Martin Harvey's picture

Communities and languages

This forum is for feedback on the new features coming on to iSpot in October 2013, starting with the communities and languages features as outlined here:



Ray Turner's picture


Hi Martin

Interesting to see this much talked about feature coming on line – though as I write this on the 9th it doesn’t seem to be implemented. I had trouble logging in yesterday, something to do with this perhaps?

I have read the explanation given in your link, based on this can you clarify please?

Lets imagine a scenario a little further down the line and there are 4 communities, A to D say, plus global. Will I be able to select communities A, C, and D thus opting out of B?



Martin Harvey's picture


Hi Ray, and yes, the updates took a little longer than we'd predicted, but the first tranche are now on the site.

For now, you can only choose to be in one community at a time, so you wouldn't be able to choose "everything except B". However, we realise that there are potentially a lot of different ways in which people might wish to use the communities to filter out different options, and we are looking at how it can be made as flexible as possible (without becoming too confusing).

Entomologist and biological recorder

landgirl's picture

UK & Ireland

I've selected this, but am still getting international observations (just seen one from Spain).

marksteer's picture

This is all too complicated

This is all too complicated for me!
I'm not going to post new observations for a week or two and see how this all settles down.
I appreciate that iSpot Team and Technical people are working hard on 'improving' the site but there have been so many problems using the site over the past few weeks that I feel like following Dormice and starting my hibernation!
I think the site is very good but with recent problems it's putting me off.

The more I know the more I realise I don't know

wildaboutnature's picture

Hi Mark Yes it has been a bit

Hi Mark
Yes it has been a bit frustrating the last few weeks and I'm really sorry to hear that its putting you off. I've really enjoyed your contribution to the site since you joined and I really hope that you'll feel like sticking around once things have settled down - which I'm sure they will. I think its very important that we don't lose users such as yourself at this time - please do bear with us!
Kind regards

Clare Flynn

marksteer's picture

Hi Clare, I'm not going to

Hi Clare,

I'm not going to post new Observations for the next few days - problems with the site and National Fungus Day this weekend which I hope will get new contributors and enthusiasts to the site. Site may get a bit busy!
I will come back soon!


The more I know the more I realise I don't know

wildaboutnature's picture

Ahh, good news!

I will look forward to spotting your observations when things are a bit steadier. Did you see that I will be showcasing iSpot fungi at the National Botanic Gardens on Sunday, thanks in no small part to you highlighting the plight of fungi on iSpot and also highlighting some of the UKfungus Day events in Wales. I'm taking along as many Pembs and Carmarthen fungi observations as I can to try and tempt in the local experts. Should be a great day.
Have fun this weekend.

Clare Flynn

Martin Harvey's picture

Seeing overseas observations

The main effect of the communities at the moment is on the 'carousel' displays, that is the strips of six photos running across the page that occur in various places. So if you are in the UK and Ireland community you should only see observations from UK and Ireland in the carousels, but you may still see overseas observations in other contexts, e.g. if you do a search.

We're working towards having the communities smoothly integrated across the whole site, but the underlying changes required to make all this happen are are fairly enormous, and I'm afraid it will take a bit of time to complete all that's needed.

Entomologist and biological recorder

Smilesbetter's picture


Hello, sorry to be a pain... I'm new here, from the OU Introduction To Ecosystems course, and really looking forward to getting to use this site. The only problem for me really is that I currently live in Germany and the site, even with these updates, seems quite hard to use in that perspective.

Maybe I'm the first user from Germany, but there isn't a community or forum for spotting things from here and the "In Your Area" part is entirely the UK. That's a shame...

I suppose once the user base expands this might change, and the site looks great anyway. Looking forward to providing some German wildlife for you all (and perhaps Scottish, when I visit home).

JoC's picture

Communities; some positive thoughts

I have, belatedly, caught up with this change. Thanks to all for the information on what you can see where.
I also start at My Spot to see any changes, and then I generally load a Habitat page such as Marine where there is usually something new. Recently some of the ‘new’ has been from Chile. Like others who have commented, I doubt I will visit Chile in person, but I have been interested to see that evolution has produced a similar morphology to the British fauna albeit in in different genera. For example, Petrolisthes granulosus, a Chile post, has the same wide flat claws as the British Porcellana platycheles.
Similarly I was surprised to see that the red seaweed Schottera nicaeensis is so widespread; it may be that, if/when genomes are compared, it is found to be a sensu lato group, as in the discussion we had on Plocamium cartilagineum. That’s what I particularly like about iSpot, it raises questions and sometimes gets answers.
The Habitats subgroups seem to include everything tagged for a particular habitat, and do not distinguish between ‘Communities’ or vary depending on which Community I am logged into. I have no problem with that.
I note that the term ‘Communities’ has been chosen for large regional entities such as Chile, UK and Ireland, Global. Elsewhere it is being used in the stricter ecological sense of a population living together in a particular environment.
There are three similar posts running on this topic. I chose this one for my comments as it had the most recent post.


dejayM's picture

Cangrejo cafe

I am really enjoying the Chilean posts at the moment and have placed agreements and comments in some (I don't speak Spanish).
I do not much like being cluttered with overseas posts, so rarely have Global activated; however, like Jo., I browse >>Marines<< and that opens a wondrous array of salty Chilean snacks.

Tony Rebelo's picture

Makes no sense

Has the language component been disabled?: I dont see it on the site.

For instance I cannot select !XÛ, Zulu, Xhosa, Venda, Tsonga, Tswana, Swazi, Sotho, Ndeble, Afrikaans, as other languages for use in South Africa, or Spanish for use in Chile, or Mandarin for Hong Kong.

or can I???

Cannot find it under my profile either.

I presume that this feature is redundant.

Except that the Spanish complained about the iSpot Spanish being Spanglish: but How do they get Spanish instead of English?

Tony Rebelo's picture

Fixed March 2015 (update number 6)

Fixed after

However is just English and Spanish.
Afrikaans and Xhosa not included (translations were done for iSpot by the southern African community).

Any other languages envisaged in the future?