iNaturalist World Tour

We’re launching a new series today where each week we’ll focus on seven countries and feature one of them each day. We tried this a year and a half ago, but it was heavy on writing which made it a bit too staff intensive for us to maintain. We’re giving it another shot, but this time are going to let the figures speak for themselves.

As we’ve done before, we’ve sorted countries based on the number of observations and will proceed in descending order. This week we’ll start with the most active countries on iNaturalist. iNaturalist is still heavily biased towards the United States, its North American neighbors (Mexico and Canada), the United Kingdom, and her southern hemisphere Commonwealth sisters (Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand).

So without further ado, let’s kick things off with the United States. This figure shows the top 50 observers located near the median of their observations made within the country. Each user is scaled by the number of observations they’ve made. You can see the bias towards California, Texas, and New England where most of the top observers are based. These figures are static snapshots of iNaturalist from today (6/24/19).

Growth in number of observations per month looks a lot like growth on the site overall. Observations have been doubling annually and there’s a clear summer bias.

The figure below shows the most "observose" groups of organisms and the top identifier in each group. Also like the site as a whole, Plants, Insects and Birds are the three biggest groups.

We’ll be back tomorrow with Mexico!

@ck2az @finatic @srall @erikamitchell @sambiology @greglasley @aguilita @graysquirrel @john8
Posted by loarie loarie, June 24, 2019 21:12

Comments

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its good step, I hope the focus will be on Syria, there are not many observations, but it is a rich country in wildlife

Posted by salimeh 4 months ago (Flag)
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@salimeh looks like Syria will be featured in Week 29 - so not for a while. But in the meantime, please let us know if there's anything we can do to help make iNaturalist work better in Syria or help you grow the community there

Posted by loarie 4 months ago (Flag)
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All the top identifiers deserve medals and/or cash prizes.

Posted by muir 4 months ago (Flag)
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@loarie
I think the weakness of the observations in Syria is due to the preoccupation of the people in there pressing matters. i invited my friends to be here and some do that.
Now, in my mine , there is no effective way to instigate people for more observing. But I continue upload my own , i share them on my fb and i am enjoying that ,
thank you for interesting

Posted by salimeh 4 months ago (Flag)
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Kewl

I dont know the USA. I can understand the bias to California (wine, beaches, biodiversity), but what makes the east tick? Why the interest there? Is it just big cities and large populations and affluence that spawns active contributors? Or is there something about the biodiversity and climate in the east that does not apply across the rest of the country (except Dallas)? Or is it pure chance where the most active contributors are?

The emphasis on contributors though must surely hide the pattern of data across the country? Does the overrall heatmap show a similar pattern of most observations in the east and west? Do our top contributors seriously skew the map of contributions (perhaps encouraging other locals to be power users)? Or is it much more even across the country than suggested by the centroids of the top contributors?
Is the richness of biodiversity influencing the local contributions?

Your features really tease us. Are there any analyses or papers on the geographical distribution of effort in iNaturalist in relation to demography, biodiversity, power users, infrastructure and other possible factors (e.g. City Nature Challenges) influencing Citizen Science participation in iNat?

Posted by tonyrebelo 4 months ago (Flag)
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@salimeh iNat started in California, so it would make sense for a large number of the top observers to be based there. The Northeast has a huge megacity and a surprisingly large biodiversity. As for Texas and the other states, I don't know

Posted by astrobirder 4 months ago (Flag)
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I will try to work on identifying to see if I can get higher scores, I am the top identifier of Echinoderms worldwide, but now am focusing on molluscs in the superfamily tonnoidea.
Congratulations @phelsumas4life.

Posted by predomalpha 4 months ago (Flag)
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@tonyrebelo , It might surprise you to know that a tremendous amount of the US is open space, and even in our largest cities we have fabulous urban parks and plenty of open space where urban wildlife can thrive. Central Park in NYC, Constitutional Park in DC, Golden Gate Park in SF, and Griffith Park in LA are perfect examples, and there are so many more. It's a bit sad that you view the east coast as all concrete without green, open space - it is quite the contrary! And, in some ways, I'd say LA and SF are more overbuilt than the East Coast cities due to our urban sprawl. Having said that, California is much more than wine and beaches. We claim both the highest and lowest points in the continental US, with the vast Mojave Desert as well as our spectacular Sierra Nevada housing our gorgeous Yosemite National Park.

