Identify

iNat doesn't work unless people are adding identifications to observations, but we've never really had a good tool to help identifiers add identifications efficiently, so we made one: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify. Identify is a lot like our observations search page, but you can view and identify observations without leaving the page. We've also really tried to make it fast and efficient for people who add a lot of identifications, so there is extensive support for keyboard shortcuts: arrow keys navigate between observations, "i" brings up the identification form, "c" brings up the comment form, "r" marks the observation as reviewed, and "z" marks it as captive / cultivated.

So check it out! Even if you're not a super hardcore identifier, you can still help out by working through observations with no identifications: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?iconic_taxa[]=unknown. If you have any feedback, drop us a message in the Google Group.

Posted by kueda kueda, June 14, 2016 01:07

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Yup, me too. That's why the first two filters on the page are taxon and place. The place filter is a little different than the one on the obs search page since it will only filter by places that have already been entered in iNat, but we have quite a few of those at this point, including every nation an sub-national political body. So for instance, I might filter by nudibranchs of California: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?taxon_id=47113&place_id=14.

Posted by kueda about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Well I suspect I am going to be in the minority but I liked the old format so much more. This new page loads slower on my computer, also when I click on a record hoping to see the data I can't always get it to come up. If I click directly on the picture or the little magnifying glass icon nothing happens other than my screen going grey. If I click on the proposed Id that will bring up the information page, however if the name is both latin and common names the second Id is hidden under the giant agree button. If the entry is just titled unknown, I can not get it to open when I click on it. All in all not a big fan at this point.

Posted by gcsnelling about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I have been using this like crazy -- I love it. It helps me go back to get lots of those observations that have been waiting for months/years. My two cents: it's great.

Posted by sambiology about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@marisbee is pretty slow, so forgive her ;) and she can't hear Henslow's Sparrows to save her life.

Posted by anewman about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@gcsnelling, can you send a screenshot of what you're seeing to help@inaturalist.org, along with information about what browser you're using? If you're using Internet Explorer, can you give it a try in Firefox or Chrome?

Posted by kueda about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Oh, THIS is why not much of anything is getting identified anymore. It only displays ONE photo.
For plants and insects, one photo is not nearly enough to make an ID.
This tool might be useful for species that are obvious to everybody. It is not a tool for advanced ID

Posted by ellen5 about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I definitely love the new layout for things that I'm familiar with (birds, butterflies) -- a much quicker way to confirm a bunch of IDs at once. Other than confirming IDs, it does feel a bit slower than the old layout for simply looking at observations, but I know that's not really the purpose of it. Plus, it only adds a few extra seconds which in the long run isn't much.

Posted by ryanandrews about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@ellen5, try clicking on an observation. You'll get a popup that shows all the photos in a slide show. You can click on a photo to zoom in. If you're noticing fewer of your observations getting ID'd it probably has more to do with the fact that we're growing and identifiers are getting exhausted with the flood of observations (I know I feel that way). This tool will probably actually help with that.
by allowing people to ID more things faster. At least that's the hope.

@ryanandrews, yeah, this is a tool for identifying. http://www.inaturalist.org/observations is what you want for looking at and browsing observations.

Posted by kueda about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Must retrain. OK, i'll give it a go. If it's good enough for Sam, it's good enough for me!

Posted by ellen5 about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@ellen5, if there's more than one photo on an observation, you can see that there are multiple photos and click between them. Maybe explore it further to find some with multiple pics?

Edit: Sorry I was commenting on a page that I opened an hour ago and didn't see the newer comments yet!

Posted by carrieseltzer about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Another kvetch: when using this tool. it won't display my own observations. This bugs me.

Posted by ellen5 about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Making identifications is an intellectual process that takes attention and care. Changing the way stuff is displayed can not speed up this work, at least not for me. I will still be going to USDA plants, to BugGuide, to my reference books, to google, and multiple other sources.
The rate limiting step is not the interface.
I am loathe to suggest that making the enterprise more mobile-friendly will tend to encourage sloppiness

Posted by ellen5 about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Must be a lot of people using this, it won't come up for me today. I'm using Firefox now, but can't get it to come up on Chrome, either.

Posted by cgritz about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@ellen5, this tool is not meant to be the only tool you use to identify things. Of course we expect you to use other websites and books to look things up when you have to, as I hope everyone else is doing when adding identifications anywhere on the site. This tool is just meant to make the process of identifying observations on iNat more efficient by eliminating the need to open a lot of windows or navigate back and forth between searching and viewing observations. If it doesn't make things more efficient for you, you don't have to use it. For what it's worth, you can view your own observations in this tool by choosing the "Your observations" filter in the filters menu, but this tool is really more focused on helping other people.

Whether or not this tool encourages incorrect identifications is an open question, and I guess time will tell. Personally, I'm certainly noticing that I seem to be making a higher volume of higher-level identifications, which is good since I'm moving the ball forward on more observations that I was before, but bad because I could probably make an even more specific ID if I put some more time into it. That might be bad overall if everyone identified the same way, but I suspect we'll start seeing two different kinds of behavior: higher-level ID'ing like I described, and more targeted ID'ing by place and/or taxon, e.g. when I decide I want to ID nudibranchs in California, I can be very specific, and if I see something I don't know off the top of my head, I'm usually pretty motivated to figure out what it is.

