Disappearing Observations

Ok, to start I did read the “how to” on bug reports. I’m afraid my problem is lack of URLs/links. In the last week I have noticed that several of my observations have disappeared. POOF, no notice gone. I actually may not have noticed had they not been some of the pics that are high quality in terms of image, content, identification, etc. I may have other less important ones gone that I have not noticed. So, I am missing observations along with their identifying images. The absence is across the board on all of my devices. Is there some reasonable explanation I have missed? The best I can do on specifics right now is an arrowshaped micrathena spider uploaded in July-Aug of this year. I can be more specific if necessary.

Do you have screenshots ? Otherwise you could make an export today and a few week later an identical export and do a compare



Could your problem be related to this thread https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/not-all-observations-uploading/4946 ?

I had a bunch of obs not upload correctly in July, but the problem was fixed by @kueda , so all missing obs should now be visible.

Further to the above link:

I have had two non-uploads today. The first one did appear after refreshing my Edit Obs page.

The second one has not reappeared after refreshing several times over 8 minutes. @pisum could I prevail upon you to find my missing ob, please? The photo looks like this:

@kueda could the latest maintenance have messed with the ‘updating counts of observation fields’?

I did as you suggested yesterday with this observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/34931837
It is there still today. I will keep a watch on it. Thank you for the grid link, it makes things easier.

The other one I have identified I have to find among 10,000 images. I will find it eventually. Is it not advisable to rely on iNat as a final archive tool? I generally back up everything somewhere, but I don’t have an organized system yet.

My observations were included in projects. I am going to check if they are also now missing from the projects.

I’ve had some observations go poof, but all but one seem to be from an uploading error. I keep track of my lifelist in a separate spreadsheet which I sync up with my iNat observations once a year so usually I can pick out what I’m missing


@leezeca, I’m sorry to hear you lost some observations. Unfortunately, I’m not sure there’s much we can do unless we can narrow things down with an obs URL or a relatively narrow date range in which you noticed the obs was gone. Finding “an arrowshaped micrathena spider uploaded in July-Aug of this year” would mean digging through 2 months worth of backups, which isn’t trivial.

We’ve had some problems with mobile apps getting into weird sync issues that sometimes result in deleted obs. Looks like you’re using the Android app, so if you installed it before last spring or so (I think that’s when we released the fix), I would advise completely uninstalling and reinstalling the app to make absolutely sure your local database gets removed and replaced and you have the latest version of the app. Sometimes issues like this manifest as lots of observations deleted at a regular and rapid pace, and we can see that in our log data and in our records of deleted observations, but looking at these kinds of data for you doesn’t show anything like that.

I will say that the log data suggests you delete observations pretty regularly, like a couple every week since Sept. 1, on the web and from the Android app. Does that sound right?

Hi Ken-ichi. I know you guys have a lot on your plate at the mo, but I wonder if you could also check out my issue above (https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/disappearing-observations/7554/4?u=karoopixie) because I’m losing obs as well, and I thought this issue was fixed, and I’m wondering if the last upgrade broke the observation count thingie again?

I have so much to upload, but I don’t want to carry on if I’m going to have orphaned obs again :-(

@karoopixie, if your problem is with observations not saving in the Uploader, as opposed to being successfully created and then disappearing, that sounds like a separate issue than this, so please either add steps I can follow to reproduce the problem at https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/not-all-observations-uploading/4946/41 (assuming it’s the same problem, I just opened it up for new replies), or start a new report. Again, please try and provide as much information as possible to help us recreate what you’re experiencing. Just saying that photos are not uploading is not enough. We need the files you’re trying to upload, screenshots of error messages, detailed steps to reproduce, etc.

Thanks Ken-ichi. It is the same problem, but I couldn’t add a comment to that topic before because it was closed. Thanks for re-opening it.

Edit: it still seems closed…

Edit: @bouteloua has kindly opened it, thank you.

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I think I will do my best to find the date & time for you, I should be able to do this based on my other obs from that location. I am positive my observations uploaded. I actually installed iNat for the first time on
I do delete obs on occasion, but it is only if they are a duplicate or remain unknown.
An oddity I have discovered is that this particular pic set has also disappeared from my phone and chromebook galleries. I had them in locked folders. No one
else has access to my network, let alone my electronics. Does this mean the problem may be something else entirely? I will find the date and get back to you.

If you uploaded the photo to iNat then no, it shouldn’t matter if something happened to the photo elsewhere. When you import a photo into the iNat app, we make a separate copy of the file. When you upload the file to iNat, there’s yet another copy on our servers. So changes elsewhere should not have any effect on your iNat photos, and changes to your iNat photos should not affect your photos elsewhere.

Were you ever able to get this info to the iNat developers to help solve this issue? Has it happened again?