I think a better read of the data is to realize that iNat started in the Bay Area (SF area) of California, so the natural spread would be to larger neighbors, like LA, and then our other larger cities nationwide. I suspect you should also see contributors are likely a percentage of the population, hence in big cities with large populations you'll find more contributors. Similarly, smaller cities or rural areas with fewer people would translate to fewer observers.

I hope this helps you see this map for what it is, a quick glimpse at iNat users and their observations across the US.

Posted by scubabruin 4 months ago (Flag)
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It'll be interesting to see the data for Vietnam (where I'm working) when the day rolls around. Won't be for a while yet though, I suspect.

Posted by earthknight 4 months ago (Flag)
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Very cool stats! I'm looking forwards to seeing Canada in a couple days.

Posted by mws 4 months ago (Flag)
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@scubabruin - sorry: by megacities I was meaning both NY and LA. I have been to Connecticut so I am aware that the east is not all concrete, and I have explored a fair bit of California. (I have not been anywhere else in North America, other than (LOL) a two-hour stopover in Dallas). Sadly both before iNat got going: dont know what I did in those days.
Surprizingly all five Meditterranean regions worldwide can make similar claims to relief, rainfall and high diversity (although not necessary on a continental scale) - and of course climate, beaches and wine (and in South Africa we joke that civilization ceases when one leaves the Med zone - in our case "north of the Hex Mountains"). It may not be a quirk that 3 of the top 5 countries on iNat to date contain Mediterranean climate areas! That is a major over-representation - although as two of the countries are near-continental, that might not be too surprizing.
Thanks for the insights: so power contributors in the USA are mostly a reflection of population density, rather than other factors, and the spread of iNaturalist is similarly influenced. But there seems to be a subtle undertone that high population density is a reflection of biodiversity too ...
Looking forward to further exploring Earth ala iNaturalist.

Posted by tonyrebelo 4 months ago (Flag)
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I think one major reason for iNat's success in Texas and New England is that influential people and organizations in those regions have spent a lot of their own time and energy building up a local iNaturalist community. I'm just scratching the surface here, but the iNat community in the U.S. has been the beneficiary of incredibly hard-working folks like @kpmcfarland and @charlie in Vermont, and @sambiology and @greglasley in Texas, among countless others.

Posted by tiwane 4 months ago (Flag)
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last time, we here in Luxembourg were pretty far off with just 700 observations. now with some 20k we should be higher up in that list. Looking forward to the numbers (hopefully you are including us) :-)

Posted by paul_luap 4 months ago (Flag)
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Luxembourg will be included in Week 8 - stay tuned

Posted by loarie 4 months ago (Flag)
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@tonyrebelo California is incredibly diverse but it's also where iNaturalist started and a place where much of the tech industry got started in many ways, at least within our country. My observation is that for many people at least in the East, the barrier is not interest or ability but just lack of tech knowledge among naturalists.
As for New England and the rest of the east, as others have said here a lot of it comes down to involved organizations. Vermont's iNat community relaly took off thanks to the Vermont Center for Ecostudies getting the word out! (That's @kpmcfarland and others here ) . I'd been trying to get people onboard for a while before they did their big push, and as one person it's much harder than with a great organization like that. I believe the story in Texas is similar.
Vermont has relatively low biodiversity. We were under ice 15,000 years ago, so endemicism is negligible. Cold areas just tend to be less diverse in general. However, we have some incredible open space and a culture of strong connection to the land both for recreation and for our livelihoods (at least as compared with many other parts of the US). We have lots of access to nature either in our own backyards or with many forest preserves and trail networks. In the part of California where I grew up it generally took an hour or more of really unpleasant driving in traffic to get to any significant area of open space, here i can literally walk to trail networks and they are a lot more crowded.

