Observations without photo

It would be possible to eliminate those
observations without photo?
There are many of them that do not contribute anything and only occupy space …

Hi @franciscodocampo and welcome to the forum.

Do you mean is it possible to eliminate them from searches you make on the site, or to remove them entirely from the site? iNat observations are not required to have photos (see https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/help#obsphoto).

Keep in mind that just because an observation doesn’t have a photo, it doesn’t mean it’s useless! Indeed, photoless observations often contribute valuable data points. Remember that at its core, an observation represents the presence of an organism in space and time; this spatiotemporal occurrence is arguably the most important part of an observation. Researchers can (and often do) download photoless records for research.

Take for example this record I uploaded: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/37581219. I did not have my camera at the time of this encounter, but was with a group of 30+ researchers (including multiple reptile experts) and the ID was not in doubt. So I uploaded it as a photoless observation, and it’s actually the easternmost record of this species on iNat, so it’s an important record.

Also, I may well be wrong, but I suspect that photoless observations take up very little space at all considering the photo is probably the most data-hungry part of an observation.


If you’re wanting to avoid seeing observations that have no photos while working on doing ID’s for other people’s posts, I’d recommend using the “filter” function. The filters dropdown has a section labelled “show”, and within that there is a “has photos” button. If you click that you don’t see photo-less observations in the identify page anymore :)


I don’t think the default Identify settings includes photo-less observations? Or more accurately, it requires that there be evidence present (currently either a photo or a sound) to be classed as “Needs ID”. The term used is “verifiable” and is a default setting for that page. To encounter them in other than a deliberate means would be most likely via the explore page.


You’re right that default identify settlings only show you “needs ID”/verifiable observations which would exclude photo-less observations. OP could technically be seeing observations in identify without photos if for some reason they are combing through casual observations. I’m sure there are reasons someone may need to do that… can’t think of any right now but still!

I do it with spiders in New Zealand, I have a custom Identify filter that views ALL observations of aranae, regardless of photo-less or captive or RG status etc. The photoless observations are often just ones from observers using the app and the photos might take a couple days to get uploaded… but sometimes I see photoless obs of spiders that I know are not known to be present in NZ, and those I watch closely to see if an image gets uploaded… after a week or so, if still no photo I either ask the observer if they are uploading a photo, or I make an explicit disagreement at aranae with a comment regarding the absence of the species in NZ, and inviting them to provide further support for the species level ID. Sometimes it just turns out to be a pin location that got accidentally moved from Australia to New Zealand! I would speculate that visitors to NZ who start using iNat for the first time on a trip here might be adding photo-less observations of what they know they have seen before in their home country, and consequently the pin location defaults to where they are at the time… there could be many reasons :)


Ok thanks. Anyway, I understand that an observation that does not obtain the degree of research loses some of its value by not being contrasted by other people since one does not know the circumstances of the observation or the validity or capacity of the observer.

Yep - my use case for uploading an observation without a photo is simply for my own records - I saw this bird in this place on this day, but it flew off before I could point my camera at it.

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