Select location or datasets to match IDs

What Wildbook should this feature be in?

What would you like to see?
I would appreciate having the option to select whether identifications should be matched against other datasets. What I mean is that it’s not meaningful to compare the IDs of hyenas from Ghana to Senegal since there is absolutely zero connectivity between these two countries. Therefore, it could be valuable to have the ability to choose which sites, countries, or datasets we want to use for identification matches. This is especially relevant in West Africa, where there is very limited connectivity between sites, particularly in major national parks.

How would this functionality help you?
It would decrease the model running time, avoid matching with impossible individuals, simplify classification.

It’s been a while since I haven’t used ACW I hope my post is still relevant.
Please let me know if you need more informations,

Hi @rhorion

The match candidates you see are already based on the location of the source encounter by default. Global matches aren’t typically displayed unless you select that option when you start a new match from the encounter page. Manually starting a match also lets you choose specific location IDs to match against as well as only matching against your own data.

Additionally, if you work with Projects, you can choose to match against project encounters. That option can be accessed from the project page and also within the match results page.

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Hi @Anastasia,

Apologies for the delayed response—I’ve been in and out of ACW.

I’ve recently resumed using ACW and processed a new batch, but I’m having trouble figuring out how to match only on specific locations. Currently, the only option I see is to match against all batches from West Africa (as shown in the image below). In our region, the parks in different countries are not connected much, so there’s no need to match hyenas from Senegal to those in Benin when they’re both in West Africa.

I’m not sure if I’m missing something or if the option is not available. Even when manually matching, I can’t seem to filter by park or country—only by West Africa. The same limitation applies when manually starting a match.

Could you please guide me on whether I’ve misunderstood something or if there’s a specific option I might have overlooked?

Thank you for your assistance.


ACW only appears to have sub-sites available for South Africa. To clarify, as long as a Location ID is listed in the menu of the Submit an Encounter page, you can match against it when running a new match.

I suspect @ACWadmin1 has a reason for having broader location ID regions in ACW without additional sub-sites, so I’ll let her weigh in on that here.

Hi @rhorion - ACW’s location IDs were set up back when the system was first set up. The location IDs are what’s used to match against, along with species and viewpoint, of course.

Because several of our species are very wide ranging we left the location IDs quite broad. Since it all runs on the server side, it doesn’t affect the end user’s system or internet connection directly. The only other consequence is that your data is compared to all other same species + same & similar viewpoint from the same location ID.

The challenge is that in order for any new images added to be matched against previous images uploaded, they all have to have the same location ID or within the hierarchical set of location IDs. So if we added more specific location IDs under Africa - West, for example the park or country name, then those would only be matched against each other. Images uploaded with Africa - West would be compared against all other images with that location ID PLUS images with location IDs under Africa - West, such as the park or country name.

It’s not possible to have multiple location IDs in a bulk import or in an encounter record so the flexibility of choosing one over another when re-running matches isn’t available in that sense. It’s only available at the encounter level, as @Anastasia has explained above. Even at the bulk import level, a batch of images can only be run against the location ID specified in its source metadata excel file, or “All locations”:

So while we’re not averse to adding new location IDs, it has ramifications in terms of your existing data in the system and what gets compared to what.

Feel free to email me directly so we can discuss this in more depth. If I can understand what you’re trying to solve for, I’ll try to work out the best way to accomplish what you need.


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