Observations uploading with random species

I’m not actually sure if this is a bug or me doing something weird, but I’ve been using iNat heavily for the past 2ish years and it only just started happening this morning. When I upload pictures some of them automatically fill in species IDs; for a while they were all salamander chytrids and for the last few batches I’m seeing the species as “Aa” or “Bb”. I don’t think I’m hitting any keys accidentally. I’m uploading from Photos on a Macbook Pro to Chrome version 78.0.3904.70.

It’s not a big deal to change the IDs, but it’s weird and makes it harder to tell which ones in a batch I’ve already IDd at a glance.

I’m trying to get a screenshot but my computer isn’t cooperating for some reason.

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I just realized this might have been ambiguous – this is happening at the edit stage in “add observations”; everything stays correct once they’re fully submitted.

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And now it’s back to chytrids.

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Can you please send a few of these photos to help@inaturalist.org so we can take a look at them?

by chance did the file name have either bd or bsal in the name ?

@tiwane - those are both entered for some bizarre reason as english names for that species, so likely the same bug.

Added by the same user who was at the root of the bird subspecies names issue. Not sure what they are doing or how many other totally random things they have added.


FYI bd IS a shorthand for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis,and presumably Bsal is the proper shortening for the salamander disease (so BD should probably be removed, but at least it is close). See: https://amphibiaweb.org/chytrid/Bsal.html

I presume the file names had bd or Bsal if those in it, along with EAB in the spider file name? It seems like the new implementation of the ID feature is being more problematic than anticipated.


But it is not an English name, if these are going to be entered, then should not a lexicon equivalent to the bird banding codes ones (Aou 4 Letter Codes) etc be created and used ?

Hmm, yea I don’t know what the proper lexicon would be. In my limited experience with herp people, I recall them just calling the disease Bd, but that still might just count as technical jargon not quite moving over to true “english”. I guess like the equivalent would be me calling something a dermestid (instead of Dermestidae) instead of Skin/Larder/Carpet beetle.

Though I think this might be a discussion for a different forum thread about what should actually be added under English versus scientific name vs jargon shortenings of scientific names. Or perhaps that already exists and I missed it. I saw the bird subspecies discussion.

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bsal is popular in Holland https://www.ravon.nl/bsal, and not Herp people i heard it many times

That was happening to me also. It seemed to be picking up the filename, but not always getting it right. For instance, I had a filename “black-tailed_jackrabbit…” - when it loaded it was labelled “black jackrabbit.” I thought it was a new iNat algorithm that still had kinks in it. Then, as of mid-day yesterday, I can’t upload anything at all.

Will do! They should all be IMG_(number).jpg but Photos is weird about file names so it’s possible there’s some other prefix that it’s not displaying.


Any update on what the photo file names were?

Yeah, the file name included an “ADA” in it, and I could replicate the issue.

Two proposals to prevent this particular issue from happening the future: only use currently accepted scientific names for file name matching, and don’t try to match file names when duplicating an obs. Resonable?


How does the uploader decide whether a person is trying to match file names?

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There is no attempt to decide if you are trying to do it. Right now it simply does it on all uploads.

Yet Tiwane’s advice was:

That statement implies that there is some way to control file name matches.

I hope that Tiwane and other iNat staff members are enjoying a holiday today. But I look forward to an explanation when he gets back and has time to offer one.

It was a proposal to help prevent the issue. It isn’t an existing option.

Thanks for explaining, Cassi!

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closing since it was working as intended; see also https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/add-observation-automatically-tagged-my-observations-with-incorrect-names-based-on-photo-filenames/8203/23