moremoth's picture

Identification notes when no ID is given

I notice that if I enter notes in the identification box, but do not give an ID, the notes are discarded and therefore people who might find them useful never get to see them. Every now and then I do want to point out useful or interesting features, even if I don't know where they lead to.

I think this could be improved! Such notes need to be kept.

Bill Welch

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Comments

DavidHowdon's picture

I'd agree

You can keep the comments there by entering a very high level ID (Insecta for example) but that is not an ideal workaround - and prevents your entry appearing on the un-IDd display on the front page which can be helpful to give it a second chance in the limelight.

JoC's picture

Thanks, David. However, we

Thanks, David. However, we cannot assume new users will find this out. There have been some comments on several posts and in forum discussions where the lack of info has been noticed by those trying to provide an id. However, if the poster has added info & it has not been included, then the 'fault' is not theirs.
I agree that this needs to be adressed by the iSpot team, and suggest that notes provided by the poster, in whichever box they are posted, are kept.
Jo

Jo

Matt Smith's picture

Comments

Forgive the question, but if you are wishing to enter notes in the ID box, why do you not give an ID as well - I have always assumed the "notes" section was there for the Identifier to add some notes relating to their particular ID they posted.

The comments box would seem to fulfill the requirement of a place to post notes or comments without offering an ID - several users on the site do this regularly.

Tachinid Recording Scheme

www.tachinidae.org.uk

TRS Facebook Page
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tachinid-Recording-Scheme/376652392364707

moremoth's picture

ID Comments

The box is headed "ID notes" and it seems logical to put there things that lead to an identification, even if I can't make one. For example, wing length of a moth. To then identify is as "Lepidoptera" does not seem useful and the wing length plays no part in such an identification. But someone else might know the species and the wing length would be helpful or sometimes essential in that determination.

This is the actual example that made me start this thread. I had to add the wing length again in a comment box, where it will not appear in iSpot's records relating to the ID.

So I think the ID box should relate to identification of the observation. Slightly different to your interpretation. if iSpot wants to retain information about how identifications are made, that is how to do it.

Bill

Bill Welch

Rachy Ramone's picture

I had always assumed...

...that the sort of ID note you describe should be in the first text box, entered when you create the ID.

So you have the picture(s) then your description of the specimen, along with any relevant sizes, and any location information that might help.

A lot of iSpotters only add pictures, but I have always felt that it adds to the experience for everyone (particularly relative beginners) if you add some description of the specimen, as well as providing photos.

I am also very much in favour of adding useful info in the ID, duplicating it if necessary; as has been said, not everyone reads the comments so if I make an ID because of a particular feature/length/size, then I add it to the ID box as well as the Observation text (assuming it's my own observation, that is).

In the case you describe, I would have put the measurement in the text of the observation when I created it, and would hope, with fingers crossed, that when someone made the ID, they would mention that measurement.

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

moremoth's picture

Fingers crossed ..

But this is a computer programme, and it should be easy to do away with the need to hope with fingers crossed.

Bill

Bill Welch

Matt Smith's picture

ID

According to the OP, the problem arises when he wishes to add "ID notes" to the Observation but not actually submit an ID. These notes are only displayed if there is an associated ID - if the box is filled in with no ID offered at any level then the notes are lost when you leave the page.

I have always used the "ID Notes" section to add info as to why I have chosen that particular ID - eg "it has X stripes on the back rather than y". I have always looked on this box as something that is associated with the particular determination given rather than a general description.

The OP has 3 options here.

1) Either provide a very high level ID (e.g. A moth) and then use the "ID notes" section to hold the details.

2) Use the Comments box as discussed

3) Post an Observation and use the "Description" box of the Observation for this purpose - it does seem to be what it was designed for after all.

I think #3 is probably the best solution to this rather than asking the i-Spot team to redesign the whole page.

Tachinid Recording Scheme

www.tachinidae.org.uk

TRS Facebook Page
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tachinid-Recording-Scheme/376652392364707

moremoth's picture

Redesign?

Well, keeping the contents of a box is far from redesigning the whole page. In fact, no page redesign at all is involved. They don't even have to keep the information in the long term if they don't want it, as I understand they don't keep the comments.

