Enlarging photo on identify or observation page very slow


I’ve noticed that enlarging a photo by clicking on it, either through identify or on an observation, is VERY slow, like a minute or more. My Internet connection is slow for sure, but it hasn’t gotten any slower lately and the enlarged photo load time has increased dramatically. It’s more noticeable than anything else on the site, other things seem to load about as usual.

Has anyone else noticed this?



I have this problem too.

But I often can’t even get to this stage at all. The photos on the Identify screen take ages to load. Then any obs opened in the modal that have more than one photo (and sometimes even only 1 photo), I get blue stripes to show there are more photos but they either take ages to load, or don’t load at all. The first (or only) photo often doesn’t load or half loads in which case the top half of the picture is there but the bottom half never appears (and there’s usually no organism in the top half).

If the photo does load and I click on enlarge, I often get the spinning wheel and nothing further happens at all. If it does eventually load, it usually takes ages.

I find iNaturalist to be extremely slow most of the time. I test other sites, and they all work fine, so it’s not my connection (which is slow, but fast enough to do everything else on the internet). There’s something really hogging resources on iNat or something. Often the page will load but all images just have a broken image icon (including avatars, thumbnails and images). Also, the text is all in bold until the last second when all becomes unbolded.

The places where loading mostly comes unstuck on iNat are goog maps, static.inaturalist, tiles.inaturalist.

I have just tested enlarge on the Identify page now, and it is taking around 80 seconds to load the image (after waiting a long time (didn’t measure) to load the page).

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@tiwane should i move this to bug reports or is it just known baseline server load or something?



Might be good to move it.

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Change image viewer handling of zoom

What browsers are you using, and if possible, can you open up the browser’s Console ([see instructions here](This page has instructions for how to view the console for the most common browsers: https://support.airtable.com/hc/en-us/articles/232313848-How-to-open-the-developer-console)) when this happens and send us a screenshot that includes the console? Here are instructions for how to take a screenshot on several types of devices: https://www.take-a-screenshot.org




Thanks Tony! I am at work now and am trying it and am not running into any problems so it may be it was just a connectivity issue on my home internet. I will try again from there too.



I’ve been having the same problem for a couple of weeks now. I’m using the latest Firefox (65.0.1) on a Mac. I’m doing fewer identifications than I used to because it is so painfully slow.

One thing that may be relevant, but I hope not: I’ve got a few browser extensions and settings that try to preserve my privacy and stop various cross-site web trackers. I have discovered that it breaks a few sites, but I wouldn’t expect iNat to depend on any of these.


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I use uBlock in my browsers and don’t notice a difference. If you want to share which extensions you use (either here or to help@inaturalist.org) I would be happy to try and replicate.

I think it might also be useful to know if there is a consistent time you notice this happening? For example, when I do get hit with Identify going slowly, I find it’s usually later at night here in CA.

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I just went to go make a list of my Firefox extensions, and was reminded that I refreshed my Firefox installation last month, which removed all extensions. So I am now only using the built-in privacy features although I am running that in strict mode.

So I guess this slowness is not related to privacy extensions. I should go and re-enable those…



it does seem slower later in the evening but i am rarely on much later than right now (11 eastern time) so i don’t know beyond that.



This was really bad last night and today. I have a slow internet connection, but it’s no slower than it was a few months ago, and this has gotten significantly worse. Like maybe the photos are being loaded at a higher resolution than they used to be?

does this help?

Active resource loading counts reached a per-frame limit while the tab was in background. Network requests will be delayed until a previous loading finishes, or the tab is brought to the foreground. See https://www.chromestatus.com/feature/5527160148197376 for more details
observations-show-webpack-4a616314fdc09b2977b2b86c06cb892c.js:13 Deprecation warning: use moment.updateLocale(localeName, config) to change an existing locale. moment.defineLocale(localeName, config) should only be used for creating a new locale See http://momentjs.com/guides/#/warnings/define-locale/ for more info.
warn @ observations-show-webpack-4a616314fdc09b2977b2b86c06cb892c.js:13
util.js:220 Google Maps JavaScript API warning: RetiredVersion https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/javascript/error-messages#retired-version
mw.m @ util.js:220



I have also noticed this issue intermittently. Typically I get impatient and just open the observation in a new window and then it loads much quicker. I know this isn’t a real solution but maybe it can help tie the delay to something in the way the “Identify” screen pulls in images that is different than the regular observation page.



I’ve noticed too that it seems to open faster in a new window or at least then I can move on and let it load in the background

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Thanks folks, I’ll put this in my weekly support report.

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So, asking our devs, here’s how photos work on Identify:

  • The Identify photo grid displays medium-sized photos.

If you have a smallish monitor, we load medium size images by default in the Identify modal (pop-up), and large size photos if you have a larger monitor.

  • When you zoom in, we load the original size image, which could be significantly bigger, something like 1.5-2.4 mb or so.

So, if you have a smaller monitor, you have already loaded medium sized photos in grid view and when you use the modal, the browser is displaying images you have already loaded, making that image display quite speedy. If the original size is large, and you have a slower internet connection, it will, by comparison, seem to load significantly slower than the medium sized photos you have already loaded. We don’t think there are any bugs or issues on our end, a lot of it depends on how big the original file is and the speed of your internet service.

One thing we could do is, if we detect you are using a smaller monitor, load large size photos rather than original size ones when you zoom. Thoughts? Personally when I zoom I want to know I’m seeing the largest available image, but I have a pretty robust internet connection.

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The monitor I typically use is 14". I imagine that would be considered smaller, yes?



I personally would much rather have the ‘large’ than original photos for the ID page. Maybe allow another pathway to click through in the observation page to the huge photos. But my internet will never be fast enough that i want to download a 3 mb photo every time i want to look at the leaves on a tree or something. And i know elsewhere in the world the internet is even less reliable than here. Thanks for all that great info.



Maybe. It depends more on the resolution than physical size.



just out of curiosity, is there a reason why “original size” seems to be smaller than the actual size of the photo that was originally loaded? i can understand that maybe the system reduces the size of very large photos to save space and bandwidth or something like that, but why still call it “original size”? (some people might be under a false impression that the files stored on iNat have higher resolution than they actually do.)

just as an example, if i pull up this “original size” photo (https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/33036865?size=original), the metadata says this photo should be 2736x3648px. but if i view this 100% on my screen, the “original size” photo is only about 2/3rds as wide than my 2160px wide screen. if i copy and paste the image into a image manipulation program, it tells me that the image i pasted in is 1536x2048px. 1536 / 2160 ~= 70%. a 2736x3648px image would be in the neighborhood of 3.5MB. so something with half the area would put the image size in your 1.5-2.4MB range.



Correct, iNat reduces all larger images to no bigger than 2048 x 2048 pixels. “Original” might not be the best name. Any suggestions?


Some images not uploading when using upload feature