Almost 6000 observations with no ID at all!

Eek -- there are currently 5863 observations made in Illinois in 2019 that have no label at all!

Link to help identify:

Ways to help with the backlog:

  • Add an ID, even if a "coarse" one like kingdom or family can help bring it to the attention of identifiers of these groups
  • Mark as captive/cultivated if appropriate (keyboard shortcut is x
  • Use the Frequently Used Responses for issues that commonly pop up

It's a common point of confusion with new users why someone would label an observation with an "obvious" identification like "flowering plant" or "insect", so feel free to point them this way if you get pushback:

Why do people keep adding "obvious" IDs like "Plants" or "Fungi"?
This usually happens when you did not add an ID yourself, so your observation is sitting in uncategorized limbo. By adding a coarse ID of "Plants" or "Fungi" these identifiers are making it easier for other people to find your observation. Many experts use our taxonomic filters to focus on their taxon of expertise, so if you post an observation of a plant with no identification, these experts will never find it. People adding coarse IDs are almost always trying to help you get more specific IDs.
Posted on Δεκέμβριος 21, 2019 1045 ΜΜ by bouteloua bouteloua


I've been pulling potential ILBBY observations out of "unknown" status for a couple weeks now and am finding it to be rewarding. Mixed in with the plants is an assortment of photos of bugs, birds and fungi, which, when directed to the right iNat community members via a Kingdom, Class, or Order ID, can readily find their way to Research Grade.

Take this observation, for example: It was posted on June 22, but had been languishing in "unknown" status for almost six months. On Dec. 14, I entered a Class ID (Insecta); I know nothing about insects but could discern that the observation of interest was likely not the plant. Three days later thebals IDed it as Family Syrphidae (= Hover Flies). Another three days later, jeremyhussell found the observation and IDed it to species (= Margined Calligrapher), and just this morning upupa-epops confirmed the species ID. Yay! From languishing unknown to Research Grade in ten days, thanks to the teamwork of the iNat community!

Αναρτήθηκε από missgreen πάνω από 4 χρόνια πριν

awesome, nice example!

Αναρτήθηκε από bouteloua πάνω από 4 χρόνια πριν

Thanks for the tag, I'll help some in the spirit of having lived in Urbana for a bit, many years ago .:)

Αναρτήθηκε από lotteryd πάνω από 4 χρόνια πριν

Do the cultivated plants count, such that should be labelled now, or can they be x'd unID'd for now?

Αναρτήθηκε από lotteryd πάνω από 4 χρόνια πριν

I've just been IDing wild obs for the most part, since non-wild obs aren't as interesting to me and won't qualify for the Illinois Botanists Big Year anyway.

Αναρτήθηκε από bouteloua πάνω από 4 χρόνια πριν

We can confirm that adding a coarse ID is important. We have been going through Arthropods that have not yet been ID'd to order - still have 1800 pages to go! But we don't even see images if they don't say Arthropods or insects or some such. It would be great if the upload page required a base ID from the poster. Presumably the person who took the picture knows whether it is a plant or insect or some such.

Αναρτήθηκε από thebals πάνω από 4 χρόνια πριν

I'll see what I can do! Thanks for the tag @bouteloua.

Αναρτήθηκε από astra_the_dragon πάνω από 4 χρόνια πριν

It's >95% plant records now at <700 in the pile.

Αναρτήθηκε από lotteryd πάνω από 4 χρόνια πριν

I did what I can for today with the help of my assistant. We are down to about 300, so by the time I'm back from my errands I hope we will be finished!

Αναρτήθηκε από astra_the_dragon πάνω από 4 χρόνια πριν

@trh_blue Oh my god what a cutie. My assistant is around the same size but she usually sits behind the laptop instead of in front.

You are all amazing. Thank you so much for helping with this unknowns backlog! We went from almost 6000 to around 300 observations with no label in just a week or so.

I've been using @pisum's helpful tool to view the top identifiers with a set of filters, e.g. this page, which shows people who made IDs from Dec 27th - Dec 29th of 2019 Illinois observations:

So, holy heck to @sterrett (1168 IDs), @lotteryd (1109 IDs), and @maxallen (666 IDs 😈), no idea how you can make so many IDs.

and big ol' thanks to @wildlandblogger @dziomber @trh_blue @k2018lena @oxalismtp @jeanphilippeb @malisaspring @kennedy9094 @missgreen @alex_abair @hazelnutman @paulswitzer @d2b @maureenclare and so many others for adding IDs recently.

Αναρτήθηκε από bouteloua πάνω από 4 χρόνια πριν

@bouteloua -- i'm not sure what this is about, but you may want to check the parameters on your query (de should be d2?). maybe this ( is what you were intending? anyway, it looks like you're doing some great organizing and community building. so keep it up.

Αναρτήθηκε από pisum πάνω από 4 χρόνια πριν

oops yeah, had added that hastily (previously I was using only the d1 parameter without d2 since I know today is today, but adding d2 makes it a bit more accurate to my text stats if someone stumbles onto this in the future)

Αναρτήθηκε από bouteloua πάνω από 4 χρόνια πριν

just ran out of stuff to review :)

Αναρτήθηκε από astra_the_dragon πάνω από 4 χρόνια πριν

I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. Forty-nine other states could ask for help with Unknowns!

Αναρτήθηκε από sterrett πάνω από 4 χρόνια πριν

oof thank dog we were the first to ask! :)

Αναρτήθηκε από bouteloua πάνω από 4 χρόνια πριν

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