top100 identifier!

Posted by optilete 16 days ago (Flag)
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It would be interesting to see how many countries observers/IDers work on

Posted by arcnac 16 days ago (Flag)
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Thanks @bouteloua, very interesting. I'll have to dig into the API a little more.

Posted by norm_shea 16 days ago (Flag)
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Similar to @arcnac, I'm curious about the spectrum of identifiers who focus on a geographic region vs a taxon in a wider region. I do a mix of both -- I focus on flowering plants in the Middle East, but Unknowns I do worldwide.

Posted by trh_blue 16 days ago (Flag)
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@optilete thanks! I had no idea I was in the top 100!

Posted by alexis_orion 16 days ago (Flag)
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Congratulations.
I have seen that many old observers do not make observations recently.
So it would be of interest, make this statiscs also considering the active observers and identifiers in one year.

Posted by ericfischerrempe 16 days ago (Flag)
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Is there a way to learn our rank?

Posted by orsanors 16 days ago (Flag)
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The lists generated on the Explore page only count the top 500. But you might be the top identifier in your region -- use Filters to check.

Posted by trh_blue 16 days ago (Flag)
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One tidbit I've learned when trying to find a ranking (for observers or identifiers) on the Explore page: Since the page (using Safari) has an "infinite scroll bar" on the right (which I detest), I have to make sure I *first* scroll way down, down to include the top several hundred positions before using a search function to find a user's name. If I don't do that, the search realm only includes the ranked positions that have been scrolled thus far, e.g. the top 20 or 50, etc.
@orsanors Here are links to the ranked observers and identifiers in Turkey. It looks like you are currently #66 in observations and #111 in identifications. Keep them coming!
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=7183&subview=grid&view=observers
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=7183&subview=grid&view=identifiers

Posted by gcwarbler 16 days ago (Flag)
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Congrats iNaturalist! Great post and thank you for the wonderful graphics. I've been sorting unknowns recently but will continue to improve my ID skills so I can help with more detailed observations soon. This is such a great community. You all rock!

Posted by kristendiesburg 16 days ago (Flag)
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Congrats iNaturalist Community. Thanks for the post. Liked the Visualization very much

Posted by manojkmohan 16 days ago (Flag)
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Thank you to those who have congratulated me on my top ten status on level of identifications. I also what to thank personally all of the identifiers and contributors unto a site I love so much.
I love statistics and the graphics that are depicting them above are very impressive!
I hope everyone has a great day!
- Joseph (thebirdnerd)

Posted by thebirdnerd 16 days ago (Flag)
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The current Covid-19 crisis has allowed me more time ... and I have begun to try to identify other peoples' posts, if only in a small way. These graphs are really interesting, thanks. All super identifiers have to be thanked, as indicated above, as well as those who toil in the possibly less rewarding workrooms of taxonomy and curation - though I suspect many are in all those groups, if that makes sense! Thanks to all anyway.
.
Identifying is helping me learn, it's a really different feeling from researching and essaying your own ID on your own observation. Identifying is daunting and I have made several errors already!
.
Nature is, I believe, providing the Natural Health Service in these strange times, and hopefully the upturns shown on some of the graphs will convert into long term contribution and learning.

Posted by mags49 16 days ago (Flag)
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What is the taxonomic breakdown of observations and identifiers? Are some groups more represented than others?

Posted by daviswj 16 days ago (Flag)
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Thanks so much all you identifiers out there. A lot of those mentioned here and listes in the top 100 have helped me out as well. But I am also just as equally thankfull for the very specialized Identifiers that maybe have not as many IDs, but take their time to deal with problematic cases, which would maybe otherwise never have been IDed. Big thank you! I´m a quite recent addition to iNat and still busy adding my many observations from the past few years. So at the moment I am uploading a lot. I try to make at least as many IDs as I upload observations.

Posted by ajott 16 days ago (Flag)
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This is awesome, thank you! I had been reluctant to try identifying, but began to after using iNat for about a year and have slowly increased my IDing activity. It is a great way to learn and to dive deeper into species further from home, as well as help with IDing species I'm familiar with. This community is amazing, and remember if you're a super-IDer to be patient with those of us still learning. It takes a fair amount of guts to try to learn in a forum like this and yet anyone spending time here cares about nature and wants to absorb new info!

Posted by ocean_beach_goth 16 days ago (Flag)
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Thank you to all the active identifiers! I try to contribute with well known species, but my own level of field expertise sets limits.

Personally, I have had exceptional help from @ldacosta, @nicholas_williams, @stephen54 and many more.
@monicaoyre has expanded my understanding of diptera, and @dstokholm has helped me a lot with botany.

I look forward to getting to know a lot more fascinating creatures with inat - and a lot of helpful people too. Love the app - love the community. Thank you!

Posted by mettehhh 16 days ago (Flag)
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Since I am a super-IDer. I want to add onto what many have mentioned regarding identifications. If i ever disagree with anybody's identification or if someone disagrees with my own, I want all to know that I won't criticize you in anyway. This platform is unique in that it not only records observations from around the world of the distribution of our many species, it is a place of learning. I have been a naturalist and scientist my whole life; that being said, I am always learning and in my opinion is the characteristic of such. Every disagreement is the opportunity for someone to learn or for someone to teach. As this is a community of individuals who love our natural world, we should help each other without criticism or indifference . I hope that all of us utilize the opportunity that we are given on this site! :)
Cheers!
- Joseph

Posted by thebirdnerd 16 days ago (Flag)
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Congrats!! iNat is such an amazing resource. It is so gratifying there are others out there who are interested in tiny wildlife as well as charismatic megafauna! Also I second @daviswj question asking bout the taxonomic breakdown of what groups get identified the most vs observed the most! -Andrea

Posted by chyroptera 16 days ago (Flag)
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Great graph! Everyone is invited to try to identify taxa, ask questions and agree/disagree with any obs. But my experience as observer and identifier tells me that there are a lot of people who do not have clear that id must be based on their own knowledge, as Inat guidance clearly states (under Help section). They validate other people ids because they trust them or they want their observations to go to research grade. I think this point should be made more obvious, maybe even in the observation page. There is always the possibility to ask for keys, characters or guidance, there are a lot of people who are willing to help/teach. Also a very few people flag their cultivated plants as "no wild". this might be improved as well.
Thank you!

