Just a few issues

Hi All

There’s just 2 non-technical issues with iSpot I’d like to bring to the fore today:

1st: Would it be possible to update the observation carousel you find on the homepage of iSpot so that it repeats observations that have no I.D’s (by others besides the poster) once every day or second day? I’m not sure if this is a problem just affecting me but what I often find happening is that as soon as a whole new bunch of observations are put onto the carousel, this will obviously force the older ones out and once this happens, very rarely will I get anyone giving me an I.D for the observations that are no longer on the carousel. As you can imagine, this can cause some frustration especially after an observation of mine has sat on iSpot for over a month or two without any I.D (atleast in the case of observations that shouldn’t be too tricky to I.D)

2nd: Would it be possible for the quiz feature on my iSpot to use better quality photo’s? I know this is of very little importance in the greater scheme of things but some of the photos that the quiz gives you to I.D are truly shocking! Maybe this can just get an update (patch) as well?

Thanks :smiley:

That is an Ideal subject for a Project - they take minutes to form. Just try one for yourself. Here; mine, just now
I timed the construction 87 seconds. I have filtered for dates and ticked Without Likely ID.
You will not get it right first time but Projects are easy to Edit.
Actually I am surprised how few there are but it does show missing photos from ONE user.
I HATE the quiz concept, so someone else can answer that!
But see my note in https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/southern-africa/view/observation/710452/small-bright-yellow

  1. But that is exactly what the “Other Observations” carousel is for!!!

On the old iSpot if an observation did not get an ID in 7-10 days it appeared in the OOC (other observations carousel).

However, the new OOC (post Sept 2014) is useless because it is loaded with ALL (global) unidentified observations, which those of us in our community cannot ID, because our guides and knowledge is for our community and we dont usually have access to other guides. So it is a total waste of time. We have asked for this to be for the local community (go to the GLOBAL community if you want to see all the unidentified observations), but the powers that be have decided and tough: who cares what the users want!

However, the new OOC (post June 2017) is useless, because now all unidentified observations go into, without any delay, so that the current observations that are about to be identified go straight into the OOC and one cannot see far back enough (esp. with the bloody Global observations hiding the stuff we can ID) to see what items are not being identified.

Blame the fact the the programmers dont care what does not work or what users actually want. The programmers are a law unto themselves and do care two hashes for either the user experience or the efficient functioning of the site.

  1. The quiz is based on observations, and therefore is the quality of the observations. Why do you ant better photos? Surely the challenge is the existing photos.

Of far more concern is that the southern African reptile quiz is almost only geckos and the southern African mammals are mostly bats. And if you answer Western Leopard Toad in the amphibian quiz you are guaranteed an 80% score …

We had been hoping that the quiz would:

  • be progressive (you had to get a score on one level to progress to the next)
  • would in the most difficult categories include observations without an ID that would allow one to add an ID.
  • that would include a superexpert category with only unidentified observations (i.e. that would allow users to contribute to iSpot instead of just play games).

Alas …

Haha, if it brought up unidentified observations it would not be much of a quiz…

Essentially the answer to the second question is NO. To do this each observation would need to be graded-which would take so much time and who would do it? One workaround would be to link the difficulty to the number of agreements of the observations (ie if >10 people agree then it qualifies for easy category). But the programmers are way to busy to work on something like this when there are so many actual bugs.

But I see they have ‘improved’ the herp quiz, before it was ONLY frogs, but now its only geckos. How is it so hard to get this to work? At least they show pictures of other reptiles-but that just makes it super easy to spot the gecko.

I got an ‘invalid post error’ instead of the correct flag while playing the quiz. And it didn’t show me any results at the end.

Hi guys, thanks for the reply. I atleast have an understanding now of what the problems are. I can only hope that the Other Observations Carousel is updated at some point, as my knowledge of plants (although I like to tell myself otherwise) is still very limited and I really do need help with I.D’s for many of the observations that I post!

In terms of the quiz, perhaps I should give an example of the problem I have there:

I was doing a mammals quiz the other day and a picture came up of some dolphins swimming nearby a rocky shoreline. After much inspection of the photo, I decided to go with the Common Bottlenosed Dolphin as the I.D. But little did I know that in the far bottom left corner of the photo, there was an incredibly blurry foreground image of a person’s head (assumingly someone also trying to get a photo of the Dolphins).

So imagine my surprise (and anger) when the correct I.D for the photo turned out to be ---- Homo sapiens!!!

I’m not sure how many of these such occurences there are on the quiz but its just issues like this, as well as the repetitiveness of the quizes as Tony mentioned above, that I really hope are just ironed out in the coming weeks/months


This is complicated. Some of these images come from observations loaded through associations. Unless these are flagged it always may be possible to get a less than optimal picture without reading the story.