Here’s a fun little project I’ve been working on for a couple years that I’d like to share: https://github.com/pyinat/naturtag
It’s an open source desktop application, and its main goal is to let you use your own iNaturalist data to add useful tags to your local photos, including taxonomy and observation details.
I’ve been using this myself for awhile now, and while it’s far from complete, I think it’s in a good enough state for others to try it out.
Why would you want to use this? Short version:
- If you don’t use keywords or other image metadata: It’s a really nice way to organize your photos (and later search them) without messing with folders and filenames. See this thread for an interesting discussion on the topic.
- If you already add metadata to your photos: This app will make the process faster and more thorough.
With Naturtag, you pick some photos, pick a taxon (or an observation, if you have one), and it will add scientific and common name keywords for its full ancestry, plus a bunch of other useful metadata fields.
For example, after tagging your photos, if you want to find all your Canada Goose photos in whatever photo organizer you use, you can search by
'Canada Goose', 'Geese', 'Waterfowl', 'Birds', Branta canadensis', 'Branta', 'Anatidae', 'Anseriformes', 'Aves', etc.
To take it a step further, you can even browse your photos with a taxonomic tree using tools that support hierarchical keywords, like Lightroom, digiKam, or XnViewMP. With a few photos tagged, it will look something like this; and with lots of photos tagged, it will basically start to look like your dynamic life list on iNat.
Naturtag stores your data in standard EXIF and XMP metadata formats that most image organizers/editors/viewers support, and doesn’t require any extra databases or proprietary formats. You can uninstall the app and still use your data with whatever tools you want.
Observation data is stored in Darwin Core, which is a standard for biodiversity data used by platforms like GBIF. You can see a complete example here.
I realize this may only appeal to a small subset of iNat users, but I think it has a lot of potential to be a useful part of a nature photographer’s workflow.
Feedback would be appreciated! In the
unlikely possible inevitable event that you encounter bugs, you can either send me a bug report on GitHub, or post details here.
I would also be interested to hear from anyone who already makes use of image metadata with your iNat photos: What details do you usually add, and what tools (if any) do you use to search / filter / organize your photos based on those details?