Posted by ludol 16 days ago (Flag)
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In all iNaturalist has had 37,711,196 observations. Of that:
15,339,035 are of Plants = 40.68%
8,923,496 are of Insects = 23.66%
5,622,410 are of Birds = 14.91%
2,053,440 are of Fungi = 5.45%
1,046,493 are of Reptiles = 2.78%
985,421 are of Arachnids = 2.61%
951,895 are of Mammals = 2.52%
592,343 are of Mollusks = 1.57%
584,103 are of Amphibians = 1.55%
426,345 are of Ray-finned Fishes = 1.13%
240,404 are of Crustaceans = 0.63%
75,318 are of Echinoderms = 0.20%
53,688 are of Segmented Worms = 0.14%
25,941 are of Cartilaginous Fishes = 0.07%
12,659 are of Flatworms = 0.03%
7,438 are of Bacteria = 0.02%
770,767 are other = 2.04%

Posted by thebirdnerd 16 days ago (Flag)
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I would like to thank the professionals like @jrebman who help out with thousands of expert identifications annually. It is a fantastic public service in my opinion. I wish there were more like him. I contribute only about one observation per day and I try to balance that with at least one identification. It helps to select a few taxa that one knows very well and subscribe to them.

Posted by hkibak 16 days ago (Flag)
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@ludol Similar to what I said (see comment no.2 on this page), but you make some very important points. A lot of people are getting carried away by numbers and I don't think this is a good or healthy approach in the long term.

Posted by po-po-pro 16 days ago (Flag)
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thanks @mettehhh , you are welcome !!!
and as said by @thebirdnerd , we are helping and (always) learning...
iNaturalist is a GREAT tool, an excellent meeting-point with (world and local) experts where to share opinions, ideas and start discussions (ALL are fruitful, even with few being "sparkling" ;-) );

and thank you all the experts always replying to my (?) - not listing, I do not want to miss one of them
be safe,
Luis

Posted by ldacosta 16 days ago (Flag)
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I'll add my thanks to the super identifiers who've helped me along over the last few years. I recognize those top names and appreciate their efforts. When I see that I've gotten an ID from someone I might not recognize I often go to their profile page and am occasionally amazed to see they have no observations and many IDs. It's very impressive and generous of them to do this.

My own identification efforts are currently mainly limited to helping observations out of the Unknown category and I find it gratifying when I get a notification that that little nudge has gotten it into the sight of a more skilled identifier and moved it toward a final ID. My winter plan (never make plans, I've learned) was to pick a few less common taxa to become well-versed in and ramp up my ID efforts. Life intervened and now it looks like it may not be a few more months before I'll be doing that but then I really intend to make it "a thing" in my life.

Posted by driftlessroots 16 days ago (Flag)
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@po-po-pro I agree, it propagates errors. I am posting this under some of my id hoping that people will read it:
"When should I agree with someone else's identification?
An identification confirms that you can confidently identify it yourself compared to any possible lookalikes. Please do not simply “Agree” with an ID that someone else has made without confirming that you understand how to identify that taxon. If you agree with the ID without actually knowing the taxon, it may reach Research Grade erroneously"
this is an extract from the help section in Inat.

Posted by ludol 15 days ago (Flag)
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Congratulations to the amazing iNat team for this milestone! Glad to be part of this 1.000.000 group.

Posted by roget 15 days ago (Flag)
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@po-po-pro I have just been blocked by a user because I wrote those lines under my id..

Posted by ludol 15 days ago (Flag)
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I started doing IDs as a service, and quickly discovered that it's a great way to learn and a great way to generate curiosity questions I can answer with still more IDs. From the comments above, a lot of other identifiers have made the same discovery. We need to promote this more!

Is there a way to find observations that I ID'd some time back, say two years ago? I've learned a lot about my specialist groups and it would be nice to review some of those early ones to see if I'd change them now.

Posted by janetwright 15 days ago (Flag)
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@ludol That's strange. I never even noticed that a blocking feature was available here!
Never mind; you made some really good points and it's up to each individual to take it on their merit.

Posted by po-po-pro 15 days ago (Flag)
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@ludol and @po-po-pro you are right that it's an issue.

Should there be a prompt when agreeing to an ID given by someone else along the lines of
" Agree with someone else's identification? Go ahead, if you can confidently identify it yourself"

Of course, all are learning all the time, so everyone makes mistakes.

Posted by mags49 14 days ago (Flag)
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@mags49 @ludol Thanks for writing. I think we can agree iNaturalist is, in general, doing a fantastic job for all of us. But, frankly, I think it is the current system that creates the issue of dubious IDers. If there was no incentive for IDing observations for people, like getting one's name into the top 10/top 100 list, how many people would still relentlessly ID observations??

I think the answer is easy to guess. Those who are really keen on IDing for the sake of nature, for the love of their hobby, would still do it. Those who do it for the sake of upping their numbers would stop, because there's no longer a visible incentive. For this reason alone, I think the glorification of ID numbers and top 10/top 100 charts should go. Because it isn't a competition. These numbers could still be recorded for the purpose of cataloguing, but they need not be visible openly on the user interface to wear as a badge of honour.

Posted by po-po-pro 14 days ago (Flag)

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