Is it possible to retrieve the original filename of an observation?

Is there a way to retrieve the original filename of an observation? That would allow me to easily add an iNat identification to the metadata of my local archive by retrieving the relevant file.

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I dont believe it is retained on upload. You may be able to match via the timestamp though.


Thanks. I was hoping to find a way to apply hierarchical tags to all my original photos based on my iNaturalist’s observations. I could have my entire photo collection organized taxonomically in one shot (with Exiftool and some programming)! As long as there is a way to retrieve all the time stamps for all the photos of individual observations.

I can’t get the timestamp for all the photos, but I can apply the tags to all the photos between one time and another. There will be wrong tags if two observations occur during the same minute and un-uploaded photos will be tagged. These would have to be corrected manually, but the programming will reduce the manual work by over 90%.

If you find a way to do this, can you please write a step by step user guide? :)
Is time stamp only up to the minute? If it was up to the second there wouldn’t be the possible issue you describe.

The CSV file you download provides only one date stamp per observation (and only one image URL per observation). That date stamp is only accurate to the minute both in the CVS file and in the original photos. My plan is to write some Visual Basic code to transform an iNaturalist ID into a tag that can be used in Windows Live Photo Gallery. These tags can be used to copy the pictures into directories ordered by taxonomy as well.

A possible alternative strategy is to signal what photos represent a series of shots when uploading. For example you could alternate by giving all photos in one observation one star while the next gets two stars, then the next observation one star. Then a piece of software could write a tag to every photo that includes a number representing the observation number in that directory. Then when it comes time to process the CSV file, use a routine that searches for other files that match the observation number and so forth

I have so far write a bit of pseduocode for the heart of the program. I am not in a rush to create this code so I can’t give a date when I would finish.

If it goes well, I may create a software application that will merge iNaturalist, eBird, and other social platform observations with your own personal observations not online into a database. A customizible menu bar would allow you to quickly review your observations and other things. This would take awhile, however.

OK thank you! That is more than I would like to achieve that is simply writing the taxonomy information added in iNat into my offline photo’s keywords metadata.
I was thinking to import the CSV into Access and then write some VBA code to:

  • loop over photos in a folder from which I have uploaded files to iNat
  • for each file, select the relevant record in the CSV based on the time stamp read from the file (if two records get selected, log a warning and do nothing, if no record selected skip to next file, it means the file was not uploaded to iNat )
  • write all the iNat csv fields I am interested in to the EXIF metedata of the file (it seems I will have to call the EXIFTool.exe from VBA as it doesn’t seem there is a way to write the metadata directly using VBA, it si only possible to read them with the method getDetailsOf)
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