david1973's picture

Foreign observations

I'm getting rather frustrated with the huge amount of postings of flora and fauna species from different countries outside the uk and Europe.

Couldn't ispot create a special filter for these observations, I'm only interested as I suspect as the bulk of people registered with this site in recording or spotting uk and European flora and fauna species.



ophrys's picture


There was an earlier thread on foreign observations, David...


I have to say that the feel of iSpot does seem to have changed a bit, recently, with whole back catalogues of pictures being uploaded, making it harder to pick out the sightings from less experienced iSpotters who know little and need more basic help (which is iSpot's great boon...how quickly IDs can be given to those new to natural history).

It's less of a problem in winter, when not so many pics are uploaded, but come the spring it could become overloaded if people continue to upload picture after picture.


My Flickr photos...


Simon Walker's picture

I'm inclined to agree with Ian

I believe there were moves afoot to add some sort of geographical filter, but I don't know if there's been any progress with this.
It occurs to me that a another change that might be helpful would be a sort facility by sighting date. I've quite often looked at a new entry and thought, "Gosh! That's unusual at this time of year", only to find that it's a photograph taken months - sometimes years - ago. I don't mind them being put up on iSpot, but if we could sort by observation date as an option...

Martin Harvey's picture


Filtering for dates and geographical areas is on its way! I know we've been saying that for some time now, but it is going to happen!

The enhancements to geographical filtering in particular are requiring some fairly major re-designs behind the scenes, and as yet the new developments haven't started to be implemented on the live website. But once they are ready we hope that you will easily be able to find the observations you are interested in, from any part of the world.

We'll keep you posted.

Entomologist and biological recorder

MatthewGirling's picture

Really need this soon.

Right now every picture on the carousel is from one user who seems to have just got back from his holiday in Portugal. I know he/she means well but it's quite annoying as it's not what I come on here for.

I'd like to float the idea of a limit to how many observations you can add in a day too. Then we won't get photo dumping.


Ray Turner's picture

Not so sure

I agree there are issues around this type of mass post. Many of these should be at least mitigated by the up and coming new version of iSpot such as geographical filtering and so on. I’m not sure I would want to see a daily limit on number of observations, mainly because I can imagine a situation where having got back from a holiday I would want to do the same. Perhaps because I never use the carousel I don’t find this sort of thing annoying; I only ever enter observations via my unread list in My Spot.

What concerns me more is the effect on reputation; I believe the concept is in danger of being devalued by quantity over quality. This should not be viewed as a criticism of any individuals, it is an inevitable consequence of being a long time user of iSpot, just some will get there earlier than others. The question is what value will a reputation have when we are all running around with five stars?



Simon Walker's picture


I agree with you there, Ray. I've been on iSpot now for well over two years, and it took me that long to get my fifth "bird". I'll be honest and admit that I was tempted on occasion to put up photos that had little to commend them, either in interest, in quality, a need for help in identification, but seeing some of the stuff that one or two others had posted stopped me.

There are some iSpot users who are, in my view, outstanding - and others who are less so.
When someone adds a comment to an observation reminding the new user to add an identification before someone else does, I think it shows great consideration and decency. When, as a beginner, it first happened to me, I was deeply impressed by their kindness.

I hesitate to name names - I think they know who they are - but we need more people like that.



Simon Walker's picture

This Isn't The First Time...

I agree with your first point, Matthew. We need the filter. It's happened before - last year there was a rash of sightings from South America.

As far as daily limits go though, I'm not so sure. If you've been on holiday you might (if you're lucky!) have quite a few worthwhile images you've not been able to load until you've got back; it would seem hard to hear you've got to stagger them over several days, or not post them at all.