Adding more than one photo to an observation

I’ve noticed this too. I wonder if iNaturalist could do a better job of guiding new users through the process.

I use the web interface, and it was extremely unintuitive to me to figure out how to add new photos to a newly created record. I did figure it out, and I figured out two different ways of doing it, but only after considerable experimentation, and both of them were unexpected. I’m a web developer myself, and I think I tend to experiment more with UI’s than the average user does.

The two ways of adding multiple photos that I discovered were:

  • (The easy way) Drag and drop an image from some other application open in my OS, like an image program or a file, and drag it into the box for the existing observation that already has one or more images in it. Once I got the idea of trying to drag-and-drop like this, it was intuitive because the box highlights as expected. However, it was not immediately apparent just from looking at the page that it allowed drag-and-drop. The initial page says “Drag and drop some photos and sounds” but once I drag and drop one, there is nothing that says “Drag and drop to add more” and there is no more “Choose files” button. I think the interface would be hugely improved by putting this text and this button somewhere inside the box. There is certainly enough room on the page!

  • (The hard way) Clicking “+Add” and uploading a new photo and creating a new observation and then combining them, either by selecting both and hitting “Combine”, or by dragging and dropping one into the other.

I strongly suspect a few small UI tweaks would mostly eliminate the problem. Most users aren’t going to fiddle with the interface as long as I did. And even at my level of curiosity, it took me longer than I would like.


Yeah, i get your point, i got there pretty much with the same experimentation.

I think this problem comes up mostly with app users (not sure about iOS, i use android myself) and there are also several ways to create an obs:

  • (The easy one) You choose several images from your gallery, than tap “Share” button and there comes up a list of apps to choose from - select iNat and all chosen images start to upload. Than goes the identification routine, maybe addition of some notes and you’re pretty much done: next time you open iNat it uploads obs to the database and cleans cache.
  • (The hard one) You open iNat app and tap the green “+” sign button at the lower right corner and here app suggest either taking picture or choosing image from your phone. I’m guessing that’s where the origin of the problem lays, since you can not take several pictures (there is another “+” sign button appearing next to uploaded picture to add another one once you’ve created an obs - but you have to do it one by one) and when choosing from photo gallery you are also not allowed to select several pictures at once - and you have to upload them one by one.

I wonder if i should make it (uploading several pictures in the second case scenario) to the feature request?


I think this is a worthy discussion, but separate to the original question as to whether or not it is possible to merge observations once already uploaded. So, I moved it to its own topic. Feel free to adjust the topic title.

On Android using iNat with the default photo gallery app, to add additional photos: if you tap and hold you can then select more than one photo.

On iOS, you tap each photo you want to add and select “Done” to add more than one photo.


Thank you!
Oh wow, I must have been halucinating or smth, since this (tapping and holding) did not work several days ago :grimacing:
I’m really sorry for adding up to the confusion.

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This method I didn’t know about! It might be easier for me to work from within my photo gallery when I have a backlog of observations to upload rather than to scroll back through my photo gallery from within the app.

This is what I usually do, but it doesn’t work in all of my photo galleries. There are a few navigation options in the app. If I select “Images” then choose a folder, I can do multiselect (screenshot: . But if I Select “Gallery” from the “Open From” tab, then I can’t multiselect for some reason (screenshot:

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Oh yeah, that’s exactly what i was talking about! Thank you!

For a long time I only knew how to see “recent” and selections from the “Open From” tab. If I had too many photos to show up in “recent”, then I had to select google photos as my gallery in order to be able to multiselect. I’e never really understood why. (Now I can choose “Images” then “Camera”, but that’s only a recently discovery.

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Might be worth a bug report. I would be especially helpful to know which device you have, which version of Android OS it’s running, and which version of the iNat app you’re using.

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