Heads up: Emotional, freaking-out-a-little-bit post incoming…
I received a pop-up notice suggesting that my geo-fenced biodiversity project looked like it was eligible to become a ‘new’ Collection Project. I hadn’t really read much on the added project types, but I checked out these links and thought I understood what would change when I converted:
I liked the landing page format of Collection Projects and misunderstood that qualifying observations (ie. from others) would be included in project search results, but that I would be able to continue to manually include observations to my project. I now understand this was my mistake and that is not how Collection Projects behave.
The first observation made after converting my “traditional” project to a “collection” project failed because of “Client Error (422)”. This was a new error that I’d not seen in all the years I’ve used this platform. A quick forum search yielded that was a spurious thing and that I should delete the record and resubmit. I did this a few times and eventually after removing all but one photo, it went through… I added the 2 additional photos and didn’t receive the error after the record had been created. That isn’t really something that concerns me.
What concerns me is that record doesn’t show up in the Collection Project when it meets the criteria to be there (afaik). Also, from the mobile client, when I view “projects” for the observation, my project is highlighted, but from the web interface (on PC), the project is not listed and it clearly isn’t “in” the project (which I see now that’s how collection projects work). It isn’t just this one observation either. I had around 722 species in my project and post-conversion, there are 504 species. The observation count when down substantially as well. If I allow any criteria as long as it is within the project geography, why such a change? I just don’t get what happened. Here I was striving to grow my biodiversity log to greater than 1000 species in the project and it drops 218 species with the click of the mouse.
Since I don’t understand how observations are included in results (or not) and there is no way to manually add them to the project that I’ve been maintaining for years, I deeply regret converting my project to a Collection Project. On the surface, the conversion to the new project type looks like a GOOD thing that was aligned with my project goals. It is not. It resulted in a loss of control and completely deflated the fun out of contribution.
Is there any way to revert from a Collection Project to the old “traditional” project format? I want to continue to have my project observations listed as “in” the project because I use that flag for queries often. I can’t understand how important project membership of observations is to how I use iNaturalist. Collection Projects sound great right up to the point that you can’t flag an observation manually into a project like you could in traditional projects. I really, really dislike this behavior. Help? Please?
Thank you so much for suggestions as a solutions to this unfortunate mistake on my part. I love iNaturalist. It’s a big part of my life and I’m a monthly supporter. I really would like to go back to happily observing as I have for years. If this is irreversible, I fear my iNaturalist days may be coming to an end. I couldn’t find anything on the forum about how to roll back or undo this mistake I made.