General questions on posting observations

Kia ora koutou,
a few questions for you all…

  1. should observations be on a single individual, or can they include photos of a few conspecific individuals within the same area?
  2. I collect specimens (with permits!) and then take photos in the lab, for teaching to show students (and myself!) the key characteristics. Are these types of photos useful in general? Is it okay to “mix” photos taken in the field with those in the lab?
  3. Should I tag these types of close up photos for education?
    ngā mihi,
    Chrissen
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  1. Official guidance says that each observation should represent one person’s encounter with an individual organism on a given day. So, multiple individuals should not be lumped into the same observation. Although a photo will sometimes contain a group of individuals, the observation “technically” only records your encounter with one of them. Something like a mating pair of insects would properly be entered twice, once for the female and again for the male, but of course you are not obligated to do so! Some iNat users disagree with this policy philosophically, but I don’t expect it to change anytime soon. On the flipside, you are welcome to upload multiple observations of the same individual through time (on different days), if you want to.

  2. Absolutely on both counts!

  3. I’m not sure what you mean. I encourage you to suggest an ID, to the best of your ability, on any observation you create, whether its photos are of collected specimens or the organism in situ.

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Many thanks @chrisangell! I will try to follow these guidelines from here on out. Have been uploading many old photos. I thought better to post them, than to just let them sit on my computer.
ngā mihi,
Chrissen

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Welcome! I can’t speak on behalf of everybody, but here’s what I like:

  1. Officially each observation should be for a single individual. I like this because I’ve seen some observations with multiple individuals that the user thought were the same but actually ended up being different species, though this is probably a bigger issue for insects (what I work on) than charismatic megafauna and I don’t know what your expertise is in. You can always add urls to crosslink the various individuals you found at a location on a given day. Encounters with two interacting individuals (like a mating pair of insects) can be weird, because entomologists usually treat them as a unit, but iNat doesn’t have that functionality.

  2. Yes, lab photos can be very helpful. But please remember to adjust the location / date so it’s where the specimen was collected, not the lab where the photo was taken.

  3. If you want to make your own tags to organize your own photos, you can, but there’s no official “education” category, as far as I know.

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Thanks much! Is there a way to store/pin locations so that I don’t have to try to refind them and that I keep a consistent format for my locations? I edited quite a few last night, hope I did it right. So far mainly common species, so probably not a bg concern.
ngā mihi,
Chrissen

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And another query :blush:
I am happy to rceive comments about my postings so far to try to imporve the quality of my observations. So please feel free to forward comments and suggestions to me and I will delete observations where needed, and revise/ammend others :-)
have a great day, now out into the garden to take some photos…
c

You can save your locations, if you use website there’s quite large button for that when you choose the location on the map, you can name them as you want and click save (or another word/phrase, I’m not using English version).

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I’m not sure what you mean by quality, especially when you say you will delete some.

If anyone has told you a picture to “not good enough”, ignore them: iNat has no minimum standard for media quality, thankfully, because not everyone has the same equipment and photography expertise, and it’s amazing what some people can ID from even a “poor” photo (or audio).

If they have said a photo doesn’t show diagnostic features and so can’t be IDed to species, remember that Research Grade is not a value judgement. Even casual observations can provide useful data. Most iNat users have made our peace with ambiguity, and accepting the best ID our evidence allows, even if it never gets to genus or lower. :grin:

If it’s because you posted a captive organism (like a pet, livestock, or house plant), you can remove it if you desire, but you aren’t required to, and one or two is generally ok (though likely to be ignored).

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Kia ora @Star3 and thanks. No, no one has made negative comments…I just don’t want to post things that are not helpful :blush:
ngā mihi,
c

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I had put together some screen shots in an earlier discussion:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/ideas-for-the-observations-edit-page/8627/13?u=bobmcd

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thanks, yes I can use this. But I have entered some wrong localities (trying to do too much at once) and now when I go in to edit the “pin” I don’t see the list, but the big dark blue Google map. Can I get to my list from there?

You can delete wrong ones, at the top right when you open a map while adding observation you can type them in and they’ll have each a cross to delete them.

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I ended up just re-entering the Lat and Long. Lesson learned!

You can select a saved pin that is nearby your desired location, edit it moving the ring to where you want it and then resize to accuracy (or edit it in the boxes below) , zoom in to the map to further refine. You can then change the locality notes, perhaps rename to NZ site 42, and then pin that. You can then delete the old pin as @melodi_96 mentioned or keep it for further edits if you have a bunch more to save nearby - you could mark every 50 meters of a daily walk - although I don’t know how many pins one could store or how practical it is. You can also save one as obscured or private and the other as open. Nice feature because it is quite flexible.

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I’m not sure, either. I had quite a few because my older photos didn’t have a geotag.

But the other day, I used the pull down menu (desktop/web interface) of pinned locations looking for one starting with S and I couldn’t find it. But if I started to type it in, it would pop up. I deleted a bunch of older pins I wasn’t using and then it, along with a number of other pins starting with letters after S, showed up.

I’m not sure if it was just a glitch or if only X number of pins can show up in the pull down menu.

I don’t think there’s a limit (remember reading there’s not), all what is needed is a different name each time. Yes, only a few is visible in the menu.

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Thanks everyone!
ngā, Chrissen

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