Allow projects to add observation fields offline

Platform(s), Android
Description of need: Traditional Projects do not allow data entry in observation fields offline - this is needed.

Feature request details:
Currently, one cannot add a project to an observation offline on the Android (one can on the iPhone).
However, fieldwork is often in areas without signal - at least this is true over much of Africa.
This means that data for projects cannot be captured on iNaturalist, but has to be noted elsewhere and then uploaded later when one has a signal. This is impractical for case where say aliens are being documented (including their abundance) or red list species are being monitored and population numbers and threats are required for each observation, over large areas away from good phone reception.

Is it possible to get this upgraded? It is sorely needed.

Not in the current apps. In the future? Potentially but I can’t say for sure.

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seems complicated. you would need some sort of mechanism to effectively download everything you would need for observation field input. if all your observation fields were just text input fields, that might not be so bad, but some observation fields are taxon-based. so you would need to download an entire taxonomy in those cases. i’m not developing the app, of course, but it just seems like too much complexity for a limited use case. in the meantime, you could just record everything in the observation nates and then translate those to observation fields later, right?


No: recording in notes wont help. That will be OK for people who are experienced with the relative projects but wont work with beginners and causal contributors.

It works on iPhone - so why not Android.

I did not know that one could use species for observation fields: can you point me where and how that is done.

For instance I could do this on iPhone for Western Leopard Toad. [] The issue here is that people are collecting data at night, in streets, in rain, often in heavy traffic: dangerous conditions: we want them to photo, add sex/age (male, female, juvenile, amplexis pair, unknown), add state (Dead, Live, Injured) , direction moving (to or from breeding ponds, unknown), female state (with eggs, without eggs, unknown) - and it needs to be done in seconds.
The iPhone works well: just make sure projects are showing before one switches to airplane mode, and one can use it in the field (IDs are not done - too slow and dangerous, and it slows down the app).
The Android does not allow this at all. If the iPhone can do it, why not Android?

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there are plenty of observation fields set up with the taxon data type. when you set up your observation field, just set it up with the taxon datatype. here’s an example of that:

as far as i can tell, if you start a new observation on the Android app and click the button to attach it to a project (without even necessarily attaching it to a project), then even if you go offline, as long as you don’t close the app, you can still finish off the observation and / or start new observations where you can attach projects and their observation fields.

one of the big problems as described earlier is that taxon-based observation fields can’t be populated properly. because you can’t look up taxa offline, you end up with taxon_id=0, which is is an invalid value.

Thanks: was not aware of that option. Much appreciated.

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Thanks that should work, as far as I could test.

Except I have gone over some limit: with almost 600 projects admin, and about 1300 projects joined, the projects I want to use (Habitats & WLT Monitoring) does not make the list on the android app (which stops somewhere in the letter “C”, but inexplicably includes (separately) projects that are collection/umbrella and therefore that I cannot add).
I did not have that problem on the iPhone.
It just means that I cannot demonstrate this to other people on courses and talks. I will have to get someone else to demonstrate it, or use their account/phone to do it.


there is a search box at the top of the list that should allow you to filter for projects. but i don’t have as many projects as you do to test to see if that’s actually filtering from all your projects or only from the projects that already show up in the list (in your case, up to the letter “C”).