Does anyone else get annoyed by this?

Does anyone else get annoyed by how many observations are marked as "unknown species"? I will make exceptions for audio only observations, but theres 2.3 million observations with pictures that are left blank. I think it's weird because not only does iNat have an algorithm designed to ID species but these posts are like of a mushroom or something and OP doesnt even mark it as a Fungi they just go "I have no idea what this is!", either that or they're being lazy? Or pictures of everyday animals like deer or pigeons and people are still like "I've never seen this in my life.". Doing the math its only about 1% of all of the observations uploaded but its still kinda weird how many people dont even at least ID their observations as an animal, plant, fungi etc., like it's not that hard.

Maybe this is just me taking things too seriously idk.

Posted by wolfram06 wolfram06, May 14, 2022 06:15

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I'm not necessarily annoyed, but more so just disappointed, I guess. Could be that some people are hasty (almost happened to me a few times). When you upload multiple observations, it could happen. Or they're new to iNaturalist and don't know how it works. It is a bit upsetting to see, but I'm personally not that annoyed by it

Posted by juliaminoda 14 days ago (Flag)

Does anyone else get annoyed by how many observations are marked as "unknown species"?

I'm sure some people get annoyed by this, and it is easy to see why. It does show that no 'net effort' was made to classify the taxon, which can make it more difficult to find for those that pay attention to specific branches of the tree of life.

Personally, I am not annoyed by this behavior. It isn't ideal, but the way I look at it is three-fold:

If some other aspects of the observation, such as the location/date/image, are acceptable, then it still has the potential to be used in a data analysis.
People are volunteering their time/attention/energy where they see fit. Variation in invested resources may be an acceptable tradeoff for getting more data.
The introductions to iNaturalist I have seen suggest that initial classification is encouraged, but I have yet to see an official policy that non-classified observations are disallowed.

theres 2.3 million observations with pictures that are left blank.

This is why I greatly appreciate those people that are spending their time/attention/energy on providing ID's. There is a lot of work to be done, and people are volunteering to chip away at it.

Doing the math its only about 1% of all of the observations uploaded but its still kinda weird how many people dont even at least ID their observations as an animal, plant, fungi etc., like it's not that hard.

I disagree that this is weird. To err is human. I still make basic arithmetic mistakes even though I can train artificial neural networks, understand abstract algebra, and apply the Cramér-Rao bound to estimate standard errors of parameters in structural equation models.

Your concern about the quality of observations is valid; it matters for the goals of the iNaturalist project. Also remember that we are all human and that often the perfect is the enemy of good.

If you want another mantra to remember: Encourage the good, and tolerate the imperfect.

Posted by galenseilis 13 days ago (Flag)

I don't understand why people don't use the ID system to make a broad statement. However, it might be (as said above) people making an error with their initial uploads, or perhaps not being clear when the join and they wish a different type of interaction - a social network perhaps.

Posted by henacynflin 13 days ago (Flag)

I don't understand why people don't use the ID system to make a broad statement.

I don't specifically understand that either.

Applying a principle of charity, I would also guess that it is a misunderstanding by a user on how the application/website is intended to work by the creators.

Posted by galenseilis 13 days ago (Flag)

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