Mediterranean areas definitely seem to be a hotbed of both biological diversity and human population. Maybe both have to do with the mild climate, which kind of makes me scratch my head, but it's nice i guess, sometimes.

Posted by charlie 4 months ago (Flag)
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Thanks for the kind words folks about the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and our work on the Vermont Atlas of Life. Here in Vermont, we are lucky. There are a LOT of naturalist and outdoors people. But I think it is clear that with crowd-sourced projects like iNat or eBird, places that have influencers do indeed have much higher participation. It's pretty cool. to see some of those in this blog post from Vermont in top 50 observers: @charlie @erikamitchell @susanelliott and the top identifier @tsn. And the best thing is that we are all learning a lot ourselves and about Vermont biodiversity. Just yesterday, we had yet another first state record Odonate reported (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/27570763)! So here's to team iNat for such a great tool and virtual place, and here's to all of you iNaters making it a great place to hang out and contribute!

Posted by kpmcfarland 4 months ago (Flag)
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There's just so much, even in a 'low diversity' area, relatively. Any summer day i spend a half hour in our field looking for inverts, i can get a life list species or two, and that's after being on iNat since 2011.

Posted by charlie 4 months ago (Flag)
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I'm excited to see the stats from other parts of the world! What a cool idea.

Posted by graysquirrel 4 months ago (Flag)
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Great to see that Mexico is keeping strong and in the mix within a mostly anglophone dominated platform. I'm curious as to which and in which place is the next non-anglophone country.

Posted by langlands 4 months ago (Flag)
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INat Its definitely catching fire
Yes a bulk of the U S observations are in California
with so much diversity it's easy to understand
As a whole it's amazing the area from Texas to California
As far as the number of observations and also the number
Of people who are posting them
The weather may play a big part in this
But I also this word of mouth has helped to

Posted by ck2az 4 months ago (Flag)
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Also to all who identify observations on here
THANK YOU

Posted by ck2az 4 months ago (Flag)
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Since I did it for Mexico, let us look at the species patterns in the States.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=1&subview=grid&view=species

Of the top 50 most-recorded species, 23 (nearly 50%) are birds, 8 are insects, 8 are plants, 6 are mammals and 5 are herps.
Some 5 species in the top 50 are invasive aliens.
I guess this will be the standard, by which we will assess the other countries? A bit biased to birds, but excluding birds, the other patterns "make sense" for terrestrial communities, although interestingly fungi dont make the top 50 at all.

Posted by tonyrebelo 4 months ago (Flag)
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Is there any project to see the whole world by country?

Posted by aztekium_tutor 4 months ago (Flag)
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Why do we have 8 categories of animals, but all plants are simply plants?

Posted by dianastuder 4 months ago (Flag)
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plant blindness.

it's a good point though, if you look at 'animals' it will have more than plants. and we all know animals are objectively less important than plants too.

Posted by charlie 4 months ago (Flag)
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Beetle blindness:
@dianastuder - I am sure you can tell mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, molluscs, and probably arachnids and insects at a glance if I gave you 50 cards of pictures. For instance, to which one does fly or a snake belong?
But can you tell mosses, ferns, fern allies, gymnosperms, palaeaoangiosperms, palaeodicots, monocots, magnoloids, asterids, and rosids? To which one does a pea or a protea belong?
But if it is really diversity that you want, then we should have beetles, other invertebrates, vertebrates, plants, fungi.

Bacterial blindness:
- name 5 species of bacteria ...

Posted by tonyrebelo 4 months ago (Flag)
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This has been a conversation in the past, I think on the Google Group, so probably best to not rehash it here. But essentially yes, @tonyrebelo is correct in that it's really hard to make a simple icon for plant types that most people will recognize. It certainly has nothing to do with plants' general importance and staff members certainly like plants (both Scott and Ken-ichi are big plant nerds, and I'm getting more into them).

