So I often take lots of photos for Inaturalist when on vacation or doing fieldwork and when I spend multiple days taking photos I often try to upload the photos as I go since uploading from the phone one observation at a time is tedious and I hate having a huge backlog. Inevitably i give up trying to keep up so then I have only some of the trip uploaded or I upload a few observations for ID confirmation then I have no idea what is uploaded and what isn’t. Is there a way to avoid accidentally uploading duplicates? Also can you upload multiple observations at once from a phone?
If I am not sure I will sort my own observations by date and then just look at that dates observations I uploaded. Works fine.
I’ve faced this problem too, and decided to crop my photos just before upload. Anything that I crop, I have to upload right away, and anything I haven’t cropped hasn’t been uploaded. If your photos generally don’t need cropping before uploading, you could mark them on your phone some other way (a flag, a fav, whatever works for you) just before uploading them.
Honestly, I don’t know any iNatter who uploads lots and lots of observations on their phone. Even the prolific observers who I’ve seen taking the photos on their phones transfer them to a computer and use the web uploader. I’m sure there are some excellent observers regularly uploading hundreds of observation through the phone app, but I haven’t witnessed it.
I’d recommend disabling Automatic Upload in the iNaturalist app settings. Once you have drafted all of the observations for the day, then you can upload the entire batch at once.
I expected that all iNaturalists would work phone-only, but that seems to be an exception. What about e.g. holidays when you can’t bring your computer in.
If I am going to take hundreds of observations, I wait to upload them until I get to a computer. If it is just a few of particular interest, I’ll go ahead and upload from my phone.
I also just wait; I’m often taking a mix of phone & dslr photos (phone photos are usually for some rough GPS coordinates) and its too annoying to upload my phone stuff ahead of time, then have to come out and figure out what camera shots go with what observations.
I basically only use the phone app to upload one-offs
I count 6 days this year that I’ve posted more than 100 from my phone. For example: here’s a day I posted 158 from my phone at the Grand Canyon https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/egordon88/2023/6/18
When I have this many, first I go through the camera roll and delete duplicates. As in, 10 photos of the same butterfly and keep the best 2 or 3. Then I crop 10 or 20 in a row, upload those, go back and delete any I don’t want to keep long term, and do the next set.
I totally empathise with your problem. I have been a member of iNat for 12 years and for most of that time I have just uploaded ad hoc observations that I find most interesting. At various points, I went back through my photos to upload all my sightings of spiders, frogs and reptiles. Then this year, I decided to start going methodically through my whole archive of 20 years of digital photos and upload all obs of flora/fauna/fungi. The biggest headache of this has been figuring out what, out of my many thousands of obs, I have and haven’t already submitted.
The best method I have found is to open my calendar view and check what obs exist for a particular date before uploading new obs for that date. But it’s easy to forget to do it and just upload the obs without checking.
I do think iNat would benefit from an automated duplicates checker tool. It could find obs with repeated photos and matching taxon ID (and perhaps compare other details like timestamp, GPS, filename, etc) and flag them for manual checking if there is suspiciously high similarity across multiple parameters.
You may be interested in this feature request.
Not observing a lot but I exclusively upload from (Android) phone. My TG6 has a wifi feature to sync to the phone so all my pictures are on the phone already. The android app actually works very well for mass upload (after disabling the auto upload of course which does some unexpected things).
I also mostly upload from Android, where the crop feature is particularly helpful.
I upload mostly from computer however there are times when my phone does most of the work. When I do upload from my phone (Android) I move the photo into another folder I created called “iNat Uploads” after I upload. Works for me.
This is pretty much what I do.
I’ve occasionally uploaded duplicates as well, for the very reason you menition. The best way to avoid duplicates is to address all the uploads for a given field effort at once, but I know that at times (on the road, vacation, etc.) that isn’t practical and you might have interesting or timely observations to upload.
As @DanielAustin, @Ajott, and @tiwane have suggested, the easiest way to avoid later duplicates is to take a moment to either go to your “Calendar” of observations and check there (e.g., keep a separate tab open on a browser with the calendar in view) or search your observations by date or taxon and scroll through those quickly (assuming you have the taxon narrowed to some degree).
With current photos, it’s easy to avoid duplicates as I process everything relevant on the computer and then upload all at once. But there is quite definitely a problem going through older photos where I wasn’t so diligent, or my vast archive of pre-iNaturalist photos where I’ve uploaded just a few in the past. I agree that the Calendar option is the best bet for now, but I would love to see the possibility of searching one’s own observations for a filename. I remember some time ago we were given the possibility of at least viewing the filename, so perhaps also searching for it would not be impossible to implement. Who knows!
I use a digital camera. I know kinda old school. I would be out on the road for a week or two time. I took pictures the whole time using a picture to show the start of the day. Then I download to the computer when I get home, dividing the pictures by day. Then I crop as needed and upload by day.
I realized after my post above that I remain very desktop-centric in my view of iNat actions. For folks who are predominantly or exclusively smart-phone iNatters (iOS or Android), finding duplicates probably remains a tedious task.
I have two DSLR cameras plus my iPhone. It can get confusing as to what i’ve downloaded to my computer or uploaded to Flickr and what I’ve already uploaded to iNat. But I don’t submit all that many photos to iNat so only occasionally do I accidentally submit the same photo twice. I delete the duplicate record when I find it but sometimes it will be on iNat for a while. It’s not really a big deal if it’s an uncommon mistake.
I realize the iOS app is very limited and that I am unusual in this regard, but I’m nearing 1k observations and I uploaded all of them from my phone
My process is a bit chaotic, but I usually don’t make that many observations in a single day (a few dozen is my record). I do have a backlog that I go through gradually and haphazardly
Checking dates and calendars is very smart and probably a better approach, but what I usually do on the app is click “observations by me” and then look up the genus, family, or whatever taxon level I am very certain about.
Usually there are few enough observations that I can easily see whether I have uploaded it, but I realize this could also be tedious for very prolific observers, and risks missing misidentified observations