Having to re-add observation fields to each entry

Hello! This is my first time posting here. I have a question involving observations feilds. It’s a bit of a long one, so I’ll post the short version first, and if you want, read on…

I am creating a iNat project for a funded study of turtles/road ecology, and we would like to use iNat so others can access our data. I would like to have a substantial number of observation fields to fill out while working and observing alve and dead animals, so we dont have to make/select each observation field for every single observation (which can be dozens per day). That is the brief description of my queation.

Here was fhe longer version I posted on discord:

Hello! I am in need of some tech support.

I am working on a funded road ecology project in Eastern Ontario and need some help.

I’ve created a page called "mitigatig wildlife-vehicle collisions in The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville ".

8 years ago I worked for the same NGO on a similar project, where

We want to have a list of observations tailored for the project, like a list of detailed data collection options. For example, could we have drop down options, such as, “Road location” and then a drop down with 4 options including (road lane, road shoulder, roadside ditch, adjacent habitat).

Another example of drop down options would be if the animal is dead, have the drop down options of (dry, bloated, rotten, fresh). If alive, this would save space by having a drop down because you wouldn’t need those 4 options if alive, which would save space on the form.

I see there are observation fields when adding an observation. I see people have made many, and you can search existing ones and use them, and that you should always search for the field you’re looking before creating one.

The issue I’m having is, we wanted to use this iNat for our project, so everyone can have access to our data. We wanted to create detailed observation forms that users can fill out in the field and add the observations to our project. However, it seems you have to re-add all the observation fields every time you make an observation.

Also, it seems the way it’s set up, is that you make an observation on your personal iNat account, and then add the observation to the project. Could someone confirm this? That members of a group need to make an observation and then add it to the project, and then members or admins cannot act as the project in the field, and add observations as the project. I ask because the project is funded, and I am trying to save time and money

Welcome to the forum!

Yes, but when uploading observations on desktop, you can bulk add observation fields to observations and bulk add observations to projects prior to submitting. You might even be able to do things with the CSV upload, but I’ve never done that so I don’t know how it works. Consider using a collection project with annotation requirements to automatically add observations to projects.

Could you clarify what you mean here?

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Hi Thomas, thanks so much for your help!

I meant to say that we were hoping to make observations as the project, ie, the actual project makes and adds the observations, so any admin could act as the project in the field and add observations (ie, others would get notifications that say “Road Ecology project just added 24 observations”) rather that make all the observations as an individual (ie, as Clayton Shearer) and then later upload them to the project. This isnt as big of a deal as the observation fields, but was still curious about it. We were hoping to add observations directly to the project in the field, without having to do any desk work later, adding the observations to the project.

I really appreciate this! I created a collection project, and in the options, it seemed to only offer me limited annotation options:

I see you’re interested mollusks. Terrestrial? We have a species of Arion that is creamcicle orange we are trying to ID. I want to dissect it this year. I think it may be A.subfuscus… If you follow me, you’ll see it sometime this year, if you’re interested in NE species. I’m in Ontario

I see. This isn’t how projects work; it’s more how accounts work. Projects are groups of observations posted by users. You could have an account for your organization that only added these observations. You could also put all the info in the description instead of observation fields if that’s easier.

Yes there are not many annotations (which are technically “official” observation fields). I have never used this project requirement, but I think you could choose “Alive or Dead” and any observation annotation as “Alive” or “Dead” would show up in the project. You could combine this with taxon requirements (i.e. turtles), user requirements (i.e. your project admins), etc. to automatically include the observations you want. Then your admins could upload observations in the field that would automatically be added to the project. If you’re uploading in the field, though, you can’t do bulk upload as you noted.

I’ll message you about slugs. :)

I’m not totally sure I understand what you mean by re-add the observation fields to each observation – wouldn’t you want to add road shoulder, fresh, etc. each time? What is the part you want automated here?

I think the closest to your description is a Traditional Project with required Observation Fields. When you are in the field, you would choose your project and it would prompt you to fill out the required observation fields.

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