There's a whole discussion about "plant blindness" on the forum: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/plant-blindness-and-inaturalist/4479/

Posted by tiwane 4 months ago (Flag)
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haha sorry, my objective comment was just meant to be silly :)

I know it's a rehashed topic buti t does seem relevant here when comparing interest in plants versus 'mammals' or what not, it's apples to Roseaceae

Posted by charlie 4 months ago (Flag)
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Well we have (for the USA):
* Roses (Rosaceae): 222,744 Observations 646 Species 7,996 identifiers 56,232 Observers
* Mammals: 334,919 Observations 426 Species 12,095 identifiers 58,365 Observers
So really there is nothing in it in terms of observers. There are a third more species in the Rosaceae. But in terms of both observations and identifiers, mammals win hands down! People not only recognize more mammals: but they see more!

Posted by tonyrebelo 4 months ago (Flag)
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@tonyrebelo it has been interesting to watch the iceberg of Needs ID from the City Challenge melt, drop, by drop.

Animals, and birds get IDed promptly.
Tidal pools more slowly.
And there are still thousands of plants.

Posted by dianastuder 4 months ago (Flag)
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Regarding why animals have more observations than plants, could it be that, broadly: most of the observations are in urban areas and not as many people upload observations of the urban plants since we assume they were mostly planted or descend from previously planted, and as such not that interesting to record that they were spotted

Posted by langlands 4 months ago (Flag)
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It does not help that if you do post city plants, they get marked "casual" and thus do not get identified, because ID focusses on the "needs ID" category, and it is not possible to easily know or filter which city plants are identified or not.
There is thus a very powerful disincentive not to bother. And yet these are the very plants that are supporting ALL the birds and insects and other life in our cities!

Posted by tonyrebelo 4 months ago (Flag)
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let's not literally post that everywhere, i don't disagree but even i am tired of seeing it

Posted by charlie 4 months ago (Flag)
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If you look at biomass - the bulk is plant blind.

Posted by dianastuder 4 months ago (Flag)
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@tonyrobelo and how they get marked as "casual"? is that some specific label that the observer chooses at the time of uploading the observation?

Posted by langlands 4 months ago (Flag)
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"Casual" observations are any observations flagged as not being "Research Grade" in the Data Quality Assessment (DQA) at the bottom on any observation - due to lack of, or inadequate, date, location, photos/sounds. AND if they are marked "captive or planted" when one posts an observation, or by anyone afterwards in the DQA. There are several forum topics dealing with ID streams and terminology and philosophical issues - I suggest that discussion best be done there than on this posting.

Posted by tonyrebelo 4 months ago (Flag)
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I was curious to see how observations varied across the United States. I assembled statistics state by state using data from the Biodiversity projects from each state (as of 23 June 2019), thanks @zoology123 along with current 2018 population estimates (see iNaturalist US observation Analysis 23 June 2019

I built an observation metric to understand what states have more or less observations compared to the overall population. For each state, I found how many observations existed for the state and also computed the sum of all observations for the United States. From this, I calculated % total US iNat observations Next, I computed the percent of the US population in the state. Finally, I computed a metric of observations as % total iNat US observations/ % total US population.

Using Vermont as an example, there were 274,545 observations out of 12,901,089 total observations which is 2.13% of all US iNat observations. Vermont's population of 626,299 comprise 0.19% of the total US population. I divided Vermont's 2.13% of all US iNat observations by Vermont's 0.19% of the total US population and computed that Vermont has 11.2 times more observations than overall for the US.

State Metric Rank
Vermont 11.2 1
Alaska 2.7 2
California 2.1 3
Texas 1.8 4
Hawaii 1.7 5
Maine 1.6 6

North Dakota 0.3 52
Georgia 0.3 53
Nebraska 0.3 54
Iowa 0.2 55
Puerto Rico 0.2 56

More details at https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/brewbooks/25727-inaturalist-participation-across-the-united-states

Posted by brewbooks 4 months ago (Flag)
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Go Vermont! Haha. Yeah, we did that awhile ago internally for the 50 states for our iNaturalist project and for Vermont eBird, which we manage too. The Green Mountain State is killing it on both...per capita. Go Vermont naturalists!

