Problems with CSV import after lots of trials

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Platform (Android, iOS, Website): Website

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

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) : Chrome and Firefox

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/import#csv_import

Screenshots of what you are seeing (instructions for taking a screenshot on computers and mobile devices: https://www.take-a-screenshot.org/): There isn’t a relevant screenshot but please see examples below.

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):
Hi everyone, I have reviewed previous posts about this but I can’t find an answer. I am trying to upload a few hundred observations of reef fish where I don’t have photos but I do have some interesting notes (e.g. abundance notes from repeated surveys) that I would like to add to iNat.
Issue #1: I followed the format instructions very carefully and I checked the spelling of each taxon name in iNat but I can’t get these files to upload.
Issue 2: I am not receiving emails with error messages (I have all of the boxes ticked in my notifications and I’ve checked my spam folder). This makes it hard to figure out what isn’t working.
Details on Issue #1:
Here are some examples of text that is failing to upload. I am viewing these in Notepad to make sure that Excel isn’t hiding anything. I haven’t been able to upload anything that follows the date format specified by iNat (YYYY-MM-DD) but I have been able to upload a few lines with the format D/MM/YYYY.

Taxon name,Date observed,Description,Place name,Latitude / y coord / northing,Longitude / x coord / easting,Tags,Geoprivacy
Sphoeroides spengleri,2012-02-02,“one record; I snorkeled on these jetties many times from 2005 to 2017 and came up with abundance scores for each species.”,26.54629,-77.043123,
Sphyraena barracuda,2017-05-15,“abundant (>5 individuals likely to be seen in a visit); I snorkeled on these jetties many times from 2005 to 2017 and came up with abundance scores for each species.”,26.54629,-77.043123,
Atlantic Bumper,1994-07-04,“Destin; plus or minus 10 miles; date uncertain”,30.3345,-86.4914,
Atlantic Spanish Mackerel,1994-07-04,“Destin; plus or minus 10 miles; date uncertain”,30.3345,-86.4914,

These lines did work:
Taxon name,Date observed,Description,Place name,Latitude / y coord / northing,Longitude / x coord / easting,Tags,Geoprivacy
Azurina multilineata,1/1/2004 12:00,“Johnny’s Cay; plus or minus 0.5 mi; date uncertain”,26.5792885,-76.9626839,
Bar Jack,11/21/2023 13:00,26.480185,-76.995411,

I have spent a long time on this and I’d really appreciate any help. Thank you so much!

Please note that there are actually two commas at the end of each line (I failed to paste the second comma in my post).

I can successfully upload the four lines you have noted as failing.
Try replacing the opening and closing ‘double-quotes’ (can’t recall what the characters are actually called) which the real double-quote character, or copy from below:

Taxon name,Date observed,Description,Place name,Latitude / y coord / northing,Longitude / x coord / easting,Tags,Geoprivacy
Sphoeroides spengleri,2012-02-02,"one record; I snorkeled on these jetties many times from 2005 to 2017 and came up with abundance scores for each species.",26.54629,-77.043123,
Sphyraena barracuda,2017-05-15,"abundant (>5 individuals likely to be seen in a visit); I snorkeled on these jetties many times from 2005 to 2017 and came up with abundance scores for each species.",26.54629,-77.043123,
Atlantic Bumper,1994-07-04,"Destin; plus or minus 10 miles; date uncertain",30.3345,-86.4914,
Atlantic Spanish Mackerel,1994-07-04,"Destin; plus or minus 10 miles; date uncertain",30.3345,-86.4914,
1 Like

Thank you. I tried that, but it still doesn’t work (Chrome). This is very strange.

I also managed to import the first 4 lines.

However, you are missing a column (the place name), so coordinates were not correctly interpreted.

It should be (2 commas before the latitude):

HEADER
Sphoeroides spengleri,2012-02-02,“one record; I snorkeled on these jetties many times from 2005 to 2017 and came up with abundance scores for each species.”,,26.54629,-77.043123,
Sphyraena barracuda,2017-05-15,“abundant (>5 individuals likely to be seen in a visit); I snorkeled on these jetties many times from 2005 to 2017 and came up with abundance scores for each species.”,,26.54629,-77.043123,
Atlantic Bumper,1994-07-04,“Destin; plus or minus 10 miles; date uncertain”,,30.3345,-86.4914,
Atlantic Spanish Mackerel,1994-07-04,“Destin; plus or minus 10 miles; date uncertain”,,30.3345,-86.4914,
1 Like

Could you try with a different CSV file? (please rename your file before upload)

I have no rational explanation (caching during upload!? sounds weird) but as a developer, that’s what I will do to make the test as isolated as possible…

Gosh, I am really stumped. I fixed the problem of the missing column but still no luck. Do either of you have any ideas on the lack of error report emails? That would help me figure out what’s going on.

I will also try deleting the cache (is that what you are suggesting)?

THANK YOU!

It looks like you managed to import some data 15 minutes ago?

What part of the CSV is not working now?
(my idea was to upload a different CSV file, with a new filename, just to be sure… but indeed, cleaning your cache could also be an idea when things look weird like that)

Yes, indeed, a few trial lines worked! But I am still unable to upload either of my big csv files, one has 117 lines, the other 66. They follow exactly the same format but I guess there may be tiny mistakes somewhere way down the file. But since I don’t receive any error emails I can’t isolate the problem.

I hesitate the post these long files here but will gladly do so if you deem that appropriate.

I just tested on production, with a correct and incorrect CSV files.
In both cases, I received the import results by mail.

Let me contact you in MP to check something.

The problem here ended up being that I had unsubscribed from some iNat emails that included alerts when importing observations.

I should also note that I was unable to import several species when using the verbatim common names from iNat (listed below). This is apparently because there are other species that are also known by these common names on iNat (e.g. “King Mackerel” and “Indo-Pacific King Mackerel”. So I’d recommend that folks use scientific names when importing.

Huge thanks again to @sylvainmorin and @lawnranger for all of the help with this!

  • Single taxon not found: King Mackerel
    • Row(s): 4
  • Single taxon not found: Little Tunny
    • Row(s): 5
  • Single taxon not found: Bluefish
    • Row(s): 15
  • Single taxon not found: Sand Tilefish
    • Row(s): 25
  • Single taxon not found: Redtail Parrotfish
    • Row(s): 43
  • Single taxon not found: Spotted Eagle Ray
    • Row(s): 51
  • Single taxon not found: Spotted Moray
    • Row(s): 52
  • Single taxon not found: Bicolor Damselfish
    • Row(s): 54
  • Single taxon not found: Ballyhoo
    • Row(s): 60
  • Single taxon not found: Flying Gurnard
    • Row(s): 63
  • Single taxon not found: Black Trevally
    • Row(s): 65
  • Single taxon not found: Oceanic Triggerfish
    • Row(s): 69
  • Single taxon not found: Black Triggerfish
    • Row(s): 71
  • Single taxon not found: Whitespotted Filefish
    • Row(s): 72
  • Single taxon not found: Albacore
    • Row(s): 74
  • Single taxon not found: Sand Diver
    • Row(s): 85
  • Single taxon not found: Glasseye
    • Row(s): 97
  • Single taxon not found: Barred Cardinalfish
    • Row(s): 112
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