First option is selected by default for observation fields on app

This is fairly obscure, but it can be a headache and could potentially be an easy fix. Not sure, but I suspect this isn’t a “bug” per se, but a programming oversight. I expect it functions the same on the iOS app…

If a project has observation fields associated with it, when you are using the app, you can add a record to the project and fill out the project observation fields. All good. However, the problem is, if an observation field has a default value, then the default value is automatically assigned as soon as you select the project. The user can change that value, but if they don’t, it’s filled in. How it should work is that each field should be “turned on” manually by the observer, or else the default of every observation field should be null/blank. Otherwise, the situation we are in right now is there are potentially alot of observations with a value in an observation field(s) that wasn’t actually selected by a user.

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@mikeburrell can you please provide a project and observation field as examples?

@tiwane I noticed it with this project: https://inaturalist.ca/projects/nhic-rare-species-of-ontario

And this data field: https://inaturalist.ca/observation_fields/9712

But since I noticed it, I edited the data field so the first value is blank.

I just tried it with this observation: https://inaturalist.ca/observations/33109515

I added it to this project: https://inaturalist.ca/projects/moths-of-ontario

And sure enough, it auto-populated the “insect life stage” (https://inaturalist.ca/observation_fields/325) field as “unknown” by default. If that field happened to list “adult” first, it would have auto-filled it to that value. In this case, “unknown” isn’t a big deal, but it is still not ideal to fill out a value for a data field automatically, I would say (maybe in some cases that is a good idea?).

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FYI - still an issue. Every day I suspect hundreds if not thousands of records have default field values being added to them if they’re part of a project’s list of fields…just go look at the “insect life stage” field with the default value (unknown) and see how many non insects show up:

https://inaturalist.ca/observations?verifiable=any&place_id=any&field:Insect%20life%20stage=unknown

Oh, and this isn’t limited to the Android app - the iOS app does it too.