Posted by kpmcfarland 4 months ago (Flag)
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@kpmcfarland Vermont is a wonderful outlier. Any idea what might cause this?

Posted by brewbooks 4 months ago (Flag)
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Wow, very neat. We have a great community, and Kent's work with VCE, along with some of the audubon chapters and other groups, have helped a ton. We are also a very small state so we show up on a lot of 'per capita' lists as outliers one way or another. This is a good one to be in! I am surprised by Alaska but I guess the small population as something to do with that. However on the US map there were no top 50 users there... so just people visiting? Interesting.

The midwest/Plains need more observations!

Posted by charlie 4 months ago (Flag)
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Good question @brewbooks. I think it helps that generally folks are super outdoorsy and there are a LOT of naturalist per square km here. The Vermont Center for Ecostudies is well known for leading efforts like Vermont eBird, the Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas, the Vermont Butterfly Atlas, etc etc., and we've spent a lot of time selling iNaturalist koolaid to that crowd. Finally, in that crowd, are some real superuser superstars like @charlie. We have 3 in the top 50 of the U.S. in Vermont. So I think it is a fortunate combination.

Posted by kpmcfarland 4 months ago (Flag)
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>Any idea what might cause this?
I second @kpmcfarland's incredible work championing iNat in Vermont as a key reason

Posted by loarie 4 months ago (Flag)
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I had a look at US regional iNat participation as well.
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/brewbooks/25731-us-regional-inaturalist-participation

The thing I've learned from this brief analysis is that we need more outreach in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions and Puerto Rico.
Thanks to @loarie @zoology123 @tonyrebelo @charlie @kpmcfarland and others for making me think (and learning)

Posted by brewbooks 4 months ago (Flag)
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@brewbooks I'm part of a Puerto Rico's biodiversity group , is very active and very proud of their amazing nature, but I think hardly anyone knows about iNat. Puerto Rico's biodiversity is top notch, both land and sea. Would be interesting to show them the complete table of your stats, maybe that encourage them :)

Posted by langlands 4 months ago (Flag)
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@langlands I'm happy to send you what I have iNaturalist US observation Analysis 23 June 2019 or send me a message if you need a different format.

As an aside, Puerto Rico is a place my wife and I hope to visit and explore. We like botanizing and snorkeling to see the marine life.

Posted by brewbooks 4 months ago (Flag)
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@brewbooks
Just curious does this number refresh
I still have 4500 more observations to post from Nevada
We left there a. The 23rd
I also have 500 for Arizona and 2100 left for New Mexico
For the time before the 23rd
I’m still posting form this trip

Posted by ck2az 4 months ago (Flag)
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I'm waiting to see how Bouvet Island and Clipperton Island are doing (they were in the 2017 roundup). I would have a sneak peek, but can't work out what international three letter code would be used for them ;-).

Posted by tony_wills 4 months ago (Flag)
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@brewbooks amazing, thank you so much. Yes, you should go to el Yunque national park, is a rainforest.

Posted by langlands 4 months ago (Flag)
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@ck2az It's a static look as of sometime on 23 June, I gathered the numbers manually. I suspect there is a way to automate this but it's beyond my current capability

Posted by brewbooks 4 months ago (Flag)
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👍👍

Posted by ck2az 4 months ago (Flag)
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Just checking: we know where the observers are based, but where are the top IDentifiers from?
2: MA,
CA, IL, IN, NY, PA, TX, UT & VT

Posted by tonyrebelo 4 months ago (Flag)
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There has been a big push to use iNaturalist in TX with a big volunteer group (the Texas Master Naturalists). It's been incredibly fun and inspiring to watch the growth in TX as more and more folks become addicted to documenting/appreciating biodiversity even in the urban ecosystem. Unfortunately, there's not nearly as much open/public space in Texas as in some other US states, but I've found that many folks simply like to observe in their own backyards.

