Bulk upload from downloaded observations

Here is my situation. For the past two years I have used iNat for student collections in a Field Biology course I teach. It has worked very well, for both me and the students. In the first year complaints from the community regarding multiple observations of the same individual (of a species) in the same place were resolved by deleting all student observations at the end of the class. This year, I am attempting to address additional complaints and requests to ‘leave at least one observation’ in the database. In order to do so, I went through each observation in the class and identified the best quality observation for each individual, species, and location. I am now at the point where I wish to consolidate those observations under one username established for the course. I see references to bulk upload from spreadsheets but the tutorial video is gone and I find little other specific help. I would like to be able to upload the ‘keeper’ observations that I have identified after downloading them from the multiple users and combining them into one spreadsheet (or CSV, or whatever format works best) Is this possible, and if so, how does one accomplish this? Thanks in advance for any help…It is still my intent to delete the multiple observations at the end of this process.

There is nothing inherently wrong with having multiple observations of the same organism at the same time. Did complainers give reasons for why they didn’t like it?

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The complaint was that it would artificially inflate species abundance in an area…Do you have any information regarding bulk uploading?

Because iNaturalist defines an observation as “An observation records an encounter with an individual organism at a particular time and location.” iNat data isn’t a great indicator of abundance in the first place. iNat data are artificially inflated in many ways, from bioblitzes, and trailheads, and the data is biased towards charismatic organisms that can be photographed easily.

You could upload the CSV to an account (please make sure you make clear that the account is a classroom one) but bulk uploading doesn’t include photos - would photos be necessary for you? Otherwise you would have to add photos to the observations after the fact.

How many accounts are we talking about here? I could also merge them into one classroom account which you can then curate. If so, email help@inaturalist.org with details such as usernames, etc.

HI Tiwane,

I do want the pics so, merging sounds like the most helpful avenue of approach…it is only 11 accounts (I have all logins and PWs)…I will pare them down to the keeper observations, then reach out to you when that is done…I did establish an account for the class (into which I was going to upload the keepers). I will send all the specifics when it is ready. Thank you…that will save me a ton of work.

From my standpoint: I don’t mind a few duplicates but in some cases you will literally see 30 or 40 observations of the same tree, with differing IDs, etc. and in one case I identified it wrong which was my fault but it was a pain to deal with. I think duplication within reason is totally fine but after a point it definitely feels like a nuisance to identifiers, totally aside from abundance documentation which iNat shouldn’t be used for more than anecdotally as we know.

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