chrisbrooks's picture

Associations again

Does anyone particularly like the simple reversal of images in an association.

Just for a notional example, there is an image of a Comma Butterfly on the flower. The Comma is easy in the invertebrates section but then to add the flower in the plants section without further images of the leaves etc.

Is that right ?

I'm not saying it's wrong but sometimes it is very difficult to agree to an identification when there is very little of the flower to go on.

I'd be interested in other people's opinions. At the end of the day it's not a big issue but to some an important one.

Reply

Comments

lavateraguy's picture

I do feel ...

... that there should be evidence to support both ends of an association.

Jonathan's picture

Indeed, that is right. Quite

Indeed, that is right. Quite possibly we should remove the option to reuse pictures. It seemed a good facility at the time we designed it, but it is being misused I'm afraid. When I see that I try to politely ask for identifiable pics, but that rarely has any effect since I suppose people would use them in the first place if they had them.

It may interest you to know that the South Africans have taken rather more to the interactions than UK users seem to have done
http://www.ispot.org.za/interactions/latest

One possible interpretation of the UK- SA difference is that UK naturalists need to open their eyes a bit more to the ecological interactions around them. I know that I am being provocative in saying this, but its the same iSpot software in UK & ZA so there has to be an explanation for the difference in its reception.

We will be improving the whole layout of iSpot pages including how interactions are recorded and displayed for the next version. That will fix some of the things that are disliked.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

DavidHowdon's picture

No do-able

If the flower cannot be identified from the information provided (and I was confident that was not just becuase of my lack of botanical skill) then I would probably add a revised ID at a higher taxonomic level (genus, family or whatever) and explain why it is not possible to ID it.

That would encourage people to provide the extra information necessary to achieve a full ID (whether in the form of extra photos or text descriptions of the relevant features).

landgirl's picture

Associations

I just skip over these, otherwise they annoy me too much. Today I saw images of the same plant posted 3 times with different insects on it. Not a big issue, as you say, but my opinion is that this is not how the system was intended to be used.

Rachy Ramone's picture

I am completely uninterested...

... in these pesky associations: I don't even look at them.

When the facility was first dumped on us - sorry, "introduced" - I got quite militant about asking the poster to give additional photos of the plant if they wanted it IDd, not just plonking the same bug-weighted picture onto the system.

Wasted my time, alienated several bug people.

In retrospect, I suspect that it's mostly us "plant" people who are suffering from the plague of useless photos of a plant with a beautifully photographed insect obscuring it: it doesn't seem to raise the hackles of any other group.

Tired of banging my head on the wall, I just gave up looking at observations that were clearly just a bug pic with a plant as background, and I don't even bother looking at the associations carousel.

Other people are really thrilled by the associations: it's just not for me.

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

Ray Turner's picture

I tend...

... to agree. I personally find it quite trivial, uninteresting and often irrelevant; I have ignored it almost from the off. My one gripe is it does clutter the observation page; I think this is true even if you are a fan, hence it would be great if it was able to be switched off or hidden or tabbed or something.

Ray

Ray

Rachy Ramone's picture

Ah, the clutter...

...sorry, I forgot to mention that as another reason why I dislike this facility.

I hate the clutter.

(It also lengthens the already lengthy time it takes my poor ancient compooter to load iSpot pages, but that's a personal gripe.)

I think that on other forums, the suggestion of being able to disable it was turned down by iSpot on the grounds that they want us to immerse ourselves in the fundamental inter-connectedness of all things (D. Gently) and that they think associations are the foundation of iSpot.

Personally I'm not convinced.

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

dejayM's picture

fire and forgets

Clutter Rachy, where have I heard that before?
http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/322136#comment-114114
and
http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/330914#comment-114770
I cannot believe that many users, particularly those who 'fire and forget', spend time looking at associations.
It's dangerous, isn't it, being specific. But here goes - I really don't understand the specific association between an apple and a chiff chaff - you'll have to search for it, then tell me.
Oh dear again, just ignore me!
ðerek

ophrys's picture

Aaaaghsociations

That is my new name for some of them.

My big bugbear is when an association is put up without 100% confidence in the ID of one or the other. How on earth can you do an association if not even sure what the species are??!!

[I do retain the basic idea that they are a good thing, though...if done properly]

Ian
_________________

My Flickr photos...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52163027@N02/

dejayM's picture

how far

How can it be done properly Ian?
Why just Harvest Mouse for Reeds and not 239.75 other species. Oak tree/jay/squirrel/eggar/whisky makers - where will it go, where will it stop?
And why not a researched link or two in Description?
http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/harvest-mouse
My gripe is clutter and download time..
Please spend this energy helping first- to fourth-timers understand that descriptive- and ID-notes are FAR more important than associations!
Please?
ðerek

ophrys's picture

"Why just Harvest Mouse for

"Why just Harvest Mouse for Reeds and not 239.75 other species"

I don't understand what you mean...

Surely you are not against the basic principle of associations? No organisms exist in isolation and understanding the relationships is what it is all about, unless you just have the i-spy approach to natural history.

But, let's make sure that the species involved are correct and that the association is a valid one. No more Chiffchaffs in an apple tree or whatever! ;)

Ian
_________________

My Flickr photos...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52163027@N02/

dejayM's picture

mouse nests in reeds

Ian - sorry, a bit flippant..
I mean why single out ONE species when several thousand might, even will, have an association.
I am against the GRAPHIC Display per se and also tenuous (annoying?) associations like at
http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/330937
There I've linked it...
and...
http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/330108#comment-111325
and
http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/330108#comment-111351
ðerek

DavidHowdon's picture

Not sure I see what you are getting at

If I see a moth (which I cannot identify) nectaring at a flower (which I cannot identify) that is a clear association even though I cannot identify either organism involved.

The entries once uploaded will be identified in the usual iSpot way.

Not sure I am seeing why that would be a problem so perhaps I am overlooking something.

dejayM's picture

tired

Well David I'm not quite certain whether this is a follow on from your earlier comment or a natural response to mine above. But it doesn't matter. I have tired of suggesting it's not good (Associations) and I THOUGHT I had made a reasonable case but now I'm not so certain.
I have been put in my place pretty firmly here
http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/348212 (comments)
where Jonathan and WLR make a worthy case, particularly about broken hyperlinks.
Reading back above I can also see I have NOT made a clear case anyway.
I won't use it (Associations) because I simply don't like it and it DOES clutter; I shall flit over it wherever it occurs.
But, BUT, I can see that some seniors, and obviously admin, like it. I am very junior here.

Ray Turner's picture

Ecology

The world is run by ecologists these days dejay. Nothing against ecologists, some of them are even quite nice ;-)

A related debate is happening within the RSPB at the moment and I’m close to walking away from that too.

Ray

Ray

Jonathan's picture

"The world is run by

"The world is run by ecologists "
Absolutely!
"Today iSpot, tomorrow the world!"
;-)

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

Rachy Ramone's picture

Ecologists!

*throws stuffed dolphin at Jonathan*

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

Ray Turner's picture

How does...

... it work when, after some time, there are two dozen species of moth associated with the flower? I can see its usefulness but I don’t like the prominence it has taken within the observation and for me distracts from the most useful area after the observation itself which is the comments.They are now pushed even further down the page.

Also how does it work (visually) when one or both observations are descriptive (text) only? I hold my breath in anticipation of v3 because this is close to being a deal breaker for me as is.

Ray

Ray