This will be a great series of journal posts! Super proud to be part of this growing community! :)

Posted by sambiology 4 months ago (Flag)
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Now that the world tour is reaching more and more countries, it will be nice to have a clickable index to browse through country specific posts. Very interesting string of posts. I am enjoying the posts and the comments.

Posted by vijaybarve 4 months ago (Flag)
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I have to say, I am truly enjoying all the beautiful photos that have been taken in all these amazing countries.
It is also interesting to see where things are being spotted more or less and getting the word out about iNaturlaist may help those areas that are not getting much action.
I am always telling people about Inaturalist when I am out looking for things to photograph. When I run into people carrying cameras around their neck or attached to tripods or using their phone. I ask them if they are on iNaturalsit? They look at me and say what is that? Most say we just take nature pictures for a hobby. I then tell them how wonderful it would be if they could share their photos and where they saw them. I said, iNaturalsit is rich with all kinds of people. Scientist, Biologist, Master Naturalists and so many more and plain everyday folks like myself placing every living thing they come across or dead, on iNaturalsit. Mainly stuff in the wild.
I even show them how easy the phone App' iNaturalsit is. Aim, Shoot and click on the photo and add it to the iNaturlaist Application on the phone that you can download for free. They all seem to get a little excited and tell me they will definitely have to check that out and that they would love to have a place to put there photos and to have them identified. Some are wary of the technology. I said if you can upload photos from your camera to your computer, that is just how easy it is for doing it for iNaturalsit. Especially if you are doing photos on your phone.
I am not the sharpest tool in the shed. It takes me a while to figure out what I am placing on iNaturalsit, mainly insects and spiders, but I still love the world of iNaturalsit.✌🏻

Posted by walkingstick2 4 months ago (Flag)
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I put a short little species summary (of the most commonly recorded species) over here: https://www.inaturalist.org/blog/25762-united-kingdom-inaturalist-world-tour - that is the end of the top 7 and week one. I hope you enjoyed some of the information as much as I enjoyed summarizing it.

Posted by tonyrebelo 4 months ago (Flag)
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@vijaybarve we added this new figure which gives a teaser of whats to come and links to past blogs. We'll update it weekly.

Posted by loarie 4 months ago (Flag)
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👍👍👍

Posted by ck2az 4 months ago (Flag)
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@loarie 9 to 14 all link to Italy.

Posted by vynbos 4 months ago (Flag)
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@vynbos that’s because that’s the current week and we only want to update the figure weekly so they’ll link to the ‘weekly kickoff post’ until the week is wrapped up

Posted by loarie 4 months ago (Flag)
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@loarie on that link ('this new figure') clicking on the flags does nothing in Firefox (67.0.4) 64bit on Windows 10, same as for the flag map on https://www.inaturalist.org/posts/25692-inaturalist-world-tour. Clicking on the user icons does take you to the observers list though.

Posted by tony_wills 4 months ago (Flag)
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I don't know if it is too much but, what abut species on each country? each has observations and identifiers, but still missing species counts.

Posted by aztekium_tutor 4 months ago (Flag)
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@tony_wills thanks for pointing that out - thats annoying, not sure whats suppressing that, but the title (ie '1. United States') should now also be clickable and that seems to work. @aztekium_tutor I agree that it would be nice to capture species numbers somewhere too

Posted by loarie 4 months ago (Flag)
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Will this ever be updated? I just reached 49th in the US.

Posted by zoology123 4 months ago (Flag)
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they update once a week

Posted by loarie 4 months ago (Flag)
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I do have 1 small complaint. What about territories? US owned antarctic bases, Guantanamo Bay Naval Base etc.
The US has 13,115,647 Verifiable observations according to https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=1
But when you use my more inclusive project this jumps up to 13,154,757 Verifiable
observations. https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/biodiversity-of-the-united-states-by-state.
Almost 50000 more.
Why do so many forget about other US Land? I did contact staff to add the Hawaii, Alaska, and Continental US EEZs, but nothing has come of it. There is a lot of missing water observations in my project, and the main US map in the search.
https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/eez.html

Posted by zoology123 4 months ago (Flag)
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that stuff gets real political and real complicated real fast.

