More fields for species!
Specifically for phase and common names...
For example, the differences between a juvenile, intermediate and adult phase Equetus punctatus are extreme in both shape and patterning, to the point where they can be misidentified as other species.
In addition, it would be nice to be able to note when juveniles are starting to re-appear thanks to conservation efforts, when spotting an adult might not be a big deal. (Or vice versa.)
As far as common names go, several of the common names are completely different from the Humann / Deloach books, which can make it difficult to find fish as many operations use those books as the standard reference. Of course scientific names trump all, but easily finding fishes by being able to add "more common" common names would be extremely handy.
More on the invasion tracking thing: What I forgot to write was that what I really want to see is an overlay integrated into a map with some sort of yellow zone / red zone area drawn based on number of sightings of invading foreign species. That way, you could see progression of invasion (or success of culling) at a glance. Maybe also add a green zone where there has been a reduction over time because native predators have learned to eat the invader or culling efforts have been very successful.
I suppose that would also mean finding a way to flag species based on location as being native or foreign.
If you're pulling all of the data from EOL when importing, then having a voting system on both common names and images might help with the sorting display. Sometimes the common name is bizarre, and the image is a line drawing from the 18th century, even though EOL has both better names and better images stored.
It might also be good to be able to store a higher level taxon. For instance, if you spot a squirrelfish in the Caribbean and you go to specify that you saw it, you might not be able to remember if it was a Sargocentron xantherythrum or a Holocentrus rufus so it might be nice to be able to say that it was a member of the family Holocentridae and sub-family Holocentrinae without having to go into further specification.
Along the lines of having the option of storing higher level taxa, it might be possible to make the display easier to use if it is possible to group the species with some sort of collapsible mechanism according to their taxa. You could then have the option of viewing neighboring species--in the squirrelfish example, you might want to have a collapsed bock containing the subfamily of soldierfish (Myripristinae) with some sort of text to the effect of "You might also want to look here if you can't find what you're looking for." If the collapsible thing works, then you could break it down further by Genus, so that someone could browse family/subfamily, expand a genus within that and then pick a species.
It sounds like a lot of work. Alternatively, it might be better to store the species in collapsible blocks based on rarity with the 'common' block being expanded by default, which would limit the results in what is probably the most meaningful manner for common users, while people who want to dig down for rare species would then be able to view a larger results list by expanding the uncommon, rare, whatever blocks. That also might make your shared occurrence data more meaningful.
Or do both and have a selector to switch between taxa relations and rarity.
Another thing that I would like to see is some sort of species invasion tracking. Lionfish in the Caribbean, for example. I'd like to be able to say that I spotted four Lionfish on a dive in near Little Cayman or twenty on a dive in Belize. (It'd be also nice to have a scoreboard for culling--sign me up for 58 around Little Cayman :D ) That idea is probably outside the scope of the current subject, but it would be something nice to see.
I think quantification is a great idea. It might also need a qualification of the quantification. In other words, seeing a school of jacks around Belize might be a common sighting, while seeing a school of squid would be rare. That's fairly subjective, though, so I'm not sure if it would be something worth storing separately.
AdminDiveboard team (Admin, Diveboard) commented
Perfectly valid points !
We'll revamp the species picker in q1 since there are a few stuf I'm quite unhappy with too ...
so yeah excellent points !
I'll also add some level of quantification (one / some / many / school)
If you think of anything else that would make sense, now's the time !
Also we currently display species, but I feel like even when looking at local species (taken from the occurrence data we share with iobis) it's super messy and hard to use - any idea on how to make a better sort ?