Tag proliferation

The Insect Week iFocus has again shown how easily variations on existing tags can be created. I don’t use tags as much as I perhaps should, but this is - as others have pointed out - a real problem.
Could there not be a ‘message box’ (sorry - the last programming I did was in VBA) appearing whenever the tag field is selected, warning people to look for existing tags before inventing new ones?

I could add some extra “help” text.

I appreciate Amadan raising the tag issue.
Regards the descriptive tag - Insect Week 2023 …I could perhaps have used the Insecta filter to collect the observations but there is a quirk in iSpot that classes Insecta as Other Organisms.
I think dejayM is working with Miked to reduce the number of tags especially ones that haven’t been used or used only once.

Could the correct tag be put in the current banner for insect week?

I have been given the power to remove or modify tags.
What cannot currently be done is removing bad or mis-tags from the growing list (of nearly 5 thousand).
The simplest solution is to leave a note here and I will correct the tag and explain WHY, in a comment.
This has been running for a couple of years https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/view/project/824066/
It has had 13 reads today but is hidden from general view

I don’t usually use tags unless I need to like for a project or to make something easyer to find for example. any tags that are made are usually automatic from choosing an option like invertrevretes for example. Rather than making a tag. But most people obviously make (a lot) of tags and use them a lot

I think that people assume that (as on some websites) the more tags you add, the more people will look at your photo.
An extreme example would be someone who puts ‘great tit’ ‘tit’ ‘Parus major’ ‘Parus’ ‘garden’ ‘tree’ ‘feeding young’ etc. Actually, on iSpot, most of those are probably redundant.

I guess that an OU bioblitz is upon us -

I noticed the same - funny that!

Yes, students have two per year and are given large amounts of notes in many formats but still the wrong tags proliferate. I suspect some just want to be sure.

It seems pointless, since I tried two years running, to tackle this through those users and us bystanders.
I spent a LOT pf time and some energy last year correcting s295 Rogue tagging.
Not this year. It is really up to Trainers and Tutors to correct this and a coder to RID us of unwanted tags

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I think I remember being a student and not reading the rubric… I suppose some of the teachers may have been exercised by such behaviour, but I certainly didn’t think of that at the time.

I wonder if simply restricting the ability to add new tags to those with, say, 2 or 3 icons in the relevant group would make the problem largely disappear. Should certainly work for the S295 ones and would just require someone at the appropriate level - one of the course team? - to add the appropriate tag each year.

But what if somebody new comes along, and wants to tag, say, sites. It takes a while to get to 3 icons. Even a limit at 2 icons might be irritating. Requiring 1 icon would mostly stop people inventing a new tag on their first observation in a group, unless identifications are absent or unagreeable. But what is to stop them picking the wrong tag from the drop down box?

No system is perfect … as the current proliferation of tags demonstrates. And it will always be possible for the wrong selection (group, ID, habitat, etc) from a list. The best we can realistically hope for is to reduce the possibility of error.
For my money, setting the bar at 1 icon is a little low; I agree that 3 icons would probably be too high. At the 2 icon level it wouldn’t be a huge task for someone who really did want to tag, as you suggest, sites, to go back and edit their observations to add the tag when the required number of posts had been reached.

I agree that some tags are no use.
Would it be possible to set an icon minimum and have a tag request link that pops up if you try to add one for those below the minimum?

No system is perfect, and I guess that a programmer looking to refine the iSpot code would think ‘well, I wouldn’t start from here’…
Maybe a simple warning above the tags entry (or made visible by activating the field) to think twice about tagging might be a halfway-house solution?


I update this regularly - it is basically a waste of time
It could just consist five bullet points instead of loads and loads of text.
It could have collected a groundswell of support but hasn’t
Many 4 icon users are using, adding or creating (probable) inappropriate tags.
The solution to all this might be a Coder who can access the site, rid us of over 40 thousand rogues :one: and form a locked list of tags that are useful and relevant. Someone I know would help that process.

Users who want to add personal Tags for their collections, use a different route and produce a list, that is alphabetically Indexed and available in a project called Collections. That list is accessible by a Curator who deletes ‘accidental’ rogues :one: (like smoogrow or smugro)
Interesting that Habitat ‘tagging’ is compulsory and has only 12 available (there ought to be 15). And Group ‘tagging’ (also compulsory) has 8 (one should be removed and three added)
:one: Rogue tagging (not users)

Glad you clarified that point!