How not to get started in iNaturalist

I don't see people using iNaturalist posts much, but I've had a few thoughts about this resource that it might be useful to jot down. Not that they'll get much circulation, but maybe someday they'll come in handy. So here's one thought.

I joined iNaturalist a couple of months ago and right away made a tactical error. I had a collection of single photos of plant species that I'd identified (about 700 of them), so I just loaded them onto iNaturalist in the first couple of weeks. I didn't first figure out the system, that you need to work up a group of people with similar taxonomic interests or similar geography, and typically they will be the ones who review your observations as they come in. I had no community, so my several hundred plant observations languished unreviewed, and they quickly got buried in the sands of time.

Since then, some of those submissions have been stumbled upon and reviewed, and I've prevailed on several of you to look back at specific old submissions, and people have been very congenial and cooperative. But if I had had a better idea of how IDs on iNaturalist worked, I wouldn't have done that data dump. I'd have submitted a few things but spent more time identifying other people's observations and getting to know the observers a bit.

Posted by janetwright janetwright, November 10, 2017 03:44

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Yeah, if you upload in a hurry it often takes a while before things get identified. The reviewers just get bored, particularly if they don't know who you are. People periodically check species for observations which were missed though and the new identification tool is remarkably fast. So it is unlikely they will be permanently without confirmation.

Posted by glmory almost 3 years ago (Flag)
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I find plants tend to languish a bit more. Similar things happen with insects. This seems especially true during the field seasons when all the plant scientists are out in the field doing survey work. If you load a bunch of plants in May and June they might be sitting a while for the active plant IDers are out working on their own projects.

Posted by vermfly almost 3 years ago (Flag)

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