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iSpot Forum

Dictionary deficiencies

Where is the easy route to suggest an addition to, or report a problem with, Dictionaries?
There should be a simple route in all Communities or a front page Drop-down - a box to click REPORT a Dictionary Issue
Some people are suffering more from this serious problem because they are collecting less common organisms.

According to a recent comment Ispot hasn’t kept its CoL dictionary up to date . Info on the global dictionary is tucked away in the list of “global articles” as’catalog of Life’, written by anonetc, https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/global/view/article/225224/catalogue-of-life showing it’s still the 2013 list. I’ve still got my 2015 forum post with the link http://www.ispotnature.org/faq-species-dictionaries which still works, & I noted then that it no longer had any seaweeds (though seaweeds were in the 2012 version), & it was also poor for European insects.
But it’d be worth checking whether the missing species is actually in the current dictionary eg
http://www.catalogueoflife.org/annual-checklist/2017/search/all
It wasn’t, eg ,for https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/global/view/observation/614620/13 the hermit crab Clibanarius erythropus, St Piran’s crab, which, however, is in the UKSI dictionary (& in EOL)
(Col does have a contact email at http://www.catalogueoflife.org/col/info/contact ,where “users are encouraged to provide feedback”)

Thanks, Chris, for the link to COL 2017. and to the contact email.
A question: does iSpot have to pay for a COL dictionary, or is it free?

I remember @miked? writing that the Coding time, required to add the Updates, was very expensive but that iSpot had all the updates to hand. So I suppose it’s down to the budget

The new dictionaries would long since have been in place if it were not for the fiasco about the site total rewrite and all the problems that has caused (I had the new dictionaries ready to replace the old ones but programmers said they did not want to do it during rewrite). The new dictionaries are ‘free’ but do require a lot of coding to get them to work properly with the existing data.

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Thanks Mike; I appreciate that the cost of IT personnel time is a limiting factor. The ecology of any organism , and by extension, organisation, is always subject to limiting factors. OU is no different from other UK universities & Colleges; all are being squeezed of funds and staff put under extra pressures; some of these pressures verge on intolerable and industrial action may result. It will not surprise you to know I was on the picket line in Bristol to support fellow trade unionists when MK decided to close the regional centres.

What I don’t understand - there was a means of importing the old CoL dictionary into iSpot mk 2, and a means of copying the dictionary from iSpot mk 2 to iSpot mk 3, so (unless CoL changed their data format in the interim) it should be possible to just repeat that procedure. What are the actual obstacles?

There are formatting issues as each dictionary from each provider is different and I think the update is different to the existing since the existing was changed in its format to get it to work on ispot. potentially there is a api version but last time I enquired this was not reliable enough.

The South African community changed their dictionary and we had to select a var etc to get the observations to link; many didn’t make sense because they weren’t in my reference books. I thought that this came from SANBI and not iSpot
This is an example of what happens and the complications
The first ID does not link, and so will not appear in a search (I search by date or my new tags). Once the ID has been “agreed” adding an ID from the drop -down list still won’t link.


Also I really didn’t want to add a subsp -
THEN THERE IS THIS ONE which I decided to repost because I think it’s different and the dictionary is not helping - nor are TR comments. blaming iSpot, but not commenting of the unusual observation.

Have started adding tags “not linking”
I’m happy going with things as they are at the moment - but sould I be doing something else?

You mean the Likely Banner is not moving. This is because of the weight of agree-ers scores. Once balance favours your ID’s the Banner will shift (I tested it and it does). Your middle post above will probably never shift because of the weight.
It’s time Tony was more constructive and less repetitive “on INat we don’t need to create tags….” I suspect he owes iSpot quite a lot.

Wondering if you might take a look at this one


I would hate it to get lost - but then the other option will be reposting it.
Not sure if this is the case “You mean the Likely Banner is not moving” but I can only find these by date. If I search by species name there is no record even though the names were accepted in the old days (See Tony’s agreements)

This is a GOOD case for deletion and a new post IF Tony will not cooperate. My agreement does not swing it and, as there are no comments, you should feel free. I will agree but need to research, so don’t wait
To find all these posts use Search and open Taxonomy, then Observations. ‘Ixieae’ gets here by that route https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/southern-africa/species-dictionary/266044/ixieae click on Observations tag - or Gladiolus, then Observations. The list are Chronological, so a lot of clicks to 2011.
It’s unlikely you will find any FORCED IDs (not in the Dictionary and not recognised by iSpot) When posting, the trick is to find and post either a synonym or genera or, at worst, somewhere above but with the new name as common (as you’ve done). email will come later this morning. Edited and expanded after 3 hours
This looks as though it needs YOU
https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/southern-africa/view/observation/752196/gladiolus-above-the-cavern-drakensberg-natal-sa

You want my cooperation?
For five years I put my life into the site! We proposed improvements and ideas that were ignored. And then the site went downhill. It is a shadow of what it was.
You want species instead of subspecies: use iNat. You want to immediately make changes - yourself - to the dictionary: use iNat. I wont make any apologies. I stayed with this site far longer than was healthy. I should have left with Jonathan!
.
If you want I shall remove my identifications. So please dont delete and repost. Just wait a few weeks. I do not have any time for iSpot at present: iNaturalist is taking all my time. . I am sure that there are plenty of things to keep you busy here in the meantime. Meanwhile we are approaching 7000 observations per month on iNat: as good as it ever was here on iSpot when it was running like a Ferrari. It is really good to have a site that works! I think that most users will agree.

DICTIONARY DEFICIENCIES
(Report a Dictionary Issue) EDITED
More and more ID’s are failing as the Dictionaries become further and further outdated.
I have begun to ask those who find either a spelling error in the Dictionary or, more likely, the absence of a species, even a Genus, or when an old synonym is favoured, to add the tag absent1 - lower case, no gaps.
Click the green link to see progress.
Can you help? Please?

See https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/view/observation/786817/sorry-about-the-photo. Cydalima perspectalis doesn’t seem to be in the iSpot dictionary.

As mentioned in the post, antonypod56 didn’t stand much chance of creating a linking identification.

Not sure if I should make a comment here since there have been so many false starts with the dictionary updates. But we now have resource and are hoping to employ a programmer in a couple of months and first task will be to implement dictionary updates, they will need to learn the site code first so can’t give any estimated timescales but there is now something on the horizon.

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Frabjous day! Calloo! Callay!
Let’s hope it comes to pass in the not-too-distant future.

I am happy too.
However as that appears to be in sufficient characters, I will repeat it. I am happy too.

Programming is way beyond my ability to understand so this may be a dumb question but here goes.

As I understand it the dictionary in iSpot (at least the UK one) is a dictionary maintained by some other organisation (possibly NHM) for other purposes which iSpot borrows. That underlying dictionary is updated more frequently (continuously?) as taxonomy develops.

If that is correct would it make sense therefore to have the programmer work on a way of automating linking to that dictionary in a live way rather than just doing a static update of it which will start to go out of date again?