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thank you, Joe
I have not attempted to contribute to the github page nearly enough.
If such lists are to be used at MO I think they should be entirely segregated from more useful observations. A text file uploadable and viewable on MO in a different section of the site would probably work well for species lists, they could look like conventional species lists found at actual forays. If there are any real observations associated with them there should be a way to link them. For miscellaneous “Faith” based observations perhaps should be further separated, I’m not sure what the best way to represent them would be, but they might be useful for the maps, but only if they are visibly distinguishable on the map (Different color?) and I would strongly suggest they be off by default.
Additionally previous practices such as refusing “Lists” from new, unknown, or users with questionable experience would need to stop. I at least think we should accept them all or none of them, it should not be something only available to a privileged few. Also name changes would become less important for the species lists, but a way to highlight clearly wrong ones could nice and perhaps even link better names would be nice. I would imagine the lists would be most useful if they represented our knowledge at the time and not what we currently know as that is always in flux.
Danny, that is exactly what bugguide does, but instead of simply segregating them they remove the non-useful observations too. This include those that are unidentifiable, without enough information and even those that are redundant data points. We don’t necessarily have to remove the “Frassed” observations, that is something that should be decided by server costs and available funds. Though I really agree that they need to be segregated so that when experts and highly knowledgeable users come to help they are able of seeing only the useful observations.
Agreed. MO should prioritize quality. Do you know that MO has a developer team and that you are welcome to make suggestions toward it’s improvement? It is a wonderful group of people, programmers mostly, all working for the site without expectation of personal enrichment (they do not get paid). I am sure you are welcome.
Would you feel differently if it were possible to simply hide the imageless observations? …or are you more of the opinion that lists should be somewhere else in another form such as a text file?
by the way, I always enjoy this discussion!
take in lots of data, even not the best data, but showcase/pass along/consider research worthy only data that meets a given set of criteria. what MO needs is a way to assign value to observations. actually, it needs more developers with more time to implement things like ways to assign value to observations.
Is that science should be about explaining observable data, but either of these names are entirely dependent on a lot of “If” and “Faith”, something more appropriate for a theological debate.
Do we at least agree that MO should prioritize quality so that we might attract more qualified identifiers and experts than you or I? If so what do you think is a better way of achieving this?
I don’t think it’s all that complicated. we can be reasonably certain that whoever added Morchella esculenta to the original species list saw a light colored morel. We know that Morchella taxonomy is much more complicated than originally thought. Therefore, the entry should be amended to be Morchella sp. If and when forays at this location can accurately identify morels to sp., they will become a part of the list as well.
I fully understand your point and it has already been discussed in depth.
My goal was to clean up the less useful Morchella observations, especially those using invalid European names. Also to follow the wonderful example set by Bugguide.net which favors quality over quantity and has a proven quality control system. There is a reason they have a wealth of contributing experts and we don’t, I have seen several people just leave or even refuse to contribute because the overabundance of non-identifiable observations was too much to sort through and the reputation with professional biologists is that MO is just a blog site.
I know this is not popular opinion here, but really there are better places and ways to maintain and share your species lists. Perhaps it can be built into MO so these lists can be created without needless observations that will never be properly identified. Though in the meantime if we ever want MO to be much more than it is currently these should stop and the existing ones should be removed.
I personally maintain my own species lists in plain text files, I have one of Cynipidae galls at Stebbins Cold Canyon for example.
I don’t disagree with you about imageless observations. But perhaps you miss the point of this one. You may notice this is a part of a ‘List’. If you click on that list, you may learn a bit more.
In preparing for the 2016 NAMA Shenandoah Foray that our club is hosting, I discovered a species list (actually provided to my by the SNP botanist) composed in 1985 by a local professor who will be attending the foray this year. It was hand-typed on two 11×17 pages oriented vertically (portrait) with several columns. I can send it to you if you are interested. I converted the printed version into text using OCR software, then loaded the names into MO. It seems about a third of the names have changed. Without too much effort on my part, MO found the new names and substituted them for me. That list combined with the observations I and others on MO have made from the park and nearby now give us the best list currently available of what fungi exist in the park. It is not 100% accurate, but it is a start. From that list you can speculate on what fungi are rare to the park. And with the help of a half dozen mycologists and Roody’s book on Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians, I have created that list.
Can we use this at the foray? You bet we can. Will we find them all? No. Will some of them turn out to be more common than expected, Yes.
But here is the thing: http://mushroomobserver.org/observer/checklist?species_list_id=897
This checklist is itself composed of several different lists serving different purposes. MO will put the entire thing in order and count it up. That flexibility is worth a lot.
Have you ever created a list or what is more commonly referred to as a species list on MO? If you do, you will find that you are inadvertantly creating imageless observations. If you gave me the choice, one should be able to choose whether or not the imageless observations are displayed. MO does not currently offer that choice, but given the advantages of the lists, I think the clutter of the imageless observations are worth it. Just my opinion, though.
These observations are prime examples of why imageless observations are bad form and detrimental to MO. Instead of having anything remotely useful, we have a non-verifiable collection using an invalid name identified by who knows who…