Lots and lots of "no photo" when sorting by random


This is the identify page of the website, filtered to Hillsborough County, US, NH, showing casual observations, then sorted by random.

Something like half the observations show no photo. Which look like observations that must have had a photo at some point.

I figured it was just some weird caching problem with the identify page, but when I click on those observations, it says “no photo”. A few examples:

Platform (Android, iOS, Website):

App version number, if a mobile app issue (shown under Settings):

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) :
Firefox version 75.0, on ubuntu linux.

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages:

Screenshots of what you are seeing (instructions for taking a screenshot on computers and mobile devices: https://www.take-a-screenshot.org/):
Let me know if you don’t immediately see what I see.

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):

Ah, it looks like it was a coincidence that this started the first time I ever tried order by random. (I guess there’s a slight chance that sorting by random caused it elsewhere?) I’m now also seeing the same thing with the default sort order. Missing photos of roughly half the observations:


I’m not seeing this problem on https://www.inaturalist.org/observations

It’s the casual observations.

I do not see this problem on:

I do see it on:

By default, that search only shows verifiable observations, and a verifiable observation has media evidence.

One way that an observation obtains the “casual” label is by lacking media evidence, so one would expect to find observations which lack a photo when searching for casual grade observations.


Are you telling me that half of iNaturalist’s observations have no photo or audio?

1 Like

No, I misread that. The entire problem is my understanding of the definition of “casual” grade. Sorry.

‘Just make observations of wild organisms that have photos, locations, and dates. Every observation with those things gets automatically placed in the “Needs ID” category so people who are looking for observations to identify will find them. Observations without those three things are not eligible for “Research Grade” status and thus get placed in the “Casual” category, since identifiers probably won’t be able to help if there’s no photo or location.’