But if an observer goes to the trouble of entering details in a box, it seems perverse to throw them away without warning, whatever the purpose of the box might be.

Bill

Bill Welch

Rachy Ramone's picture

"they don't keep the comments."

Really? *surprised look* I didn't know this.

I think "redesigning the whole page" means that for the system to accept an ID box without an actual ID would need some work... and would (I think) be wrong, as the whole purpose of the ID box is for the ID.

I do honestly think my suggestion of putting your ID pointers in the first, description, box is the right thing to do.

I do agree that it must be VERY annoying to have carefully typed out your ID details into the ID box, and then have the lot wiped out because you didn't add an actual ID. I have not made this mistake yet (give me time...) but presumably now that you know about it, you won't do that again, will you?

Actually, you do raise an interesting point: when I fill in an ID box - whether it's my own Obs, or that of someone else - I don't put in the species name until I have filled in the ID details, knowing that once you "enter" the ID, you can't go back and edit it. So I like to type in all the little details and check speeling, etc, before adding the name.

This is always difficult because of having to scroll up and down the tiny ID text input box.

It would be great if we could have a Preview ID Box option: then if the species name had not been filled in, a warning could appear.

This would solve the problem of disappearing descriptions, and would possibly even allow the option for the inputted species name to be compared against the database - a spelling error might return an error message saying "did you mean xxxx". This might cut down the number of double IDs for correcting spelling.

It wouldn't solve your issue, Bill, sorry, but I hope you might in time come round to the suggestion of using the initial description text?

We can't force people to tell us WHY they are choosing a specific ID, all we can do is to keep on asking them how they knew it: although there have been suggestions that the text part of the ID box should be compulsory, and I am all in favour of that.

Any ID is worthwhile if you don't know what an Obs is, but an ID with text explaining the feature is worth a whole lot more.

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

steve_t's picture

Text entry boxes

Raxchy, if you click and hold on the small hatched triangle in the bottom right hand corner of a text input box it can be stretched to the right and downwards (saves a lot of scrolling) . Well thats how it works for me, but I don't know if it's browser or OS specific.

Steve.

Rachy Ramone's picture

Huh!

Two housepoints and a gold star to Steve!

Oh, hold the gold star, we're not too keen on them...

Many thanks for that pointer, Steve, you are completely correct, it works beautifully, and I had never noticed it.

"There are times when I think I'm not as bright as I think I am"

!

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

JoC's picture

stretching the box

thanks Steve - that is really useful - like Rachy I had not seen the small hatched triangle. Forum comments are often a good source of info for alerting us to the tricks.
Jo

Jo

JonathanWallace's picture

I do agree that adding ID

I do agree that adding ID notes is very useful. I do try to make a point of doing so at least when correcting someone else's id.
Certainly if someone corrects an id I have suggested I would want to know the reasons why the new one is more likely - otherwise it is difficult to learn from the correction.

Jonathan Wallace

Martin Harvey's picture

ID notes

As mentioned above (and as it says if you click on the small "?" icon next to the ID notes box), the ID notes box was originally intended for "Notes on how or why you’ve suggested this identification." We didn't expect people to want to use it for notes where is no identification (that type of note was intended to go in the "Description" box).

But I entirely agree that it is unhelpful for the ID notes box to be available for you to type into when there is no ID suggested. It's one of many things on our wishlist to sort out, and we'll try to do so as soon as we can.

Thanks for the comments.

----
Entomologist and biological recorder

JoC's picture

small "?" icon

now located and it does say that; I had not noticed it before. Must get better glasses...
Jo

Jo

moremoth's picture

Thanks.

Thanks.

Bill

Bill Welch

dejayM's picture

Forcing ID Notes

I think you could take a tip from the relative beginner here -
http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/361287
So, write something clever as an ID and add your notes - simples?

moremoth's picture

Tip

Yes, but the point is not for me to learn how to get around the system, but for the system not to need to be got around. For the benefit of those who don't know that their text is going to be thrown away.
Bill

Bill Welch

dejayM's picture

inspired

The above comment trail inspired this post
http://www.ispotnature.org/node/388474
ðj