How to be a good iNat user :)

Being here for a while and gaining some experience, I decide to give some advises to fellow users. :)

For observers:

1) Do not merge photos of different specimens. They may (and quite often do) appear to be different species.

2) On the contrary, if you are certain that you are posting different photographs of the same specimen, merge them.

3) If you have photographs of the same specimen showing different views, post them all. This may help dramatically to identify your specimen correctly. On the contrary, posting very long series of photos with nearly identical view is not helpful.

4) Do not duplicate exactly the same observations.

For identifiers:

1) Do not put a species level ID unless you are completely sure (or at least you think you are sure :)) it is correct. Think a bit before you press the button. :)

2) If you see a wrong determination, but do not know how to put a correct species level one, still do not pass it by. Correct it to genus or higher level. Not all photographs are suitable for species level determination, and not all organisms can be identified to species by photographs. Still, it is much better to have a correct higher level determination than an incorrect species level one.

Good luck. :)

Posted by kharkovbut kharkovbut, March 25, 2019 10:27 PM


Great points!

Can I expand on multiple photos of a single specimen?? Multiple photos are really helpful if you want others to properly ID it. For plants, I try to give a set of photos that includes:

A picture of the whole plant, including something to show its size, like my hand, a penny, a person standing, or a building.
A close-up of a representative leaf. If the plant has leaves of different shapes (like mulberry or sassafras), try to include a range of shapes.
A shot of a twig or stem showing how the leaves are attached to the stem. It also guards against not getting the leaf attachment if what looks like a single leaf is really one of many leaflets of a compound leaf.
A close-up of the bark of a tree. Bark can be very helpful.
Close-ups of its flowers and/or fruits.
For flowers, take a picture from several angles. The details of what separates one species from another might be a feature you can see from the front, but it might also be a structure at the back of the flower or something you can only see from the side.

I take several photos of each view part (say, a leaf) to make sure I have a shot in good focus. Then I go back later and use the best shots when I create and upload my observations.

And now that a teenager has shown me how to adjust the exposure on my phone :-), I snap the flowers in normal, lighter and darker exposure.

Posted by jbecky almost 4 years ago (Flag)

@jbecky Thanks! I am mostly interested in insects, but tried to formulate my suggestions in the most general form. :) Surely your additions concerning plants are very useful.

Posted by kharkovbut almost 4 years ago (Flag)

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