Posted by charlie 4 months ago (Flag)
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Then i must be an outcast, I love politics, maps, borders, etc. I'm a geography nerd

Posted by zoology123 4 months ago (Flag)
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Level 0 places in GADM and Natural Earth aren't meant to be 'sovereign states' (see Natural Earth for their alternative 'sovereign states' product). US territories like Puerto Rico have their own separate Level 0 places in both GADM and Natural Earth. US Naval Base Guantanamo Bay is kind of an interesting example, in Natural Earth its split off as its own Level 0 place, but in GADM it isn't recognized as distinct from Cuba. There's a few discrepancies in Level 0 places between GADM and Natural Earth that you can see in this
doc I linked to from this forum post.
The plan is to add EEZ's when we update the iNaturalist Standard places which is part of the goal of this World Tour effort (to have discussions that touch on each Level 0 place and its descendants)

Posted by loarie 4 months ago (Flag)
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Ok great.

Posted by zoology123 4 months ago (Flag)
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i love the politics i just don't want inat to be dragged into some territorial dispute issue, i recall it already causing someone to get really pissed because something about how an inat place (probably a user created one) addressed Israel and Palestine.

Posted by charlie 4 months ago (Flag)
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I'd agree that it's best not to drag politics into science more than absolutely necessary. I live in Israel, and while I certainly have my opinions, when it comes to science, it's important to cooperate and collaborate with others regardless of national identity

Posted by trh_blue 4 months ago (Flag)
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I actually agree also. But its impossible to make everyone happy.

Posted by zoology123 4 months ago (Flag)
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Hi iNatGeeks, goog job & good luck

Posted by kantoborgy 3 months ago (Flag)
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Love this project but as I live in the rather small country of Trinidad & Tobago I'm feeling there is a bit of a biased towards larger countries! ;-) As such I was curious about how the list would look if you took a country's land area and/or population into account and then see what the leaderboard looks like. They often do this for the Olympic Games (see http://www.medalspercapita.com/ for an example). I can find the global stats for population and area in a spreadsheet format online but I can't figure out how to get the latest numbers of iNat observations per country in a spreadsheet from this site. Is there a way? This is similar to @brewbooks post two weeks ago but for the whole world.

Posted by mikegrutherford 3 months ago (Flag)
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I took a country by country look at the measure "population per observation" (see post World iNaturalist participation) following the method suggested by @mikegrutherford The results were interesting.

Posted by brewbooks 3 months ago (Flag)
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Yes in New Zealand we like to measure our Olympic medal count in terms of population, but I think we are rather higher up the rankings when it comes to observations per capita. Although one thing that distorts things for small island nations in the pacific (and possibly other low population areas) is tourist iNaturalism, eg for Niue the top 5 observers, accounting for 300 out of 400 total observations, appear to be tourists (or whatever term you'd like to coin for iNaturalists on overseas trips).

Hmmm, I've just noticed that we are in 6th place for observations/capita, but also in 6th place for absolute number of observations ... consistent if nothing else ;-)

Posted by tony_wills 3 months ago (Flag)
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I know Vermont is not a country (we were once! some people still want to be!) just a state but we are wayy up there in per capita observations.

Posted by charlie 3 months ago (Flag)
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By my count you get something like one observation for every 2 people, sounds like it is a total difficult to beat!

Posted by tony_wills 3 months ago (Flag)
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@langlands "I'm curious as to which and in which place is the next non-anglophone country."
The next country that is different is South Africa, although English is spoken here. This is actually the first country where the paradigm of 'country = a particular language' simply breaks down. We have 11 official languages and several unofficial ones.

Posted by andrewgillespie 3 months ago (Flag)
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Sure, but for what percent of active South African iNatters is English their primary language? Scott's full list in descending order of number of observations is linked is here: https://inaturalist.github.io/internationals_all.html

@loarie and @brewbooks thanks for the great breakdowns!