@cgritz: it's working for me in Firefox and Chrome on a Mac. Are you seeing any kind of error message? Or just a blank screen or something?

Posted by kueda about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Q1 How do you get this slideshow? I don't see any slide show. Right now i'm looking at Chrome on Windows 7. If i use the arrow keys on my keyboard, it goes to some other observation.
Q2 A problem for me is what is not visible: how many photos are in the observation. On the current "identify" interface, the first photo becomes make or break as to whether i decided to put effort into the observation.

On the previous interface, i could make a better decision because i can see whether there is just the one or whether there are five or ten more images to substantiate the identification.
This is important information in the decision to ID
Q3 If i reload the "Identify" page, it does not refresh. So the same list of observations appears, including the ones that I have already assigned an ID, still marked "unknown"

Posted by ellen5 about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Q4 How do i get the observation to load in a new tab, so that i CAN spend more time on it?

Posted by ellen5 about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I've been using it since it was posted in the Google group. For me I like it... overall I'm much faster with this one than the old one!

For those who don't like it, you can also try what I used to do - do a search for what you want, and use the center mouse button to open each observation in its own tab and go through them. That still works AFAIK.

My wish list: make the map enlargeable and include satellite. Not sure if others care, I'm a big map person...

Posted by charlie about 4 years ago (Flag)
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also @ellen5 you mention mobile friendly... I tried it on an iphone and it didn't seem particularly mobile friendly... is there a mobile version of this? I don't think it would particularly encourage sloppiness, and I'd definitely use it if it existed! ID using the iphone app thus far isn't a particularly efficient process, and there are times when I'd love to help with ID on the phone.

Posted by charlie about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@ellen5, can you send a screenshot of what you're seeing to help@inaturalist.org? I can test on a Windows machine tomorrow. It would help if you could show me what you see when you view one of the observations at http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?user_id=1&taxon_id=61945&place_id=any. Almost all of those should have multiple photos.

You can click the link button or the title of the popup to open an observation in a new window / tab.

Posted by kueda about 4 years ago (Flag)
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It's just a blank screen in both where the Identify should be. Top and bottom banners are there. But it may be my old laptop, too. It's been acting funny today.

Posted by cgritz about 4 years ago (Flag)
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And for some reason, it kills my Trend Micro anti virus at the same time. I think it's time for a new computer for me! Updated: maybe. every time I try to load the Identify page, and I've tried two days in a row, now, it gets blocked by my anti virus software, which then (Trend Micro) blinks off and restarts. That doesn't happen with any other program or app on my computer.

Posted by cgritz about 4 years ago (Flag)
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how about project admins being able to add observations to projects from the new id interface, please?

Posted by hkmoths about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@hkmoths, there's a project filter in the filters menu.

Posted by kueda about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@kueda: Where was this 10 days ago when I had 300 tabs open? It looks great, very efficient and I particularly like the photo zoom.

What about something to add to Favorites? I use Favorites as a sort of to-do list of sorts, or a queue of things I want to spend some more time on at some point. Not the ideal; I guess custom lists that could have observations added manually would be even more useful.

Posted by mickley about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@ kueda,
Many thanks, I'll see if I can figure things out...... I'll be back if I can't. Overall, this "upgrade" could substantially reduce my time on i.d. work for the bulk of the moths in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and other parts of the Oriental Region where I help out..... most observations are of the better known species.
Thx again for your work (along with the rest of the iNat team) behind the scenes coding the source programming. Makes a big difference having good technical staff working on improving the site

Posted by hkmoths about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Is there a way to 'save' a set of filters? I feel capable of identifying birds and mammals in California. I have to go through the process of checking the boxes each time I use Identify (or its older version). It would be easier to be able to save a template of my regularly used filters and just click one 'saved filters' box.

Posted by philwarren about 4 years ago (Flag)
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hmm - I still can't add an observation to a project, using this new method for identification. I can only see (using the filter) which species are already in a particular project.

Posted by hkmoths about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@philwarren, all the filters you set should be in the URL, so you can bookmark any set of filters using plain old browser bookmarks.

@hkmoths, no ability to add to projects at the moment. If you really care about having observations in a project I'd recommend making sure your project rules are set up and turning on the observation aggregator. It's a bit tricky for moths, but I think it should be possible by changing the rules to require all the moth superfamilies instead of requiring anything in Lepidoptera. Might want to try it out with a test project first.

Posted by kueda about 4 years ago (Flag)
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thx for that - is it possible to set up an exclusion filter, please? - e.g. Lepidoptera except Papilionoidea - that would be way quicker than including filters for 40+ superfamilies ....

Posted by hkmoths about 4 years ago (Flag)
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This looks like it will be extremely useful. I played around on it and didn't experience any problems. This probably won't speed up complicated IDs but has the potential to greatly speed up simple ones.

Posted by nathantaylor about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Ok, sorry for not getting back sooner, whatever changes have been made since my first post have fixed most of the issues I was having however those entries marked unknown are still problematic for me as they do not take you to the observations actual information. However clicking the caption unknown does nothing.

Posted by gcsnelling about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Two thumbs up from me. I'm loving it.

Posted by jon_sullivan about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@gcsnelling -- I open the 'unknowns' in a new window/tab -- and that helps.

I've been using this tool like loco -- I think it's super great.

Posted by sambiology about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@sambiology thanks will give that a go.

Posted by gcsnelling about 4 years ago (Flag)

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