Downloading Annotations

I want to download the annotation data from observations within a project to a csv file but I have not been able to find a way of doing so. Am I missing the option to do this when exporting the data or is this ability currently unavailable?


Downloading annotations I believe is unavailable. However downloading observation fields is, and every annotation automatically populates a corresponding observation field, so find the right one that it aligns to, and you can do it that way.

One little trick, the list of observation fields in the export screen is populated by the ones you personally have most recently used. So if the one you want is not there, go add it to any observation, then it should appear.

Chris - I’ve never seen evidence that the annotations populate a field. It definitely works the other way. eg. “Insect Life Stage” populates the life stage annotation, but, based on thousands of observations that I’ve had to look at to clean-up data for the moth and butterfly atlases, I have only seen it work the other way.

1 Like

At least when I have tried, it doesn’t auto-populate to fill in those fields from the annotations when exported to the csv file. Maybe there’s a trick to it, but I couldn’t get it to work.

No, adding an annotation doesn’t add any observation fields. But it does work the other way around, so until annotations are more useful (can be extracted in CSV etc), I will continue adding observation fields and not annotations…

1 Like

seems unavailable as part of the standard export, but you might be able to get that data via the API. you can input an observation ID here (!/Observations/get_observations_id) to see what can be pulled back for it.

Oh awesome, I was not aware of the API, I’ll have to play around with it and report back with my findings!

Another option that I’ve found is to create a Collection project with the specific annotation requirement you desire; for example, the “flowering” annotation for plants. Don’t think it would work if you want to download all observations with annotations and tell which is which, but works for specific ones.


I’ve started a thread about exports more generally, of which annotations are a part, here.

@bcfl14 I’d be interested in your thoughts on that thread since you seem to have found a workaround for downloading annotations.

1 Like

I tried everything…
No way to do a project export with annotations
The flowering isn’t exported anywhere…

Observation Fields are fine.
For now annotations are a bit useless. Some users put a lot of time in them and no way to use the data.

that’s not exactly true. besides using the API as noted above, see

1 Like

OK, I’m trying to download plant phenology data for mimulus ringens. I see that there is some discussion about it being possible via “API”.

I went into the “identify” tab and made a query (RG observations) then picked download and manually added “term_ID=12” to the end of the query. I believe this resulted in getting all the observations that have any sort of Plant Phenology annotations associated with them. But there is no column in the exported data that lists the actual Phenology data. Is this the best I can do at this point?

What are the term_ID codes for “no evidence”, “flower budding”, “flowering”, and “fruiting”?
I assume if I entered the term ID code for “flowering” then the exported data would be limited to the observations that have been annotated “flowering.”
Am I understanding this correctly?

1 Like

Annotatations can not currently be downloaded.

do you really need the observation-level detail? if not (for example, if you’re just going to aggregate the data), there may be other ways to get what you need.


Thank you! It does appear to work. I found that after you append terms to the query you have to switch tabs to make sure the terms are applied to the query but I was able to download the data.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.