Posted by bouteloua 3 months ago (Flag)
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@loarie @bouteloua Just to point out that the page with the full list hasn't updated the links for the last three spotlighted countries (Malaysia, Brazil and Spain) :)

Posted by langlands 3 months ago (Flag)
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@langlands I updated them

Posted by loarie 3 months ago (Flag)
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Hi all-I am finally sitting down and reading all of the iNat world tour starring from the beginning. It is so great! But I notice in this thread, one thing that often gets lost in the shuffle. Yes, we are all based in California the birthplace of iNat, but here at the Cal Academy @kestrel @anniemiller & I have been running a Citizen Science department for eight + years (since before iNat was part of the Academy) that uses iNat as the platform. We have trained thousands of people to use iNat, led or co-led over 100 bioblitzes and through a concerted effort built and support a community of local naturalists, much like they have done in Vermont, Texas and many other places. We work with the iNat team and certainly the fact that iNat started and is based here is HUGE, but it takes in-person community building to drive big numbers too. Our colleagues, @lhiggins @gregpc @smartrf @mordenana & @natureinla have also worked for years to build a community of naturalists in Los Angeles County making and sharing observations on iNat. In addition, the California Master Naturalist program trains hundreds of people to use iNat every year. These are just three examples of many folks doing tons of work in California. I think that everywhere iNat has a big community it is because the platform is awesome and well-maintained & developed by the team, there are active and dedicated naturalists using (making obs & ids) and evangelizing for iNat AND there are programs and people working directly to build community. Thanks!

Posted by rebeccafay 3 months ago (Flag)
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The World Tour figures aren't dynamic, they're a snapshot of when they're crunched. But because its interesting to keep things more or less current, we've been updating them once a month. We've just updated all the figures in all 39 posts so far to include Jul 2019. The downside though is that the text may drift from the figures. For example, based on number of observations Canada's now moved up to position 2, Russias moved up to position 9, Germany up to position 11, Taiwan up to 12, India up to 20, Singapore up to 26
Bolivia up to 30, Panama up to 31, Austria up to 38, and Greece up to 36 https://inaturalist.github.io/internationals_all.html

Posted by loarie 3 months ago (Flag)
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@loarie Thanks for updating the figure, it beats trying to figure that out by hand. I greatly appreciate seeing the global extent of iNaturalist, it's a wonderful tool.

Posted by brewbooks 3 months ago (Flag)
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Thanks! All the world tour figures have been updated - not just the one in the link

Posted by loarie 3 months ago (Flag)
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@loarie So does this mean the order of future countries may change, based on the number of observations made there by the month the Tour reaches that country?

Posted by shelley_b about 2 months ago (Flag)
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yes, we've been re-crunching all the stats every month which might change the order of past and future countries may change

Posted by loarie about 2 months ago (Flag)
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All the World Tour figures have been recrunched to include data from August 2019 - There are some interesting changes in the order of countries based on number of observations. Germany, France, Brazil, India, Denmark, Japan, Austria, Sweden, Poland, Honduras, Vietnam, Benin, and Iceland all moved up in rank. We'll be covering Benin and Iceland in this week (Week 11) even though their now ranked in Week 10 spots. There's a cost of updating these figures monthly in that they can get 'out of sync' with the text describing them. But its cool to see new data as its added and to keep these figures current and relevant.

Posted by loarie about 2 months ago (Flag)
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👍👍

Posted by ck2az about 1 month ago (Flag)
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It may also be a motivator to some iNat communities to get their countries' stats up, if they can see a progression in rank reflected here!

Posted by shelley_b about 1 month ago (Flag)
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I think Canada too moved up to 2nd spot

Posted by langlands about 1 month ago (Flag)
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stats have been updated through September in case anyone is interested https://inaturalist.github.io/internationals_all.html more details on today's Venezuela post https://www.inaturalist.org/blog/28017-venezuela-inaturalist-world-tour

Posted by loarie 10 days ago (Flag)
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Thanks!

Posted by aztekium_tutor 9 days ago (Flag)

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