Bug: upload failure, option to stay and try again does not work

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Platform (Android, iOS, Website): Website

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) : Chrome

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/upload

Description of problem: Lately I have been having intermittent issues with the upload process. Most recently (yesterday) I uploaded 5 groups of observations, and for no discernable reason two of them failed. They were highlighted in red and iNaturalist informed me there was a problem with the upload, and asked if I wanted to ignore the error or stay where I was. Neither option allows you to stay and try again. Both options simply take you to your observations list to show you which uploads were successful. I did not think to grab a screenshot at the time, but the behavior is consistent.

In every case, a second attempt has been successful in uploading the observations, so the issue is not with the photos or data. The current behavior forces the user to fill out the observation forms from scratch again. The preferred behavior would be to give the option to try again.


I don’t have this issue, can you please try again and take a screenshot?

I can take screenshots the next time it happens, but as I said, the issue is intermittent. In any case, I’m not reporting the intermittent upload issue. I’m reporting on the undesirable behavior of the site’s response to that issue.

Oh okay; either way, it’s necessary for the developers to know exactly what issue is occuring, to know where to change the code.

Happened again today. Photos:

Choosing stay and try again leaves me on a blank page with the address https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/upload:


Happened again today.

“stay and try again” still leads to a blank page. This upload bug would be a lot less annoying if one could actually stay and try again.

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Hmm, the only way I can consistently create an error that gives me the Stay and try again option is to enter text that is longer than 256 characters int he species guess, and when I click Stay and try again the pop-up goes away and my observations on the Upload screen are editable. Behaves the same in both Chrome and Firefox.

I’m wondering if you’re using an extension that’s causing this, or the number of photos per observation, or the size of the photos? How large of these photo files?

I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen these errors when trying to upload an observation, so I’m curious as to why you’re running into them so much, and I think it might be tied to the weird behavior of the Stay and try again button.

I cannot reproduce the inciting bug consistently myself. The species entered are all existing entries, nothing crazy there.

The only active extension is an adblocker, which ignores iNaturalist because there are no ads. The photos are individually 0.5-3 Mb. As you could see in my two examples, sometimes this happens with a large upload, sometimes with a small one. I don’t think extensions or photo size are relevant, because the error does not complain about anything except adding the observations to the project. This of course does not mean the error message is truthful…

It would not even be an annoyance if I could actually stay and try again. FWIW, I too can actually reproduce the inciting error, then stay and try again if I try your too-long name trick. Just not when I need to -_-

Happened again. The specific observation was highlighted in red almost immediately upon clicking ‘submit.’

An update on this bug: since I have switched to uploading observations and then batch adding them to the project, I have not had any failures. This points to the problem being with the code responsible for adding to a project during upload (though the failure of the stay and continue option is still its own bug).