Download Monarch butterfly caterpillar photos

Hi there,

Can somebody suggest me how I download Monarch butterfly caterpillar photos ? I need some photos for my research.


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The same way you would download any image from the internet???

Of course if those images are for research you will need to cite your sources, and if the images aren’t yours, ensure permission from the owner/check copyright status.

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can you describe a little more what you’re intending to do? is the stumbling block how to find observations with caterpillars only? or is the stumbling block how to download the images in bulk? are you just training an image classification model? or are you doing something more complicated?

how you go about getting the photos depends on how many photos you plan to download, how recent you need the data to be, and how you plan to use the product (i.e. commercial or not).


Hi Pisum: I will be using that to train a classification model. In fact I need images uploaded after January 2022. But I don’t know how I download in bulk.

it looks like the number of observation that fit your date range + taxon + life stage criteria is less than 10,000. so you have many options for how to proceed.

downloading is basically a 2-step process. you need to get a list of the photos to download*, and then you need to download them. assuming you have a list of photos already from the iNat CSV export, iNat API, or some other source, you can download them using your favorite scripting language or similar tool.

the way i would probably do it is by creating some cURL statements to do the download (since i would probably want to keep a record of exactly what i downloaded). here’s a post that talks about this process a bit:

you could probably automate the whole process from the command line using a combination of cURL + jq, or you could probably do it in R or Python, etc. i don’t have any such scripts to share though, although i’m sure you could look through GitHub and find something, if needed.

if the images you get are licensed (as opposed to all rights reserved), the image files should come from the AWS Open Data set, in which case there are few limits on how you need to download the files. if they include all rights reserved images for some reason, iNat will impose certain restrictions when downloading from their media servers. (there should be references to those in the post linked above.)

* it may be worth noting that the AWS Open Data set was designed probably to serve specifically as a potential training set, but it’s probably harder to use the AWS set metadata as a starting point for getting your list of image files to download in this case because you’re not dealing with a lot of observations and because you have some more niche filter criteria — specifically, life stage.

@pisum @robotpie Thank you so much!

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