Computer vision icon on medialess observations?

Today I noticed a few observations without media. They were completely ordinary as far as I could tell. However, the ID as entered by the observer had the computer vision icon:


How does something like this happen?

A few potential causes come to mind:

  • there was an Android bug that caused observaitons to be split during upload - observation info in one observation, the photo in the other. Was this made via Android and uploaded a year ago or more?

  • the observer might have removed the photo at some point after making the observation


On my iPhone, I’ve sometimes had upload glitches (bad connection, etc.) where everything except the photo gets uploaded, even though I was able to add the photo on my phone and use the CV on it

One observation was made 10/9/23, another 10/10/23. Both were from different users, one of them with ~500 observations, so not exactly a novice user. One used the Android app, the other one the iphone app.

It’s possible that both of them just happened to delete the picture they uploaded, but in my experience that’s really odd.

If my phone gets interrupted during an observation upload, oftentimes it will upload the ID and metadata (location, date/time, etc.), but it won’t have gotten around to uploading the photo. So the CV icon would show up, but the photo won’t until I resync the app.

I think this is a pretty common occurrence based on how many observations I see with similar indicators.


Did the issues persist after you reloaded their pages? Or checked them some time later?

I’ve had no media being displayed on one of my uploads for it to only show up with media some time later on. No idea how that happened. The status from the observation changed from RG to casual to RG as well. Quite curious.

this is also what’s happened to me.
another cause has been that occasionally my phone storage will get full (often directly due to iNaturalist’s bloated cache) and corrupt the final photo taken, such that I may be able to use computer vision but the photo will never be able to upload. this observation fits the bill, though I didn’t bother accepting the computer vision guess because I noticed it was corrupted before I finished the upload anyway.

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There’s no change after several hours. It looks like incomplete uploads due to poor connections may be the problem. Makes more sense to me than observers deleting their pictures.


I actually just had this happen to me

I don’t know if it’s the case for the others, but this was an observation taken in Seek then sent to iNaturalist, so it may be a problem between Seek and iNaturalist.

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